July 8th, 2013

Benoit fourth in early Final Vote balloting

Joaquin-Hunter? Pence-oit? It’s not exactly Bran-Torino, but it’ll do.

The fact that it pairs together the two rivals from last year’s World Series is an interesting sidelight.

With more than 16 million votes cast already, Joaquin Benoit ranks fourth in Final Vote balloting, trailing leader Toronto’s Steve Delabar, Boston’s Koji Uehara and Yankees setup man David Robertson. The release says less than 600,000 votes separate Uehara from fifth-place Tanner Scheppers, so it’s still a close.

To try to rally support, the Tigers have taken a page from their 2009 campaign for Brandon Inge and teamed up with a National League club for an AL-NL Final Vote ticket. It just so happens that the NL team swept the Tigers last October, and the player involved played a role in it.

Hunter Pence is one of five position players vying for the NL Final Vote. Considering Yasiel Puig is one of the other four, he’ll need votes wherever he can find them, even if they’re coming from Detroit.

Fans can vote for Benoit and Pence online at www.tigers.com/vote or www.sfgiants.com/vote, or text “A1” for Benoit and “N4” for Pence to 89269 in the United States. Standard message and data rates may apply. Mobile voting is also available in Canada by texting the player codes to 101010. Fans have until 4pm on Thursday to vote. Unlike the All-Star Game voting, there’s no limit to how many votes fans can cast.

For the second consecutive year, the All-Star Game Final Vote will also include a social balloting element, as the support for each of the 10 candidates’ official hashtags over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 am – 4 pm EDT on Thursday, any tweet that includes #BackBenoit or #VotePence will be counted towards the official vote totals used to determine the Final Vote winners for the American and National League.