ARLINGTON -- The 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone (#FinalVote) has entered the final day and Twitter could end up deciding which player will end up in Kansas City.Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish still leads the American League voting but a new element has been introduced for this year's candidates as the Twitter support from their fans over the last four hours of balloting today will count toward their final vote total. From noon-4 p.m. ET today any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 3 p.m. CT balloting deadline. So far Darvish has been leading each time there has been an update in the voting this week. White Sox starter Jake Peavy has been running second among the other four candidates that also includes Orioles starter Jason Hammel, Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri and Royals pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Rangers pitchers Joe Nathan and Matt Harrison, catcher Mike Napoli, second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus, third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Josh Hamilton have already selected to the American League team. If Peavy overtakes Darvish, he would be the fourth White Sox player to win the Final Vote in the past 11 years. First baseman Paul Konerko won it in 2011 while catcher A.J. Pierzynski won in 2006 and Scott Podsednik in 2005. If Darvish wins, he will be the first Rangers player elected to the All-Star team through the Final Vote.
"I hope he does extremely well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I hope he wins because he deserves to be on the All-Star team. I haven't checked the votes, I don't know how to check the votes, I'm just hoping that he wins."Darvish last pitched on Sunday in a 3-1 loss to the Athletics. The Rangers have decided not to pitch him again before the All-Star break in an attempt to give him extra rest going into the second half. It will also allow Darvish to be able to pitch in the All-Star Game if he is selected. "There's no doubt about it. If he pitches in the All-Star Game then he's still got time before his next start, however (pitching coach Mike Maddux) might set it up after." Darvish is currently 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 16 starts. He also has 119 strikeouts in 102 innings and opponents are hitting .227 off him. The Rangers announced on Monday that fans who vote for Darvish between now and the deadline will be entered into the club's 2012 Vote Darvish All-Star Game Final Vote Sweepstakes. One lucky winner will receive a luxury suite for the winner and 19 guests for a Sunday regular-season home game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers also announced that they have teamed up with their fellow defending West Division champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks, in this week's Final Vote drive. D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill is on the National League Final Vote ballot. The Rangers are encouraging fans on Twitter to use the hashtags #VoteYu and #FinHillVote when tweeting. Now in its 11th year, the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly after voting ends Thursday. 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 Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com. The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage. There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 6-20. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.