Vote Jose

Thumbnail image for 7-8 Vote.jpgJust under 24 hours are left in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote (polls close at 4 p.m. CT tomorrow) and we’re in full campaign mode.

You may have noticed a temporary new look to the team Web site and the ad in today’s Kansas City Star.

Folks, it is crunch time and Jose needs your help. Around the Horn can only vote so many times. Joakim Soria is in. But it’s going to be a lonely plane ride to and from New York if he goes it alone.

Jose deserves this. Kansas City deserves this. Let’s get him into the game and, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Ok. It’s campaign speech time. And since Jose Guillen is getting ready for tonight’s game, Around the Horn will take over.

7-9 Final Vote.gifDear People of Kansas City, the American League and the World. Jose is an excellent candidate for the 32nd roster spot on the A.L. All-Star Squad. He’s currently third in the League in RBI. The two men in front of Jose and the one behind him on the list are all All-Stars already. His 64 total RBI has already passed the Royals season high from 2007 and he’s on pace for one of the top RBI seasons in Royals history.

Guillen is third in the A.L. with 28 doubles. The Royals team high for doubles in 2007 was 36. The man is a masher. He is the epitome of the word slugger for the Royals. He allows the players around him in the lineup to see better pitches, a positive impact that can’t be tracked by stats.

Yes, Jose Guillen is a star. He can be an All-Star. Now it’s up to you, the fan, to put him in that game. The slogan shouldn’t be “No way, Jose.” Think “Yes way, Jose.” Put him in the game. You have the power.

7-3 Guillen.jpgThank Thank you for your time.

Ahem. Now that Around the Horn is off its soap box, there are two ways for you to put Jose into his first All-Star game: online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from your cell phone. You also can text the word “VOTE” to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. In Canada, fans should text the word “VOTE” to 88555. Standard rate text messaging rates apply — please check with your mobile carrier for details.

P.S. Guillen is still up for the June Clutch Performer of the Month presented by Pepsi.

Second
The 2,000 hit watch is on at Kauffman Stadium. Mark Grudzielanek should provide a little history this week. With just five hits left, he would become the 18th active player with 2,000 and the 251st in the history of the game.  The last player to reach the 2,000-hit mark in a Royals uniform was another second baseman, Frank White, who reached the mark in 1990.

The current Royals second baseman is in tonight’s lineup in the five-hole after resting the previous two games, though he pinch-hit last night. 7-4 Grud.jpgGrudzielanek is having a heck of a season. He is a career .290 hitter. And the 15-year veteran has been a steady force at second base since he signed in 2006. His calling card as a Royal has been his glove, earning his first Rawlings Gold Glove in year in Kansas City.

However, this year, Grudzielanek has stepped it up even more with his bat. He boasts the 3rd best home batting average in the American League, hitting .367 and his .312 overall batting average is in the top 10 in the A.L.. He leads the League with a .397 batting average against lefties.

If you’re curious, the Sox have lefty Mark Buehrle on the hill tomorrow and Seattle throws another lefty, Jarrod Washburn on Saturday. And for the even more curious13,096 players have gotten at least one hit in the Majors.

Short
Mike Aviles and Esteban German had four-hit games, tying career highs for both (two times for Aviles and three for German)…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Hillman applauded David DeJesus’ pair of “outstanding” catches in the outfield last night, noting the fact that the surface was still soggy and each catch came playing a different position…Two Minor League notes: Omaha’s Jason Smith will be one of six Triple-A hitters to take part in the 2008 Papa John’s All-Star Home Run Derby on July 14 in Louisville…And: Jake Kuebler, Alex Gordon’s cousin, hit his first professional home run today for the Surprise Royals. The Royals selected Kuebler out of Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast High in the 17th round of the 2008 June Free Agent Draft…Around the Horn usually focuses on the Royals, but some congratulations goes out to the White Sox Jim Thome who walked for the 1,508th time in his career last night, passing Mike Schimdt and moving into a tie with Lou Gehrig for 15th all-time.

Third
Tonight is Ink College Night. Discounted tickets are available with a student ID. And this weekend, everyone can get discounted tickets while helping out a good cause. The “Hats off Weekend” kicks off with cowboy hats sponsored by AT&T and donations will go to the Red Cross. Saturday, it wouldn’t be Christmas in July without Santa hats sponsored by MLB 2K8 and proceeds going to the Salvation Army. During both of these nights Infield View Level tickets will be on sale for $12 and $5 will go to the night’s organization to help with the severe weather relief efforts going on in the Midwest.

Finally Sunday, is the New. Blue. Tradition. golf visor. All giveaways are limited, so make sure we see you out at the K.

Extra Innnings
The Royals are working on a number of things for Military Appreciation Day, which is August 2. Around the Horn would like to request some help from our faithful here at mlblogs.com. If you have pictures of loved ones overseas wearing Royals gear, you can send them to blog@royals.com and we might be able to use them for a presentation during that day’s events. If not, Around the Horn is also working on a special post for that day and may post some of these photos right here. Please include the name of the person, hometown, where they are stationed and what branch they are in.

Thanks for your help.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gload 1B
Butler DH
Teahen RF
Buck C

Bannister P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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