CHICAGO -- Cubs players donned T-shirts to promote Kristopher Bryant in an effort to get the third baseman to the All-Star Game via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.Bryant remained second to the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the latest results, released Wednesday. The other Final Vote
CHICAGO -- Cubs players donned T-shirts to promote Kristopher Bryant in an effort to get the third baseman to the All-Star Game via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.
Bryant remained second to the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the latest results, released Wednesday. The other Final Vote candidates include the Nationals' Anthony Rendon, the Rockies' Mark Reynolds and the Marlins' Justin Bour. The 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played July 11 in Miami.
Even actor Joe Mantegna, a Cubs fan and star of the CBS drama "Criminal Minds," joined in the campaign. He posted on Twitter: "Make sure to #VoteKB and vote often! @Cubs"
One year ago, Bryant had 25 home runs, 21 doubles and 65 RBIs by the All-Star break and was batting .286. He was voted in as a starter on the National League team and won the NL Most Valuable Player Award at season's end. This year, his numbers haven't been as strong, as he entered Wednesday with 16 home runs. Bryant, who has been batting second most of the season, had 33 RBIs and was batting .262.
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"Last year, he would hit the ball hard on a nightly basis," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant. "More than anything, I've seen him miss his pitch a little bit and chase his pitch a little bit, but I have a lot of confidence that will work its way back to where it had been. He looks the same at the plate, so I dont think he's fatigued. I really anticipate more in the second half."
On Wednesday, Bryant was 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs in the Cubs' 7-3 come-from-behind win over the Rays. He now has hit safely in six straight games (7-for-22) and leads the Cubs with 56 walks.
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET today. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.