Lind a Final Vote candidate
Jays' DH can earn last AL All-Star spot with fans' help
NEW YORK -- There was one player for the Blue Jays whose name was noticeably missing on the All-Star ballot this year. With the Midsummer Classic being held in a National League ballpark -- Busch Stadium in St. Louis -- designated hitter Adam Lind was left off the list.
Lind may find his way to St. Louis on July 14 after all.
On Sunday, Lind made the list of five American League players eligible for the final spot on the league's roster through the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote. Lind, having a breakout season as a DH and part-time outfielder for the Jays, has stiff competition in the Angels' Chone Figgins, the Tigers' Brandon Inge, the Rangers' Ian Kinsler and Carlos Pena of the Rays.
"It's like being on the bubble for the NCAA tournament," Lind said with a smile. "I've got a one-in-five chance, and hopefully, Canada comes out and votes. Hopefully, more people vote for this than they did the prime minister."
If elected by the fans, Lind would be the third Toronto player at this year's All-Star Game, joining ace Roy Halladay and second baseman Aaron Hill. Halladay and Hill both earned a ticket to St. Louis as reserves through peer voting.
"Lind's got a chance, too, so hopefully, he'll make it," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "We need all of Canada to vote for him, for sure."
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 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.
In the NL, the Final Vote candidates include the Nationals' Cristian Guzman, the D-backs' Mark Reynolds, the Giants' Pablo Sandoval, the Phillies' Shane Victorino and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.
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.
|"It's cool to be considered to be an All-Star. But like I've said, my goal this year was to try to stay here for the whole summer. It's kind of a good feeling, but it's kind of an interesting predicament to be in. I need your help. Spread the word in Canada."|
|-- Adam Lind|
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 Sports, 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, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Lind has been one of the catalysts in the Blue Jays' lineup, and his teammates are hoping fans will take notice of the season the young outfielder has been putting together.
"Oh my gosh. Lindy has had an unbelievable, unbelievable season," Hill said. "Maybe, it would've been different if there was a DH, if it was on the other side. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Hopefully, we can just get his name out there, and let some fans know how good he is and how good he's going to be."
Lind, 25, opened the season as Toronto's primary DH, but he has been receiving starts in left field since rookie Travis Snider was returned to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this season. As the projected DH heading into the year, Lind was not eligible for the All-Star ballot, which had Snider's name listed among the AL's outfielders.
That put Lind at a disadvantage in the All-Star voting, considering fans had to write his name on the ballot to try to send him to St. Louis. That hasn't stopped Lind from putting up All-Star-caliber numbers.
Through 81 games for the Blue Jays, the left-handed-hitting Lind -- a third-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- has hit .310 with a .384 on-base percentage and a .560 slugging percentage. Lind has launched 18 home runs, clubbed 25 doubles, scored 49 runs and knocked in 57 RBIs, earning a recent promotion to the third spot in Toronto's lineup.
On Sunday, when it was announced that Lind made the Final Vote list, he belted a two-run homer in a 10-8 loss to the Yankees.
Lind, who bounced between the Minor Leagues and Toronto in each of the past two seasons, said it was an honor to simply be deemed worthy of consideration for the Final Vote.
"It's cool to be considered to be an All-Star," Lind said. "But like I've said, my goal this year was to try to stay here for the whole summer. It's kind of a good feeling, but it's kind of an interesting predicament to be in. I need your help. Spread the word in Canada."
Asked if he planned on voting for Lind, Halladay cracked a smile.
"Of course," Halladay replied. "I already have."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.