Reyes' All-Star bid not slowing, but needs push
Mets shortstop gains on Tulo, has mere days to overtake Rox star
ARLINGTON -- Jose Reyes knows he ranks behind Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in All-Star fan balloting, but he is not aware of the margin. He knows that no other National League shortstop can match his All-Star credentials, but he does not actively campaign for his cause.
"I have friends who tell me," Reyes said. "But I don't look on the computer."
If he did, Reyes would see that he trails Tulowitzki by less than 250,000 votes, according to Major League Baseball's final ballot update released Monday. He trails despite rapping out another three singles and a triple on Sunday, despite recording his league-high 39th multihit game. He trails despite leading all big leaguers with 14 triples, pacing the NL with a .341 average and 61 runs scored, and ranking second in the Majors with 26 stolen bases.
He trails despite his manager, Terry Collins, regularly offering endorsements such as: "Nothing ceases to amaze me about this guy."
Reyes has closed the gap on Tulowitzki throughout the past month, but if he is to overtake the Rockies shortstop, he must do so quickly. Balloting ends Thursday.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Rosters will be announced during the 2011 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 3. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game, to be played in Phoenix on July 12, will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Barring injury, Reyes will at least make the All-Star team as a reserve -- no shortstop is capable of matching his statistics and star power. But it would certainly mean something more for him to start the game for the first time since 2007, given the litany of injuries he has overcome since that season.
"With everything that I went through," Reyes said, "if I get the opportunity to start the All-Star Game, it's huge."
And it would mean something also to the Mets, who may not send multiple representatives to the All-Star Game for the eighth consecutive season. Outfielder Carlos Beltran ranks eighth among NL outfielders in fan balloting, more than a million votes behind the leaders. Third baseman David Wright, usually a staple for the NL team, is injured. And no Mets pitcher boasts the type of stat line necessary for admission.
In other words, it's all on Reyes.
"But right now, I'm more focused on trying to finish the first half strong," he said. "Whatever happens will happen. It doesn't matter if I start it. Everybody wants to be in the All-Star game, no matter if they're a starter or not."
There could be some symmetry at the shortstop position in this year's fan vote, considering that Reyes took Tulowitzki's roster spot on last year's team after the latter was injured. (Though Reyes, too, ultimately gave up his spot due to injury.) And there is certainly no shame in losing to Tulowitzki, a worthy All-Star candidate and one of the game's most electric young stars.
But Reyes has spent the past three months as one of baseball's most exciting talents -- if not its most exciting talent, period. He currently trumps Tulowitzki in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, doubles, triples, and so on and so forth. He trails Tulowitzki in home runs and RBIs.
So no, Reyes may not log online and vote for himself. But thanks to his play, he has a growing legion of fans willing to do that work for him.
"I've got a lot of friends there in the Dominican," Reyes said. "That's good when you've got your fans supporting you. But we need to wait and see what happens."