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More than 21 million votes cast in first 48 hours of Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote on

Longoria, Hart maintain top positions in closely-contested races

NEW YORK -- Two days of furious fan balloting in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote on has seen more than 21 million votes cast with Tampa Bay Rays rookie third baseman Evan Longoria and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart each maintaining small advantages in their respective leagues. The number of votes cast has nearly surpassed the overall record for total votes, 23.1 million, set in 2007. With 48 hours remaining in the voting period and ballots coming in at this fevered pace, each race is too close to call and neither margin should be considered safe.

In the American League, the three leaders, Longoria, Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox and Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees, all have more than two million votes each and are separated by just over 10 percent. They are followed by Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Guillen of the Kansas City Royals.

On the National League side, the top three candidates also each have registered more than two million votes and are apart by approximately 10 percent. Hart is followed closely by David Wright of the New York Mets; Pat Burrell of the Philadelphia Phillies; Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants; and Carlos Lee of the Houston Astros.

The seventh annual Monster All-Star Game Final Vote ballot commenced exclusively on at 3 p.m. EDT yesterday and more than 21 million votes have already been cast in the opening 48 hours of fan voting (through 3 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 8, 2008). The online voting will continue until 5 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, July 10, 2008.

In addition, fans will again be able to cast their votes via their mobile phones by texting the word "Vote" to 36197 to receive the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote candidates. In Canada, fansshould text the word "Vote" to 88555.

The Monster All-Star Game Final Vote program has seen nearly 80 million votes cast since its inception in 2002, including a record 23 million last year when fans chose Hideki Okajima of the Boston Red Sox and Chris Young of the San Diego Padres. Previous winners of the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote include: A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).