Ben Zobrist will not be an American League All-Star.
Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino were picked for Tuesday’s All-Star game in online fan voting as part of the Final Vote program.
Zobrist finished fifth and last in American League voting behind Konerko, Detroit’s Victor Martinez, Kansas City’s Alex Gordon and Baltimore’s Adam Jones.
The Tampa Bay Rays organization helped promote Zobrist with a slogan -- “HELP ZO GO!” -- and an accompanying logo. In addition, they joined forces with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as both teams hoped to promote Zobrist and Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy, a National League Final Vote candidate.
Kennedy finish last as well, behind Victorino, Los Angeles Dodger Andre Ethier, Colorado’s Todd Helton and Washington’s Mike Morse.
Zobrist, an All-Star in 2009, said this week he appreciated the support of fans, as well as his family and friends. He entered Thursday’s game batting .265 with nine homers and 41 RBIs before homering in the third inning.
“My best friend from back home said that he became my ‘Campaign Manager’ online,” Zobrist told the Rays website. “He voted so many times, and got other people to vote so many times, that he became my campaign manager. It’s been fun talking to people that are trying to help me out.”
Zobrist said he plans to head to Nashville for the All-Star break, but said he will be watching on Tuesday to see how Rays teammates David Price, James Shields and Matt Joyce fare.
Tuesday’s game is in Phoenix, making it extra special for Konerko. The first baseman grew up in Arizona and lives in Scottsdale in the offseason.
“You never don’t want to go if you can go,” said Konerko, selected for the fifth time. “It’s a good time. It’s something you always remember. It’s a special time, especially growing up watching the games on TV.
“I don’t think you ever play long enough or do enough where going to the All-Star game isn’t a big deal.”
Victorino also was elected in baseball’s Final Vote in 2009, when he got a record 15.9 million votes. He reached 9.2 million this year.
“The past few days have been incredible,” Victorino said in a release. “To take the lead from Day 1 shows how supportive the fans have been from the start of the campaign.
“Just to be on the ballot was exciting, but to be the first player to be selected by the fans twice is such a tremendous honor.”
Konerko received 8.4 million votes.