Zimmerman trails as time to vote runs short

Zimmerman trails as time to vote runs short

WASHINGTON -- Heading into the final hours on Thursday, Ryan Zimmerman was still behind Reds outfielder Joey Votto in the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote.

Zimmerman has been on a tear since it was announced Sunday that he was on the ballot. He is 6-for-9 (.667) with three home runs and six RBIs in two games. The biggest hit came Tuesday night at Nationals Park. Zimmerman's home run in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the Nationals defeat the Padres, 6-5.

Entering Wednesday's action, Zimmerman was hitting .293 with 16 home runs and 46 RBIs. Zimmerman is also arguably the best defensive third baseman in the NL, winning the Gold Glove Award last year. Entering Wednesday's action, he had made only eight errors in 71 games this season.

Winning the Final Vote would mean a lot to Zimmerman.

"Obviously, going to the All-Star Game would be an honor, but to be voted in by the fans would be even cooler. It's a fun little thing," said Zimmerman, who is also competing against Braves closer Billy Wagner, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Padres reliever Heath Bell. "I think everyone's goal is to be an All-Star and win awards.

"We all want to win, go to the playoffs and World Series. Everyone works hard in this game. You work hard to be good, to get honored for it. To be rewarded for it is special."

Now in its ninth year, the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team for Tuesday's game. Balloting began immediately after Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show and continues until 4 p.m. ET today. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the United States is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, text message your choice to 1122. For example, text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Messaging and data rates may apply. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555. Standard rates may apply.

The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and this week the final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB.com, MLB Network and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.