Biggio's All-Star chances in jeopardy
Second baseman needs help to make it to Midsummer Classic
Craig Biggio's batting average and offensive productivity have plummeted this month, and his All-Star fortunes may be sinking along with them.
Entering Monday's games, Biggio was just 3-for-28 in June for a .107 average. Although he's still generating buzz in his pursuit of 3,000 hits (he currently is at 2,980), former teammate Jeff Kent (458,533 votes) of the Dodgers passed Biggio (425,320) this week and bumped the 41-year-old to third in the online voting for National League second basemen. Philadelphia's Chase Utley (630,007) remains in the lead.
Left fielder Carlos Lee leads the National League with 52 RBIs, but that's not pushing him any closer to a starting position in the fan voting. He's still in sixth place (469,258) among outfielders, needing to pass Andruw Jones (576,589), Barry Bonds (651,246) and third-place Alfonso Soriano (693,255) to earn the starting nod.
Astros rookie sensation Hunter Pence has attracted significant attention from fans both at Minute Maid Park and around the National League for his superb play at the plate and in center field. He's hitting .366 with five home runs, five steals and 24 RBIs since his promotion April 28. But because of his late start, any All-Star votes for the rookie are of the write-in variety, and considering that, it's unlikely he'll make much of a charge up the rankings.
The team's most deserving All-Stars may come from the mound. Starter Roy Oswalt leads the NL in innings pitched (96) and has a 3.38 ERA. Reliever Brad Lidge boasts an impressive 2.35 ERA for the season -- more impressively, 1.10 in May and 0.00 in June -- and seems to have recaptured the form that made him arguably the NL's top reliever in 2004 and 2005. He regained the Houston closer position this past weekend.
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 10:59 p.m. CT. But in-stadium balloting at Minute Maid Park only runs through this Friday, June 15.
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
Ben DuBose is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.