Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 7/3/13
DETROIT Third baseman Miguel Cabrera has a chance to do something no Detroit Tiger has ever accomplished. Cabrera leads all major league players with 5,844,165 All-Star Game fan votes. And if he remains on top when online voting concludes Thursday at midnight, he will be the franchises first overall vote leader since fan balloting began in 1970. His primary competition there is Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who also poses his only competition in the Triple Crown categories. Davis has 5,468,703 votes. Cabrera has been on top since the first vote totals were released one month ago, and I recently asked him about possibly receiving the top vote-getter honor. That would be great, Cabrera said. Its special just to be part of the All-Star Game. Hes been selected to seven All-Star Game rosters with the Florida Marlins and Tigers, but has never started. That is a certainty this year. That would be very special, said Cabrera, who is batting .368 with 26 homers and 85 RBIs. Theres always going to be a first time. How many Tigers teammates will be lining up with Cabrera for the All-Star introductions on July 16 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets? Its safe to say shortstop Jhonny Peralta and starter Max Scherzer will join him and match last years team total of three. Can the Tigers get as many as five, as they did in 2011? The last time Detroit manager Jim Leyland had a say in the selections, he was coming off a pennant-winning season in 2007. And the Tigers had five All-Stars that year, with three starting. Fans will select the starting lineups in both leagues. The player vote will name the back-ups at all positions (except the American League designated hitter), five starting pitchers and three relievers. 25 of 33 roster spots will be locked in before it gets to Leyland. A 34th player is added in the fan voting for the final spot once the rest of the players are named at 6:30 p.m., Saturday on a FOX Sports telecast. Its tricky but I take a lot of pride in it, Leyland said. Ill be as fair as possible. Assuring that each of the leagues 15 teams is represented will dictate some of Leylands selections. The Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox arent likely to have a player voted in by either the fans or players. And the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays could also get left out there. Leyland is hoping that one of his picks doesnt involve Peralta. "The kid (J.J. Hardy) in Baltimore is doing pretty good and it looks like he might get the vote from the fans," said Leyland. Hardy leads with 3.5 million votes and Peralta is second with 2.5 million. "So, that would hopefully put Jhonny in position to get the votes from the players. I would be disappointed if he wasnt voted in by the players. Paul White of USA Today wrote, Statistically, (Peraltas) clearly No. 1 at the position. Hardy is batting .263 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs coming off a Gold Glove season. Peralta is hitting .309 with seven homers and 36 RBIs, and is shining defensively. Leyland will pick him if neither the fans nor players do. Scherzer is 12-0 with a 3.10 ERA and 131 strikeouts. He leads the league in wins, is second in strikeouts, and is an excellent candidate to start. However, Leyland has said that pitchers starting on the Saturday before the game will be limited to one inning and he wants his starter going two innings. Scherzer is scheduled to start the Saturday before the game. However, hes a lock for the player vote and will be on the roster. Which Tigers will join that trio? Outfielder Torii Hunter still has an outside chance of being voted into the starting lineup. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Adam Jones of the Orioles are assured two spots. Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista currently has the third spot with 2.7 million votes, but Baltimores Nick Markakis (2.5 million) and Hunter (2.4 million) are close. Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder (.269, 14 homers, 63 RBIs) started last year, but Davis (.329, 31 homers, 80 RBIs) has a 2.2 million lead on him. The players are very likely to vote Fielder onto the squad. The other two Tigers with distinct possibilities are starters Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander, both of whom pose plenty of questions. Will the players vote in Sanchez based on his break-out season (2.42 ERA, 11.13 strikeouts per nine innings) that has him among the ALs very best? Will the players vote for Verlander based on winning the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young and finishing a close second in last years Cy Young voting? Or will they look at his 8-5 record and 3.77 ERA and leave him off their ballots. And what will Leyland do if both are at-large for his five pitcher picks? Is Sanchez, who is expected to return Saturday from a strained right shoulder, better off resting? Is Verlander, scheduled to start the Sunday before the Tuesday game, better left off because hes not likely to be able to pitch? Leyland could name both Sanchez, whos never made an All-Star squad, and Verlander, who started last years game. Both could receive the honor and decline for the reasons stated. Two other pitchers would then be added, and everybody would be happy. Last year, Leyland promoted reliever Joaquin Benoit as a candidate. He would love to sneak in second baseman Omar Infante, too. But the numbers game should eliminate their long-shot possibilities. My guess is that Fielder and either Sanchez or Verlander will join Cabrera, Scherzer and Peralta for a five-man contingency from the Motor City. All-Star Leading Vote-GettersYear Ballots Cast Top Vote-Getter(s) By League1970 2,034,724 Hank Aaron, ATL (1,394,847)1971 2,396,895 Hank Aaron, ATL (1,119,306)1972 3,171,556 Johnny Bench, CIN (1,229,677)1973 4,011,237 Johnny Bench, CIN (1,738,557)1974 6,545,712 Reggie Jackson, OAK (3,497,358)1975 7,357,811 Rod Carew, MIN (3,165,614)1976 8,370,145 Joe Morgan, CIN (3,079,082)1977 12,562,476 Rod Carew, MIN (4,292,740)1978 12,245,544 Rod Carew, MIN (4,010,136)1979 12,392,340 Rod Carew, CAL (3,997,081)1980 11,958,209 Davey Lopes, LA (3,862,403)1981 3,243,674 George Brett, KC (1,144,272)1982 9,347,447 Gary Carter, MON (2,785,407)1983 5,922,129 Robin Yount, MIL (1,956,964)1984 6,333,903 Steve Garvey, SD (1,701,083)1985 5,149,729 Dale Murphy, ATL (1,425,952)1986 5,414,304 Darryl Strawberry, NY (1,619,511)1987 5,572,493 Ozzie Smith, STL (2,254,409)1988 6,146,477 Ozzie Smith, STL (2,106,757)1989 6,051,313 Will Clark, SF (1,833,329); Bo Jackson, KC (1,748,696)1990 6,923,422 Jose Canseco, OAK (2,313,091); Ryne Sandberg, CHI (2,262,245)1991 7,035,303 Ryne Sandberg, CHI (2,526,747); Ken Griffey Jr., SEA (2,248,396)1992 6,622,808 Cal Ripken, Jr., BAL (2,699,773); Ryne Sandberg, CHI (2,434,660)1993 8,477,630 Barry Bonds, SF (3,074,603); Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (2,696,918)1994 14,040,122 Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (6,079,688); Ozzie Smith, STL (3,514,824)1995 5,808,000 Cal Ripken, Jr., BAL (1,698,524); Barry Bonds, SF (1,392,130)1996 10,052,027 Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (3,064,814); Mike Piazza, LA (2,272,115)1997 10,655,317 Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (3,514,340); Mike Piazza, LA (2,626,213)1998 11,073,354 Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (4,202,830); Mark McGwire, STL (3,377,145)1999 6,609,134 Ken Griffey, Jr., SEA (2,918,055); Sammy Sosa, CHI (2,315,204)2000 11,347,214 Ivan Rodriguez, TEX (2,808,456); Mike Piazza, NY (2,780,452)2001 10,405,273 Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (3,373,035); Barry Bonds, SF (2,140,315)2002 11,618,468 Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (2,516,016); Sammy Sosa, Chi (2,140,315)2003 12,000,000 Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (2,130,708); Albert Pujols, STL (2,030,702)2004 14,900,000 Alfonso Soriano, TEX (3,466,447); Scott Rolen, STL (3,187,710)200516,000,000 David Ortiz, BOS (4,138,141); Derrek Lee, CHI (3,560,316)2006 17,000,000 Albert Pujols, STL (3,418,555); Manny Ramirez, BOS (3,101,161)2007 18,500,000 Alex Rodriguez, NYY (3,890,515); Ken Griffey, Jr., CIN (2,986,818)2008 20,000,000 Alex Rodriguez, NYY (3,934,518); Chase Utley, PHI (3,889,602)2009 23,500,000 Albert Pujols, STL (5,397,734); Derek Jeter, NY (4,851,889)2010 21,200,000 Joe Mauer, MIN (5,372,606); Albert Pujols, STL (4,380,669)2011 32,500,000 Jose Bautista, TOR (7,454,753); Ryan Braun, MIL (5,928,004)2012 40,200,000 Josh Hamilton, TEX (11,073,744); Buster Posey, SF (7,621,370)
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