Still time for Jones, other O’s to make a late All-Star push

Balloting for the All-Star Game continues through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, and it’s not too late to help Orioles outfielder Adam Jones - a blogger, in case you didn’t know - in his push to Phoenix for the July 12 Midsummer Classic.

The latest results for the American League’s outfield should be particularly troubling to O’s fans. It’s not that there isn’t an Oriole in the top five in any position. It’s not even that Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista, an ex-Oriole, leads the outfield voting or that, if the balloting were done right now, Bautista, New York’s Curtis Granderson and Texas’ Josh Hamilton would comprise the starting AL outfield.

Take a look at the outfield tabulations - of the top 15 totals released by Major League Baseball, Jones is nowhere to be found, despite a .294 average, 13 home runs and a team-leading 46 RBIs.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce, Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur, Texas’ David Murphy and the Cleveland duo of Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo are all fine players, but right now, they don’t deserve to be ahead of Jones. Yes, they are the 11th through 15th outfielders leading the fan vote. OK, maybe Joyce is in the conversation, given that he’s hitting .309 in what’s a career year. Murphy’s batting .233 in 59 games, and isn’t even a regular. Sizemore has been injured much of the first half and Choo just went on the disabled list with a fractured thumb.

So, in the immortal words of Al Michaels, “Do you believe in miracles?”

It’s time to rocket Jones up the list - well, even onto the list - in the last 38-plus hours of voting. Go online or use the mobile device of your choice and you can vote up to 25 times a day here.

While you’re voting for Jones, don’t forget the other deserving Orioles on the ballot: shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters also deserve strong consideration as you electronically make your choices.

My guess is that either Jones, Hardy or Wieters will make the AL All-Star team as a reserve, chosen based on the players’ balloting. Reliever Jim Johnson has a shot, too, but it’s tougher for setup guys/middle relievers to crack a pitching staff dominated by front-line starters and closers. But stranger things have happened.

Most importantly, just vote. You’re supposed to be a major part of the process in picking the starters, so don’t waste the opportunity. All-Star balloting is like a presidential election: If you don’t vote, you’ve got no right to complain about who’s selected.

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