Three years ago at this time, "Bran-Torino" was the word. Last year, Paul Star and the Flyin' Hawaiian punched their tickets to Phoenix. This time, after a bit of tweaking, it was a wire-to-wire finish on both sides of the ballot, leaving no doubt about who was going to be added to the rosters to the AL and NL All-Star Teams.
The fans have voted. Over fifty million votes were cast. Twitter feeds and hashtags were trending. And in the end, David Freese of the Cardinals and Yu Darvish of the Rangers won spots on their respective All-Star Teams as the winners of the Final Man Ballot.
Yes, alliances were formed once again, (the Beltways Ballot), and thanks to mobile voting and twitter, many famous fans put their two cents in. But 8.4 million votes were cast for the defending World Series MVP, the most for any player amongst the ten, while the Japanese wunderkind received just over 7.3 million votes.
Freese joins a contingency of Cardinals, including starters Rafael Furcal, and Carlos Beltran, along with pitcher Lance Lynn and catcher Yadier Molina. Yu joins seven of his teammates and his manager on the AL Roster (23.5% of the 34 man roster now consists of Rangers). The Texas reps include starters Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, pitchers Matt Harrison, Joe Nathan, and infielders Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.