Reynolds gets Final Vote nomination
D-backs slugger has shot at final NL All-Star roster spot
DENVER -- From his play on the field to his work in the clubhouse, Mark Reynolds is establishing himself as a leader on the Arizona Diamondbacks.He may even wind up being an All-Star.
Reynolds is one of the five National League players up for the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote, which now in its eighth year, 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 Pepsi and continues until 1 p.m. MST on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.If selected, Reynolds would join teammates Dan Haren and Justin Upton at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the July 14 game. "I would love to have made it outright, but I still have a shot and hopefully I can still get some votes and be there," Reynolds said. "It's probably tough to get three guys off a team that is not doing so well." The other NL Final Vote candidates are Cristian Guzman (Nationals), Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Pablo Sandoval (Giants) and Shane Victorino (Phillies). Last season's NL winner was Milwaukee's Corey Hart. "I'm up against some good players and players in a lot bigger cities," Reynolds said. "It's going to be tough, but hopefully somehow we'll pull this out and I'll get to St. Louis." In Sunday's game against the Rockies, Reynolds hit his 24th homer and jacked up his RBI total to 61. The 25-year-old leads all third basemen in homers and RBIs and he ranked second in slugging percentage (.562) as well as on-base plus slugging (.917) entering the finale. "It's maturing," he said of his improvement. "You get to know pitchers better, seeing more breaking balls and cutters, just knowing what they are doing to me rather than just going up there and swinging. Even when I strike out I feel like I have good at-bats." After leading the league in errors last season, Reynolds has shown quite a bit of improvement defensively at third. Of his 13 errors this season, eight have come at third while the others have been at first, a position he has little experience playing. "His defense has improved," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "He has his fair share of mistakes now and then as every player does, but he's been able to take his weaknesses, address them, handle them and not let him put it on a roller coaster. Every time he's got an at-bat he's got a chance to impact the game and he's doing a lot of good this year." Reynolds has stepped up his game off the field as well. With his team playing mistake-filled baseball in recent weeks, Reynolds called out his teammates in a postgame rant on Friday night following a loss to the Rockies. "We look like the Bad News Bears out there, and it's frustrating," Reynolds said that night. "It's to the point where stuff's got to change." Most of his teammates apparently agreed with him, with catcher Chris Snyder saying Reynolds' comments were needed and "dead on." Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555. When asked if he had a message for the fans, who will decide his fate, Reynolds said, "Vote. I feel like I play hard and I have into every night, every game, and I just feel like it would be a rewarding experience at this early stage of my career to go and experience that." The fun doesn't end with the Final Vote. 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 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game. The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. MST. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.