Will Hit for Votes

By Grant Paulsen
|  Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 AM EDT
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Will Hit for Votes

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WASHINGTON - MARCH 30 : Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals celebrates a walk off home run during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on March 30, 2008 at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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Ryan Zimmerman’s taking his “Final Vote” campaign into his own hands.

In two games since being one of the most surprising omissions from the National League All-Star roster, Zimmerman has clubbed three home runs and driven in six.

He knows the Nationals have organized a “Get ‘Zim to Anaheim” crusade and he’s aware that Nationals fans will be stuffing the ballot box on his behalf.

But why count on the fans to get him to a game they didn’t elect him to the first time they had a chance?

With just one more shot at making the All-Star team for a second straight season, Zimmerman’s steering his own promotion for the vote.

His six hits in nine at-bats since being snubbed are impressive. They’re also not a coincidence.

Last night, Zimmerman smacked a pair of solo home runs. The second was a dramatic walk-off shot that resulted in the UVA product’s teammates mobbing him at home plate.

Not bad for a non-All-Star.

The only problem for the white-hot slugger is that he’s still fighting an uphill battle to nab a roster spot.

Joey Votto of the Reds is an MVP candidate. He was left off the NL’s initial ballot, too -- a disgraceful blunder the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades.

Votto’s 21 home runs are tied for the most in baseball and his 59 RBI rank fifth in the National League. He’s hitting .316 and he’s posted the highest OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) in the big leagues. If he’s not an All-Star, the Beatles weren’t a band.

It’s laughable that 34 players were selected and Votto and Zimmerman were both excluded.

Votto should win the “Final Vote” that Zimmerman’s been trying to slug his way toward. If that’s the case, ‘Zim would have to rely on replacing an injured player if he’s going to take part in the game.

The way he’s been hitting the last couple days, his number might be the first that NL manager Charlie Manuel dials.

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