Broxton seeks Final Vote to rep Royals in KC
Closer looking to join Butler as All-Star at Kauffman Stadium
MINNEAPOLIS -- Now Kansas City fans have a chance to put a second Royals player in the All-Star Game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium: closer Jonathan Broxton.
Broxton was named on Sunday as the one of the five American League players up for the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone in balloting that begins immediately.
"I've had a great season so far, especially after last year -- surgery and everything," Broxton said. "But now it's just up to the fans. They've just got to vote and maybe I'll get there."
Final Vote candidates
|P||Jonathan Broxton, KC|
|P||Yu Darvish, TEX|
|P||Ernesto Frieri, LAA|
|P||Jason Hammel, BAL|
|P||Jake Peavy, CWS|
|OF||Michael Bourn, ATL|
|3B||David Freese, STL|
|OF||Bryce Harper, WAS|
|2B||Aaron Hill, ARI|
His competition is all pitchers -- Yu Darvish of the Rangers; Ernesto Frieri of the Angels; Jason Hammel of the Orioles; and Jake Peavy of the White Sox.
"They've got four other pitchers out there and two of 'em from big-market teams, but anything can happen, so we'll just see in a couple days," Broxton said.
Royals manager Ned Yost is talking like Broxton's unofficial campaign manager.
"We're really going to need to push this," said Yost, who is an AL All-Star coach. "I think it would be fantastic if we can get two of our guys on the All-Star team. It's up to the fans. We're going to do everything we can do on our side. Last year we did everything we could to try to get Alex [Gordon] in, but it comes down to our fans. They're going to have to vote him in."
Broxton would join designated hitter Billy Butler, the only Royals player named to the AL team on Sunday.
"I hope he gets on there," Butler said. "He's just as deserving as I am, I believe."
The big guy certainly has been a big addition to the Royals' young bullpen this season.
"He's done a tremendous job for us, coming in and filling the back end of that bullpen," Yost said. "What he does with his demeanor and his makeup has been really good for all of our pen guys. They've got to have somebody down there that they can trust to handle the ninth inning, don't ask me why."
When Broxton was signed last winter, his role was to be the setup man for closer Joakim Soria. After all, the 6-4, 300-pound right-hander had been an All-Star closer twice with the Dodgers, so a setup role, as he came off bone spur elbow surgery, should be easy for him.
Yet, when Soria underwent Tommy John surgery during Spring Training, Broxton's experience as a closer suddenly became tremendously important. And, when the season began, Yost decided that Broxton would be his ninth-inning man.
That decision has paid off with 20 saves in 23 opportunities along with a 2.05 ERA. Broxton doesn't really plan to hit the campaign trail, preferring to let his numbers speak for themselves.
"They are what they are. You don't have to go around and beat down every door," Broxton said. "If I don't make it, it just means I have to work harder for next year."
Broxton has not shown the clean, crisp efficiency that Soria exhibited, particularly in his prime seasons of 2008-10. Broxton has his own style, working slowly with a tendency toward nail-biters, often finishing the game with the tying or go-ahead runs on the bases.
Yost professes not to be overly concerned about Broxton's great but gut-grinding escapes and points to the bottom line.
"He's getting the job done," Yost said.
Now in its 11th year, the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday, July 5 at 3 p.m. CT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Fans can use their mobile phone to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the 2012 All-Star GameMLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Broxton, fans can text "A1" to 89269. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Std rates may apply.
Balloting will be progressively intense, social media and hashtagging (#VoteBroxton) will be key.
The Royals will be in Toronto this week, so the electioneering for Broxton will be via long distance.
"We're at a little bit of a disadvantage because we're not at home, but I think we've got a tremendous fan base in Kansas City," Yost said, "and I think it would speak volumes to the baseball world if we can get Jonathan Broxton on this team, just to show what kind of fans we've actually got."
The voting doesn't stop there. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 6-20. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.comShop. MLB.com will send an email on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Until Thursday, Royals fans have a chance to show Broxton how much they appreciate him filling the void left by Soria, a two-time All-Star himself.
"I came here to set up and we lost our closer in the spring, but we filled in and picked up some big innings," Broxton said. "Now it's just basically in the fans' hands."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.