2012 MLB All-Star Game: The Rangers Are Like The Yankees Now!

You know how, for years, we've all had to deal with this legion of Yankees (and Red Sox) fans stuffing the ballot box for their players in the All Star Game voting? You know how that's always coupled by a ton of fans voting for their players just on name recognition, making it even worse?

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Apparently that's just what happens when you're a super-successful team in a major media market. The growing fandom and national recognition the Rangers have amassed thanks to back-to-back league titles and 2012's best record in the American League has resulted so far in the same sort of hilarious voting dominance usually reserved for north eastern teams.

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As things currently stand, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Napoli would all be starting the 2012 Major League All Star Game.

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Depending on how you vote, Kinsler and Beltre are fairly reasonable choices. No matter how you vote, Hamilton is an obvious choice. Cruz and Napoli are a bit more questionable -- not that they're bad -- and are the kind of players we've seen other teams get to the game in the past. They're votes based on name recognition and a suddenly-huge fan base.

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(Trust me on that suddenly-huge fan base thing. I work in the world's most visited theme park, and Rangers gear is almost as common as any team out there.)

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The Yankees are still getting such a vote as well. While Derek Jeter's season has been strong, it has been behind the amazing play of Elvis Andrus. A strong Jeter season is enough, though, for him to dominate Andrus by 664,791 votes at time of reporting, thanks to his celebrity.

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It seems Andrus is probably a lock for a reserve spot, though. Along with perhaps Yu Darvish and probably at least one reliever, we appear headed towards perhaps 8+ Texas Rangers in the All Star Game.

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Napoli is ahead of Matt Wieters by over 500,000 votes, and this would be his first All Star game. Kinsler has less than a 300,000 vote lead on Robinson Cano, and Beltre is only slightly farther ahead of Miguel Cabrera. Cruz is the closest, with just over a 60,000 vote lead on Jose Bautista for the last outfield spot. Hamilton appears to be a lock to become the second Ranger ever to start five straight All Star games.

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