Freeman, Delabar in front; Puig, Robertson in pursuit
Final Vote races for All-Star Game spots continue as Thursday's ballot-closing nears
Final Vote positioning stayed largely the same from Tuesday to Wednesday with only one change -- Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit moved up from fourth place to third, with Boston's Koji Uehara dropping to fourth in the American League vote.
Wednesday morning's update revealed that Toronto's Steve Delabar maintains his top spot in the AL in 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote balloting sponsored by freecreditscore.com, and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is tops in the National League.
Yankees reliever David Robertson is in second place in AL voting, followed by Benoit, Uehara and Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers.
In the NL, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig maintains his second-place spot, followed by Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzelez.
More than 50 million online votes have been cast.
"Dear NL, Do you want home-field advantage in the World Series? #VotePuig: http://atmlb.com/186kDkV. Text N5 to 89269. - Common Sense
The Dodgers are in the midst of throwing three vote/watch parties, two of them hosted by former star Steve Garvey. Count the Dodgers legend as one who doesn't buy into the "Puig hasn't played enough to merit an All-Star selection" sentiment.
"It doesn't matter," Garvey said. "He's made such an impact on the Dodgers and L.A. and across the sports world."
Still, Freeman may have something to say about that. The Blue Jays and Braves teamed up from the start to get out the vote in both of those regions, and they poured it on even thicker on Tuesday, offering a total of six signed baseballs, signed by both Delabar and Freeman, to be given to six lucky voters.
AL CANDIDATES BY THE NUMBERS
The Tigers conducted a middle-of-the-night campaign for both Benoit and Pence. The two World Series teams partnered in order to generate votes for both players.
"It's 1:50 a.m., which means it's time to #VotePence and #BackBenoit. Can we get 150 votes?" the Tigers tweeted.
In San Francisco, Pence has re-tweeted fans who have mentioned their voting intentions, put together a video message and is even offering one voter a baseball signed by the entire 2012 World Series club.
And, of course, it never hurts to have the backing of a famous rapper. Paul Wall, a Houston native who is a Pence fan from the outfielder's days with the Astros, tweeted out to his 311,000-plus followers:
"S/O to my boy @hunterpence gotta vote right now for him, Text N4 to 89269 voting unlimited #VotePENCE"
The celebrity vote is playing a role, too. Freeman has the backing of country music singer/songwriter Cole Swindell and Braves legends Chipper Jones and Dale Murphy, in addition to the NFL's Falcons and NBA's Hawks and one inanimate object: the Georgia Dome.
Hollywood types are stepping up in a big way for Puig, including "The Newsroom" actress Olivia Munn, "Mistresses" star (and lifelong Dodgers fan) Alyssa Milano, actor Jason Bateman, and, of course, Lakers legend and Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson.
"Dodger Nation: Let's get @AdrianTitan23 and @YasielPuig to the All-Star Game! http://say.ly/fjH6da8 #VotePuig #VoteTitan" tweeted Johnson.
Closer to home, players are receiving plenty of support from teammates. Desmond's Nationals teammates have been spotted sporting "Desi in '13" T-shirts and are showing a Vine video with Anthony Rendon encouraging fans to vote for his teammate.
NL Candidates BY THE NUMBERS
Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners will be revealed on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. 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 12-26. 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 July 12 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice using the codes below to 89269 (Example: Text "A1" to vote for Joaquin Benoit). In Canada, fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply. To vote for your player via text message, use the codes below.
A1 - Joaquin Benoit, Detroit
A2 - Steve Delabar, Toronto
A3 - David Robertson, New York Yankees
A4 - Tanner Scheppers, Texas
A5 - Koji Uehara, Boston
N1 - Ian Desmond, Washington
N2 - Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
N3 - Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles
N4 - Hunter Pence, San Francisco
N5 - Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles
For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the AL and NL winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 4 p.m. ET balloting deadline.
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 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 84th 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. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.