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Hill's chances improve in Final Vote campaign

Hill's chances improve in Final Vote campaign

Hill's chances improve in Final Vote campaign
PHOENIX -- Aaron Hill's chances of making next week's All-Star Game improved a bit Tuesday as one of his competitors in the MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone was named to the team.

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was added to the National League roster in place of the injured Matt Kemp.

Jones had been leading in the Final Vote results, which were announced Tuesday. Jones was trailed by the Cardinals' David Freese, the Nationals' Bryce Harper, Hill and the Braves' Michael Bourn.

Final Vote candidates
American League
P Jonathan Broxton, KC
P Yu Darvish, TEX
P Ernesto Frieri, LAA
P Jason Hammel, BAL
P Jake Peavy, CWS
National League
OF Michael Bourn, ATL
3B David Freese, STL
OF Bryce Harper, WAS
2B Aaron Hill, ARI

Now in its 11th year, the Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday at 1 p.m. MST. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Hill, simply text message "N4" to 89269. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.

Fans also will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet, via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 6-20. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.

The D-backs have teamed with the Rangers to try and help Yu Darvish win the American League vote and Hill the NL. Darvish, who leads the AL voting, is from Japan, and the D-backs were hoping that the Asian market, which figures to be strongly behind Darvish, could help push Hill into contention.

Hill was popular in Canada during his time with the Blue Jays so the D-backs were also hoping to use the Canadian market to their advantage.

"We've reached out to just about every national media outlet in Canada," D-backs senior vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said.

Louisiana State University, where Hill was a standout player, utilized its social media list to push for Hill and they posted a story on the university's official site doing the same.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald sent out a tweet to his nearly 1.3 million followers on Twitter asking them to vote for Hill.

"I think it's amazing," Hill said. "It really is. It's fun. Obviously you want to be recognized by fans, players and coaches and to get the support and see how many people want to make this happen is a lot of fun to be a part of. I can't wait to see how this is going to turn out."

All D-backs players and coaches wore T-shirts during batting practice that said #FinHillVote on the front of them.

"If we can raise awareness in any way possible, that's what it's all about," infielder Willie Bloomquist said. "We want to get him into that game. I think his numbers are better than the two guys [Dan Uggla and Jose Altuve] who are there as second baseman. Those two guys deserve to be there, but Aaron, with the half that he's put up, he definitely deserves to be there."

Hill's candidacy even got his old-school manager Kirk Gibson to get online.

"I voted several times, yes," Gibson said.

The D-backs planned on asking fans during a half-inning break in Tuesday and Wednesday night's games to pick up their phones and text in a vote for Hill. With a sellout crowd expected Wednesday, they hope to get a lot of votes that way.

Hill was happy to see Jones on the team and not because it helped his chances.

"I think it's a storybook type of thing," he said of Jones, who has announced he will retire at season's end.

However it all turns out, Hill is thankful for the support he's received.

"I've gotten a lot of text messages, 'Hey we're voting for you, we're pulling for you.'" Hill said. "It's always nice to feel the support from friends and family and even people I haven't talked to in a long time so it's fun to see it. To see the support these guys have for me means a lot."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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