Final Vote gives Ethier shot at hometown ASG

Final Vote gives Ethier shot at hometown ASG

ANAHEIM -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, voted onto the All-Star Game starting lineup last year, needs more help from the fans to make the Midsummer Classic this year.

Ethier is one of five players on the 2011 National League All-Star Game Final Vote ballot. The four other finalists are Michael Morse, Shane Victorino, Todd Helton and Ian Kennedy.

"We're in last place and it's not always great to show up and watch the game as a fan," Ethier said. "But hopefully Dodger fans can put some stuff aside, and even if they're sitting at home watching instead of coming to the game, at least they can have the Internet in front of them and sit there and pound away all day and rally behind the players and me and show how great fans are in L.A."

If Ethier wins the Final Vote, he would join Dodgers teammates Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw on this year's NL All-Star team. Kemp was voted into the starting lineup by fans and Kershaw was selected in balloting of players. The 2011 All-Star Game will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix on July 12.

"I already tweeted 'Dre some love and told everybody to vote for him," Kemp said.


"I hope he has a lot of fans," Ethier said of Kemp. "It's like a campaign. You hear politicians go to grassroots. Our grassroots are L.A. fans. We know how big and powerful they can be. I never doubt the fans, how great the fans can be. It's two-way, though. We have to put a great product on the field, too."

Ethier, a native of the Phoenix area, has the Majors' longest hitting streak this year at 30 games, the second longest in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise history, and has been among league leaders in batting average, currently .322, although his power (seven homers) is down from last year.

On the American League Final Vote ballot is another Phoenix native, former Dodger Paul Konerko. The Dodgers and White Sox, who share the Camelback Ranch Spring Training complex in Glendale, are joining forces to promote the pair's candidacy.

"I grew up in Arizona without baseball and this is the first All-Star Game there," Ethier said. "It couldn't be written any better than that for both of us. It's my hometown, I grew up two miles from where the ballpark is."

Nomar Garciaparra in 2006 became the only Dodger to earn an All-Star berth through the Final Vote process. Kemp was a runner-up in 2009.

Fans who vote for Ethier will be eligible for a variety of prizes. The prizes include a meet-and-greet with Ethier for a winner and guest, an autographed Ethier jersey or a baseball autographed by Ethier. Plus, all fans who vote for Ethier will receive 70 percent off tickets in locations valued up to $50 to either the July 27 or July 30 games at Dodger Stadium.

Now in its 10th year, the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until 1 p.m. PT on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269 (Example: Text "N1" to vote for Ethier). In Canada, fans should text their choices to 65246. Standard message and data 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 Chevy via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio 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 10-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 9-19. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.

Ethier leads the Dodgers with 23 doubles and is second behind Kemp in average, home runs, RBIs, runs scored, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

"Hopefully Andre gets another shot," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's another guy that deserves it. I know there's been some areas -- he hasn't hit as many homers this year, and things like that. But he's had a solid year, he's played great defense and he's a guy that hopefully will get voted in."

Ethier was a second-round pick of Oakland in 2003 and was traded to the Dodgers for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in December 2005, the first trade for general manager Ned Colletti.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.