Abreu making strong All-Star push
Right fielder third in voting among National League outfielders
PHILADELPHIA -- Operation Get Bobby Abreu Elected to the All-Star Game is well under way, through frequent "Vote for Bobby" messages on the giant Citizens Bank Park scoreboard.The soft-spoken right fielder is allowing his bat to campaign for him. Abreu's fantastic May earned him National League Player of the Month honors, and he hasn't let up in June. Despite having only 13 home dates since in-stadium balloting began, Abreu is third in the voting among NL outfielders with 376,338 votes. That means fans outside of Philadelphia -- including the thousands who vote online -- have recognized Abreu as one of baseball's most consistent sluggers. The 31-year-old, who was elected as the 32nd man last season, is having a season worthy of first-ballot consideration. He trails New York's Carlos Beltran and St. Louis' Jim Edmonds in balloting. This shouldn't come as a surprise. "He's been carrying us for a while," said Jason Michaels. "He's been awesome." Pat Burrell is currently at No. 10 with 203,981 votes. Getting voted in as an outfielder has always been a daunting task when considering the sheer talent throughout the league, especially with names like Barry Bonds, Edmonds, Larry Walker, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa dominating the ballot boxes in the past. But Sosa is in the American League now, with Baltimore, and Bonds hasn't played this season. Could this open the door for Abreu and Burrell? Even if they don't get voted in, a place on manager Tony La Russa's reserve squad could be waiting for at least one of them. Abreu makes no secret of his desire to go back to the Midsummer Classic, to be played July 12 in Detroit. "It's important to go back," Abreu said. "I had such a good time last year and I'd like to have it again. It was a beautiful experience. I want to go to Detroit."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.