Crawford leads Rays on All-Star ballot
Outfielder among nine on club eligible for Midsummer Classic
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are hoping a hot start in the standings will translate into some hot supportive voting for this year's All-Star Game, which will be on July 15.
Carl Crawford, last year's representative from the Rays, is once again on the ballot. Tampa Bay's left fielder gave a good showing by hitting a home run in the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco.
Joining Crawford are Akinori Iwamura, who is listed at his new position, second base, this season, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, Jason Bartlett, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, Jonny Gomes, and Cliff Floyd. Rookie third baseman Evan Longoria was not on the Opening Day roster and is not on the ballot.
The 79th Midsummer Classic will be the fourth held at Yankee Stadium and the eighth in New York City. The Yankees previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, 1960 and 1977; the Polo Grounds held the game in 1934 and 1942; Ebbets Field was the site in 1949; and Shea Stadium hosted the 1964 Midsummer Classic.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2008 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Wednesday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. In-stadium voting at Tropicana Field begins on May 9 and will continue through June 20.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2008 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on Sunday, July 6. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote at MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Only one year in Rays history has the team had more than one player make the All-Star team, when Roberto Hernandez and Jose Canseco each made the team in 1999, but Canseco could not attend due to a back injury. Canseco also is the only player in franchise history to be elected to the team.
Right-hander Rolando Arrojo was the Rays' first representative at the All-Star Game in 1998. Crawford has twice represented the Rays at the All-Star Game, which is the most for any players in club history.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.