MILWAUKEE – Never underestimate the power of the vote.
Although left off the National League All-Star roster when it was announced Sunday, Brewer outfielder Corey Hart was placed on the five-man fan vote that determines the final player added to the All-Star team.
So far, Brewer fans, along with the rest of the country, seem to want to send the 26-year-old right fielder to Yankee Stadium.
Hart holds a small lead in the first returns of voting in the ‘Monster 2008 Final Vote’ that started Sunday night. The other players on the ballot are Pat Burrell of Philadelphia, Carlos Lee of Houston, Aaron Rowand of San Francisco and David Wright of the New York Mets.
Looking at his numbers, Hart definitely belongs on the roster. Hart is currently hitting .296 with 14 home runs and 55 runs batted in and has played in all but one of the Brewers 88 games this season. He is tied for fourth in the National League with 25 doubles and third in the league in batting average with runners in scoring position (.361).
“You want guys on your team that play with a passion, with energy, no hot-doggin' when they play and play as hard as they can every time out,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “Corey Hart is one of many guys on this team that fits that category.”
A big reason Hart’s name is on the ballot is that, along with teammate J.J. Hardy, he has been on a tear at the plate over the past couple of weeks. Hart has collected hits in 15 of his last 18 games (24-for-70, .343 average, four home runs, 24 RBIs) and his 24 RBIs in the month of June were second best in the league.
During batting practice Tuesday, the majority of his teammates and the coaching staff donned white ‘I Hart New York’ t-shirts with Hart’s name spelled out in the red heart.
Fans have until 4 p.m. Thursday to vote for Hart and can do so by logging onto brewers.com or MLB.com
“I voted today until I went blind,” Yost said.