The Phillies second baseman continues to lead all National League vote getters, and should start in the historic Yankee Stadium. It will be his first time playing there.
Utley is the only Phillies player leading his position, and deservedly so. The Phillies superstar with the special left-handed stroke is lined up for his third appearance and second start.
Teammate Jimmy Rollins, the reigning NL Most Valuable Player, has held steady at fifth among NL shortstop, with his first-half production slowed because of a sprained left ankle.
With 847,628 votes, Utley is more than 500,000 votes ahead of Mark DeRosa, who is in second place. The votes are well-deserved, as Utley has been one of the most dangerous hitters in the NL this season.
“He’s incredible,” said manager Charlie Manuel, who last week said Utley is the best player he’s been around, topping Kirby Puckett, who he coached in the Minor Leagues.
“The way Utley goes about the game and his mind-set … I think he’s the best player I’ve been around, and I’ve been around a long time,” said Manuel. “I used to think Kirby Puckett was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I see how Utley goes about his business day in and day out — how he prepares and how he plays. He’s tremendous. His dedication, his determination.”
Utley started the 2007 All-Star Game, going 0-for-2 in San Francisco, and played in the 2006 contest, going 1-for-2 at PNC Park.
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD, and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
The Midsummer Classic will be the fourth held at Yankee Stadium and the eighth in New York City. The Yankees previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, 1960 and 1977; the Polo Grounds held the game in 1934 and 1942; Ebbets Field was the site in 1949; and Shea Stadium hosted the 1964 tilt.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Wednesday, July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2008 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 6. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote at MLB.com.
The voting doesn’t end there. 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 2008 All-Star Game MVP vote at MLB.com.
Other Phillies could join Utley. Ryan Howard, who has gotten hot after batting .163 in his first 35 games, ranks fourth in voting among first basemen, up from fifth a week ago. Rollins remains at fifth while Pat Burrell is sixth among outfielders.
Looks like Chase has this one in the bag. Now can any of the others Phillies among the leaders be able to catch up? Doesn’t look good, but you never know. Here’s to hoping that Jay-Ro can get some more votes. Let get voting people.