With one day left, Longoria leads
Rays rookie maintains edge over Dye, Giambi in Final Vote
NEW YORK -- With one day of voting remaining, Evan Longoria continues to lead the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote balloting for the last spot on the American League All-Star team.
"It's going to be exciting to see how it turns out," Longoria said. "If I make it, I'll be here [at Yankee Stadium]. If not, I've got plans for the break anyway."
If Longoria isn't at the All-Star Game, his plans include a trip to Las Vegas with his parents and some friends.
Longoria has been a busy man with the media this week in New York, including multiple appearances on FOX and ESPN. The Rays released a video with Dick Vitale that ran on Wednesday's telecast in which the basketball guru touted the Rays' rookie third baseman for election to the team. To Longoria's credit, he has managed to keep a smile on his face throughout the voting and maintained it has not been a distraction.
"I haven't thought about it one bit, other than when I'm here at the field," Longoria said.
Longoria continues to maintain a slight lead over Jermaine Dye of the White Sox, with Jason Giambi of the Yankees, Brian Roberts of the Orioles and Jose Guillen of the Royals close behind.
Giambi, as it turns out, is a big Longoria fan.
"Evan Longoria has had a huge year, and that's a kid who I stand up for in the things that he's accomplished," Giambi said. "I understand the small-market mentality, being sent down for a while when I was in Oakland to get called back up.
"The thing that's great about him -- I remember talking to him in Spring Training and telling him, 'Don't let them get you down. You're a phenomenal player -- he's from Long Beach -- and you're going to be here. Don't give them any reason to not bring you back up.' He definitely handled that situation like a man."
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 15 at Yankee Stadium will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
Longoria might not think about making the team, but he won't hide what being an All-Star would mean to him.
"If I get the chance to come here, that would be a dream come true," Longoria said.
And if he makes the team and is asked to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby, he said he would do so.
"But I'm not very good at home run contests," Longoria said. "I've done it once before, and I've hit like one."
With 24 hours remaining in the voting period and ballots coming in at a fevered pace, each race is too close to call and neither margin should be considered safe.
The seventh annual Monster All-Star Game Final Vote ballot commenced exclusively on MLB.com at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, and the online voting will continue until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Fans can cast their votes via their mobile phones by texting the word "Vote" to 36197 to receive the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote candidates. In Canada, fans should text the word "Vote" to 88555.
The Monster All-Star Game Final Vote program has seen nearly 80 million votes cast since its inception in 2002, including a record 23 million last year, when fans chose Hideki Okajima of the Boston Red Sox and Chris Young of the San Diego Padres. Previous winners of the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote include: A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.