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Lind needs late push in AL Final Vote

Lind needs late push in AL Final Vote

ST. PETERSBURG -- Time is running out for Blue Jays fans to do what they can to send Adam Lind to his first All-Star Game. Balloting for the Final Vote ends on Thursday, and Detroit's Brandon Inge was revealed as the leader in the latest results.

Even if Lind isn't able to pull off a late upset, his teammates believe the young outfielder will have plenty of opportunities to be an All-Star.

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"It's good that he's recognized -- that he's in there," said Jays second baseman Aaron Hill, who was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday. "This won't be his last chance. He's a great ballplayer and an unbelievable hitter, and he's going to continue to get better every year.

"It's not the last time he's going to have a chance to go to the All-Star Game."

Now in its eighth year, the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint 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 Pepsi and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

In the National League, the Final Vote candidates include Washington's Christian Guzman, Arizona's Matt Kemp, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Philadelphia's Shane Victorino, and San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval, who leads that race. Beyond Lind and Inge, the AL's other candidates include Chone Figgins of the Angels, Carlos Pena of the Rays and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers.

Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices 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 Chevy via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 80th 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.

Lind, 25, opened the season as Toronto's primary DH, but has been receiving starts in left field since rookie Travis Snider was returned to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this season. As the projected DH heading into the year, Lind was not eligible for the All-Star ballot, which had Snider's name listed among the AL's outfielders.

That put Lind at a disadvantage in All-Star voting, considering fans had to write his name on the ballot to try to send him to St. Louis. That hasn't stopped Lind from putting up All-Star-caliber numbers.

Through 82 games for the Blue Jays, the left-handed-hitting Lind -- a third-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- has hit .308 with a .382 on-base percentage and a .558 slugging percentage. Lind has launched 18 home runs, clubbed 26 doubles, scored 49 runs and knocked in 57 RBIs, earning a recent promotion to the third spot in the Blue Jays' lineup.

For the past two days, Lind's teammates and the Blue Jays' coaching staff donned black T-shirts with the slogan "Lind Your Vote" across the chest. The players wore them during batting practice to try to promote Lind for the Final Vote.

For Lind, even being put in the conversation for an All-Star roster spot has been an honor.

"It's cool to be considered to be an All-Star," Lind said earlier this week. "It's kind of a good feeling, but it's kind of an interesting predicament to be in. I need your help. Spread the word in Canada."

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

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