Leyland makes final pitch for Avila

Tigers manager Jim Leyland has tried to stay out of the All-Star voting process. He thinks it comes down to a popularity contest and stuffing ballots. That said, he basically asked Tigers fans to do the same for his catcher.

“I’ve never really got into that, but I think it’s a no-brainer, and I hope that they do get behind him,” Leyland said. “It would be an absolute shame, in my opinion, if Alex Avila’s not on the All-Star team. That would be a shame. He deserves it, so I hope they stuff ballots, do whatever they want. I know I’m contradicting myself, but it would be a shame if he’s not on the team.”

Online balloting is the only way to vote now, and it ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. ET at MLB.com. The latest results as of Thursday afternoon suggest a late rally for Avila votes in recent hours, with close to 90 percent of votes over the last day going in his favor. If that holds, then it’s a question of how big the final-day vote is.


I voted 200 times using 8 emails.

However you look at it, with all the Yankees and Red Sox leading the voting, the system just is not right. Players should be chosen based on this year’s performances, not the fact that they have big contracts or famous names or play for the two above-mentioned teams.

Well, I voted already. What else can Jim say when the the catcher is the son of the Asst. Mgr. Not saying he doesn’t deserve it, but he didn’t come out and support Jackson last year like that. Jackson has certainly been struggling this year. I feel for him and Alex could have the same thing happen to him next year (but I wouldn’t bet on it).
Boy, that Reyes is sure something to watch. Jim wouldn’t know what to do with him. Jhonny has just been Mr. Reliable and a great bat to go with it. I loved him from day 1, while folks were dogging him over and over like they did in Cleveland. I guess Detroit was the perfect fit for Jhonny.

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