BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel has pitched like an All-Star, but he needs your help to send him there.
Hammel, one of the American League's biggest surprises this season, was named one of five All-Star Game Final Vote candidates during Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell.
Now in its 11th year, the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Selection Show and continues until Thursday, July 5 at 4 p.m. EDT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Acquired in an offseason trade with the Colorado Rockies, the 29-year-old Hammel went 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA before putting himself on the All-Star bubble with a poor showing on Wednesday, when he allowed a career-high eight runs on eight hits and three walks in a season-low 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA for the season to 3.29.
He is trying to become the fourth player to represent Baltimore at this year's Midseason Classic to be played July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, along with catcher Matt Wieters, outfielder Adam Jones and closer Jim Johnson, who were named to the AL All-Star team during Sunday's show.
"Obviously, it's a tremendous honor just to be in the Final Vote," said Hammel, who has resurrected his career after being moved to the Rockies' bullpen at the end of last season.
"You put in a lot of work. It's not just myself. It's a collective effort. I couldn't have done this without Matty and Jimmy closing out games, Jones running down balls. Everybody on this team has done something to help us get up here. It would be a nice personal accomplishment, but you still need the team to get to this point."
Fans can use their mobile phone to cast votes via the mobile web atMLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the 2012 All-Star GameMLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.
The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
While Jones, Wieters and Johnson were excited to be selected, the emphasis shifts to the Orioles' on-field play and, of course, helping bolster the campaign for Hammel, who is hoping to be voted into his first All-Star Game.
"That's a large number," Jones said of the potential for the Orioles to have four players, which would mark the club's biggest All-Star group since sending four in 2005. "You usually see Boston or New York or Anaheim with four, but the men that are sitting here on this stage are four deserving men. We've put in the work. We battled. We obviously have a lot to go. It's going to be an exciting second half here. There are other guys in the locker room that are very deserving, also. Our bullpen, if I could I'd take all of them. They've been outstanding for us.
"It's hard to just say there are only four deserving. It's a team effort. There's no way any of us could get here without each of the 25 guys -- including the coaches."
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 6-20. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.comShop. MLB.com will send an email on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Hammel is up against four pitchers in the vote: Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right-hander Ernesto Frieri, Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Kansas City Royals closer Jonathan Broxton.