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

San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds had the
second-highest vote total at 647,183.

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

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.