© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

05/30/07 6:40 PM ET

Papi, Ramirez making All-Star case

Red Sox sluggers looking to return to Midsummer Classic

BOSTON -- For the last five years, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have been arguably the most imposing hitting duo in Major League Baseball. Usually, this pair of sluggers presents a large problem for whichever team is facing the Boston Red Sox. But in July, they might get a chance to strike fear into some of the best pitchers in the National League.

With the first round of online All-Star balloting in the books, Big Papi and Ramirez are on pace to represent the American League in San Francisco on July 10.

Though Ortiz's full-time job is as a designated hitter, he is on the ballot at first base. That's because there is no DH for this year's All-Star Game with the game being played in a National League park. With 601,770 votes, Ortiz is the early leader in a loaded field that also includes Jason Giambi (Yankees), Justin Morneau (Twins) and Travis Hafner (Indians). Ortiz is seeking his fourth consecutive All-Star selection.

Meanwhile, Ramirez is second among outfielders with 449,372 tallies. The right-handed masher has been selected to the All-Star team the last eight years, though he did not take the trip to Pittsburgh last year because of a right knee injury.

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, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled July 1 on the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised nationally by TBS.

Following the announcement, baseball fans around the world will be able 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.com Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.

With the Red Sox off to one of their best starts in team history, it's not surprising that they have several players who rank high in the early All-Star voting.

Catcher and captain Jason Varitek, who has made a strong comeback from left knee surgery last season, is third at his position behind Ivan Rodriguez of the Tigers and Minnesota's Joe Mauer.

All-Star Game Coverage

Third baseman Mike Lowell, who is off to a superb start at the plate, is second at his position, behind superstar Alex Rodriguez. Lowell was an All-Star three times during his years with the Florida Marlins.

Despite his rookie status, Dustin Pedroia has gotten plenty of support at second base, where he ranks fourth.

Julio Lugo, in the midst of his first season with the Red Sox, is fourth among shortstops. J.D. Drew (eighth place) and Coco Crisp (12th place) are on the radar in the outfield voting.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.