Jones, Markakis need final ASG push

Jones, Markakis need final ASG push

Who can tell them apart? Baltimore's respective All-Star candidates have begun to blend into each other as the season progresses, and fans still have a little time left to help their favorites separate from the pack. It's the final deadline push, and outfielders Adam Jones and Nick Markakis may be the most affected.

Jones currently ranks 11th among American League outfielders, while Markakis ranks 12th. Either would be a fitting representative, as would closer George Sherrill, who isn't on the ballot. Shortstop Cesar Izturis and second baseman Brian Roberts are no longer near the top at their respective positions due to injury and attrition.

And that, in itself, signals something new and exciting for Baltimore in that neither Jones nor Markakis has ever been an All-Star before. Roberts, a two-time All-Star, has continued to pace the team's offense from the leadoff slot, while Izturis received some surprising support before landing on the disabled list.

In-stadium voting has ended, but fans can still vote online for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Pepsi on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while will offer extensive online coverage.

Sherrill, who represented the Orioles at the All-Star Game last year, may well have the best claim this year. The left-hander would likely have to be named by American League manager Joe Maddon to make the team.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.