Give Guzman your ASG Final Vote
Nats shortstop among candidates for last NL roster spot
WASHINGTON -- Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman has a chance to make his third All-Star appearance, as he was named one of the finalists in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote on Sunday.
Guzman is having one of the best seasons of his career, hitting a team-high .318 with three home runs, 21 RBIs and 41 runs scored.
"Vote [Guzman] in, fans -- we are trying to rally our troops in the Dominican Republic," manager Manny Acta said.
Said first-time All-Star Ryan Zimmerman: "I think he deserves to be in the All-Star Game. He has hit all year long, like he always does. He is a big part of this team. He will hit wherever -- [No.] 1, 2 -- and now he is hitting sixth. He never complains. He plays hard every day. He has been here the whole time I have been here. He is a joy to play with."
Last year, Guzman made his second All-Star appearance at Yankee Stadium. Then-Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who headed the National League team, put Guzman at third base, because he didn't want to take Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada out of the game. Plus, Mets third baseman David Wright was the designated hitter, and Hurdle was running out of players.
It was the first time that Guzman had played the position, and he looked like a seasoned veteran at the hot corner.
Guzman entered the game as a pinch-runner for Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the top of the ninth, then stayed in for six more innings. His best play came in the 11th. White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin hit a ground ball to Guzman's right, and the switch-hitting Guzman grabbed the ball and threw out Quentin for the final out of the inning.
A season later, Guzman feels that Zimmerman is the one who is more deserving of representing the Nationals in the All-Star Game.
"I don't care if I go or not go," Guzman said. "I've been there twice already. There are too many people going over there. ... I'm proud of [Zimmerman], because he needed it. He did a good job this year."
Now in its eighth year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting, exclusively on MLB.com, began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
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.
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 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, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. 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.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.