Ichiro in line for another AL All-Star start
Suzuki still third among outfielders in latest balloting update
SEATTLE -- The player with the most All-Star Game appearances in Mariners franchise history spent the past weekend at his former Major League home, and it was quite a show.The way the Mariners' latest superstar outfielder's career has gone, Ichiro Suzuki just might match the legendary Ken Griffey Jr. for most All-Star invitations. Junior had 10 during his 11-year career with the Mariners, and Ichiro is on the verge of making it 7-for-7 since joining Seattle in 2001. According to the weekly voting update announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday, Ichiro trails fellow outfielders Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels and Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers, but that still would be good enough for him to be in the starting lineup for the July 10 Midsummer Classic at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Among Ichiro's teammates, Adrian Beltre still is the only one showing up on the voting tab. Beltre remained fifth among third basemen for the third straight week. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 8:59 p.m. PT. Fans again will be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by TBS on Sunday. Baseball fans around the world will be able to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote. Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet. If selected, either as a starter by the fans or by American League manager Jim Leyland as a reserve, Ichiro would tie Edgar Martinez for second place -- behind Griffey -- on Seattle's all-time list of multiple All-Stars.
Ichiro passed the one-million mark in votes last week, the seventh consecutive season that he's been a "millionaire." He had more than three million votes in 2001, becoming the first rookie outfielder to start an All-Star Game in 37 years.Though Beltre is the only other Mariner among the top five vote-getters at his position, closer J.J. Putz, who is 20-for-20 in save situations this season, is expected to receive strong consideration for a spot on the AL pitching staff.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.