It's "Go" time for balloting for the 2014 All-Star Game, with Friday's release of the National and American League ballots for the 85th Midsummer Classic.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
In-stadium balloting will begin at PNC Park on May 4 -- in the middle of the Bucs' next homestand -- and continue through June 19.
Curiosity revolved around the list of Pirates candidates since the club entered the season with two hazy positions, undecided at worst and platooned at best.
And the answers are, Travis Snider is nominated in right field and Gaby Sanchez is the choice at first base. Snider indeed has been getting the bulk of playing time, over the right-handed-hitting Jose Tabata in right. However, the recent acquisition of Ike Davis has turned Sanchez into a minor partner at his position.
The Bucs' other candidates should be obvious: catcher Russell Martin, third baseman Pedro Alvarez, shortstop Jordy Mercer, second baseman Neil Walker and Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen rounding out the outfield.
Alvarez and McCutchen were both 2013 NL All-Stars, the third consecutive selection for the latter, who's also the reigning NL Most Valuable Player.
The Bucs had a total of five representatives at the '13 Classic at New York's Citi Field -- matching the club's most since 1960 (also reached in '72) -- the others being starting pitcher Jeff Locke and relievers Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli.
The player making the best early push for consideration for his first All-Star experience has been Walker, who has shown the above-average power for NL second sackers and delivered a pair of walk-off hits within the Pirates' first seven home games of the season.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.