Soriano's tops with almost 730K
NEW YORK -- Texas second baseman Alfonso Soriano was the surprise leader in the first voting totals for next month's All-Star game.
Soriano, a two-time All-Star traded to the Rangers by the New York Yankees in February for AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, has 729,949 votes, the commissioner's office said Tuesday.
Rodriguez, a seven-time All-Star shortstop who changed positions as a result to the trade, led AL third baseman at 558,880.
Boston's Nomar Garciaparra led AL shortstops at 412,742, even though he has been sidelined all season by an Achilles' tendon injury.
The Mets' Mike Piazza, a 10-time All-Star, led NL catchers at 500,446 even though he is playing first base more often in recent weeks.
Also leading their positions in the AL are Detroit catcher Ivan Rodriguez (516,332), Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi (376,307), Boston outfielders Manny Ramirez (626,272) and Johnny Damon (360,755) and Anaheim outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.
In the NL, other position leaders include St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols (449,708) and third baseman Scott Rolen (461,194), Houston second baseman Jeff Kent (500,876) and shortstop Adam Everett (302,310), Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa (586,479) and Cincinnati outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
The All-Star game is scheduled for July 13 in Houston.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press