Halladay needs help for All-Star Game

Halladay needs help for All-Star Game

SEATTLE -- It's not often that Roy Halladay needs much help. On the mound, he's continued his run as the dominating ace at the top of the Blue Jays' rotation this season.

Even so, Halladay will require some help from Blue Jays fans if he's going to join the American League All-Star team on July 10 in San Francisco. The former AL Cy Young Award winner is one of five players vying for the final spot on the league's elite roster.

Halladay certainly has a strong case to join the AL squad for the fifth time in his career. Through 15 starts, the right-hander is 9-3 with a 4.27 ERA despite missing three weeks in May due to an emergency appendectomy. In order to join the AL All-Stars, Halladay needs to garner more votes than pitchers Jeremy Bonderman of Detroit, Hideki Okajima of Boston, Kelvim Escobar of the Angels and Pat Neshak of the Twins.

"Doc, I figured he'd be a shoo-in," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's sitting on nine wins and he missed three weeks after appendix surgery. You figure that's about four starts, and he probably would've won at least two of them. He'd be sitting on 11 wins."

Now in its sixth year, the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, and continues until 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 5. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2007 All-Star Final Vote -- online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans also can text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. Whether celebrating the Fourth of July or Canada Day, fans will have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Standard rate text messaging fees apply -- please check with your mobile carrier for details. Fans can get the mobile ballot now. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 88555.

The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and 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 Chevrolet via the Monster 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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.

Halladay, who finished third in the AL Cy Young voting after going 16-5 with a 3.19 ERA last year, has been a member of the AL All-Star team in four of the past five seasons. If he captures the Final Vote, the 29-year-old ace will be an All-Star for the third straight season for the Blue Jays, whose lone reprentative at the moment is right fielder Alex Rios.

All-Star Game Coverage

Entering Sunday, Halladay ranked second in the AL with 186 ground-ball outs, and he's only issued 18 walks in 103 1/3 innings. He's turned in 11 quality starts (at least six innings with three earned runs or fewer allowed), and has posted a 2.43 ERA in his nine victories, which rank first on Toronto's staff.

Since make a quick return following the appendectomy he underwent on may 11, Halladay has gone 5-1 in seven starts for Toronto. In his first outing off the disabled list, the right-hander turned in a complete-game shutout against the White Sox. That marked his second complete game of the season -- the other coming in a 10-inning performance against the Tigers on April 13.

Halladay declined comment about his inclusion in the Final Vote on Sunday in Seattle.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.