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Continued: Nine Twins on MLB All-Star ballot

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 25, 2014 - 5:11 PM

The most recent ballot-stuffing suspicions came in 2012, when a late 2 million vote surge from the Bay Area boosted Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval into the starting lineup over the Mets’ David Wright. Sandoval ignored the uproar and delivered a first-inning, three-run triple off Justin Verlander.

That year, MLB announced that a record 40.2 million ballots were cast. The vote totals are tabulated and authenticated by the Boston-based TMC Group.

“We are very confident in the integrity of our All-Star balloting system,” MLB spokesman Matt Bourne said in an e-mail. “There is a limit on the number of times a fan can vote online and numerous layers of security to prevent any issues.

“TMC also monitors ballots and has ways of detecting mass punching. If we see a major swing in results, we will investigate the reason. However, the cause is usually a result of a major campaign conducted by the club to vote for one of their players.”

Seeking votes — plural

The marketing campaigns are part of the fun, said Twins senior director Kevin Smith. In recent years, the Twins have handed out buttons for fans with slogans such as, “Step up to the plate; vote Mauer & Morneau in ’08.”

In 2006, when the White Sox were trying to get catcher A.J. Pierzynski elected, they handed out T-shirts that said, “Punch A.J.”

“It’s no-holds-barred, if you want,” Smith said. “You don’t have to stick to any type of protocol or procedure. You can come up with any wacky idea that you think might work. The whole goal of all of these is to excite the fan base.”

Smith said the Twins staff has even invited fans to “ballot-punching parties” on the deck outside the team offices, overlooking left field.

“They can sit here and watch the game and have a couple of beers and punch ballots,” Smith said. “I think one year we even gave a prize to the person who punched the most ballots in an inning or something like that.”

Twins players have long felt the odds were stacked against them in voting because of the Twin Cities’ market size.

In 1987, Kent Hrbek vented his frustrations. He had been an All-Star as a rookie five years earlier but became incensed when nobody besides Kirby Puckett got selected in 1986 and 1987. Notable snubs included Gary Gaetti and Tom Brunansky.

“I’m peeved, not just for myself, but because it shows nothing for the whole team,” Hrbek said at the time. “I accepted not making it when we weren’t doing well. This I don’t accept. If those guys ask me to go again, they can kiss my ass.”

‘The fans’ game’

Last week at Target Field, two fans from Lakeville — Darin Stotz, 44, and Mark Wegner, 48 — said they fill out All-Star ballots, hoping to give their favorite Twins a boost.

Wegner said he submits eight to 10 printed ballots at the ballpark each year. Stotz said he votes about five times per year, with a couple of those coming online.

Reminded that the voting would begin Friday, Stotz said, “That’s a little early. You don’t know for some of these guys how their seasons are going to turn out.”

Baseball rules state that each team gets 23 home dates for voting. And then there’s the online rush.

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Buffalo 17 3rd Qtr 4:56
New England 6
Cleveland 3 3rd Qtr 6:52
Baltimore 3
Dallas 27 3rd Qtr 9:40
Washington 10
Indianapolis 17 3rd Qtr 12:35
Tennessee 7
Jacksonville 10 3rd Qtr 9:53
Houston 14
San Diego 7 3rd Qtr 9:35
Kansas City 16
NY Jets 21 3rd Qtr 11:35
Miami 24
Chicago 6 3rd Qtr 6:55
Minnesota 10
Philadelphia 17 3rd Qtr 13:33
NY Giants 16
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Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 3:25 PM
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Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
Dallas
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Portland
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Denver
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LA Lakers
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Florida
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Anaheim
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 41 2nd Half 3:51
Connecticut 75
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 28 2nd Half
Arizona State 32
Longwood 22 2nd Half
Ball State 28
Sacred Heart 37 2nd Half
Brown 40
Colgate 33 2nd Half
Columbia 31
MD-Eastern Shore 45 2nd Half
Duquesne 38
UNC Greensboro 26 2nd Half
East Carolina 45
Marist 18 2nd Half
Elon 34
NJIT 31 2nd Half
Lafayette 33
Cincinnati Christian 23 2nd Half
Liberty 34
Morgan State 17 2nd Half
Marquette 37
Campbell 23 2nd Half
Samford 28
Bucknell 38 2nd Half
Siena 35
Long Beach State 33 1st Half 2:29
Syracuse 37
Coppin State 33 2nd Half
Evansville 45
UMKC 29 2nd Half
Indiana State 29
Hofstra 22 1st Half 8:55
Long Island 13
Coast Guard 2:00 PM
Army
Thomas (GA) 2:00 PM
High Point
Texas Southern 2:00 PM
Kansas State
Rutgers 2:00 PM
Monmouth
NC Wesleyan 2:00 PM
NC A&T
South Dakota St 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Central Penn College 2:00 PM
Radford
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
South Florida
Harris-Stowe 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Robert Morris-IL 2:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Northland College 2:00 PM
North Dakota St
Milwaukee 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Saint Peters 3:00 PM
Cornell
St Katherine 3:00 PM
Fresno State
Haskell 3:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Wake Forest 3:00 PM
Richmond
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
Xavier
SD Christian 3:05 PM
Northern Ariz
Judson 3:30 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Ill-Chicago 4:00 PM
Bradley
Loyola-Maryland 4:00 PM
Fairfield
Miss Valley St 4:00 PM
Houston
Lehigh 4:00 PM
UMBC
Delaware State 4:00 PM
Temple
Belmont 5:00 PM
Butler
Howard 5:00 PM
Fordham
NW Christian 5:00 PM
Nevada
UC Davis 5:00 PM
Washington St
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Alabama
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Washington
Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wisconsin
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
(10) Oregon State 63 2nd Half 1:06
(8) Tennessee 70
Florida A&M 46 2nd Half 0:40
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 2nd Half 0:15
Central Michigan 72
St Francis-PA 31 2nd Half
Pittsburgh 46
Milwaukee 37 2nd Half
IUPU-Ft Wayne 35
Gardner-Webb 28 2nd Half
Longwood 28
New Hampshire 16 2nd Half
Manhattan 29
Bucknell 36 2nd Half
Binghamton 34
Northeastern 31 2nd Half
Albany 27
George Mason 21 2nd Half
Towson 33
Richmond 25 2nd Half
William & Mary 37
Tulane 32 2nd Half
Cincinnati 20
North Florida 30 2nd Half
Florida 34
(14) Georgia 25 2nd Half
Seton Hall 33
Tennessee St 35 1st Half 0:03
(12) Kentucky 47
American Univ 28 2nd Half
Wake Forest 44
Massachusetts 44 1st Half 1:14
Boston U 30
Quinnipiac 34 1st Half 0:47
Saint Josephs 32
Lafayette 21 2nd Half
Saint Peters 16
Northwestern 29 2nd Half
(20) Michigan State 22
Duquesne 37 2nd Half
Lehigh 35
George Washington 37 2nd Half
Loyola-Maryland 22
(17) Rutgers 26 1st Half 1:12
Indiana 24
(24) Green Bay 25 1st Half 7:16
Dayton 20
Western Mich 4 1st Half 16:08
Stony Brook 6
Davidson 15 1st Half 8:40
Virginia 22
UNC Greensboro 2:00 PM
LSU
Denver 2:00 PM
North Texas
VA Commonwealth 2:00 PM
Coppin State
Huston-Tillotson 2:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Lamar 2:00 PM
Rice
Miss Valley St 2:00 PM
Alabama
Saint Louis 2:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Middle Tennessee 2:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Penn State 2:00 PM
(23) Iowa
Purdue 2:00 PM
Illinois
DePaul 2:05 PM
Illinois State
Sam Houston St 2:05 PM
Wichita State
South Dakota 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(4) Notre Dame 3:00 PM
UCLA
Coll of Charleston 3:00 PM
SC State
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Niagara
Colgate 3:00 PM
Siena
Michigan 3:00 PM
Wisconsin
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Yale 3:30 PM
(25) Arizona State
UC Santa Barbara 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Long Island 4:00 PM
Long Beach St
Jackson State 4:00 PM
Louisiana
Eureka 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis
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