Braun aiming to remain All-Star starter
Slugging outfielder among eight Brewers on Classic ballot
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Braun will have to start hitting if he's to repeat as the starting left fielder in the 2009 All-Star Game.Braun, one of eight Brewers listed on the ballot available to fans beginning Wednesday, last year became the first Brewers outfielder elected by fans to start the Midsummer Classic. He garnered 3,835,890 votes to trail leading National League vote-getter Chase Utley by just over 53,000 votes.
A huge month of May likely made the difference for Braun. He batted .322 for the month with 11 home runs and 22 RBIs, and on May 15 he signed a seven-year contract extension that remains the longest and richest in club history.Now Braun needs help. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 10:59 p.m. CT. This year's game will be played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 14. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage. Besides Braun, Brewers outfielders Mike Cameron and Corey Hart are on the ballot along with first baseman Prince Fielder, second baseman Rickie Weeks, third baseman Bill Hall, shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Jason Kendall. Weeks and Hall are the only players yet to experience an All-Star Game. Kendall went to three -- 1996, '98 and 2000 -- while playing for the Pirates. Cameron represented the Mariners in '01. Fielder and Hardy went in '07, and Hart joined Braun at Yankee Stadium last year after winning MLB.com's Final Vote. Fans can also vote at Miller Park. In-stadium balloting in Milwaukee begins on April 27 and runs through June 14.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.