Fans can make Peavy White Sox fourth Star

Fans can make Peavy White Sox fourth Star

NEW YORK -- Regardless of how the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Firestone turns out for Jake Peavy, the White Sox right-hander will still be attending a Midsummer Classic.

In fact, Peavy was getting the All-Star festivities started on Sunday night and not waiting for the action to begin at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 10.

"I'm about to hop on a plane and watch an All-Star Game at Mussel Shoals, Ala., at 8 o'clock," said a smiling Peavy after the White Sox 4-2 loss to the Yankees on Sunday afternoon. "I'm excited to go to that one."

Peavy took advantage of Monday's scheduled off-day to fly home to Alabama in order to watch his oldest son, Jacob, take part in a Cal Ripken All-Star Tournament. It was the first game this season that Peavy would actually get to watch his son, and the right-hander appeared more thrilled than taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

But Peavy is also hoping to join Scott Podsednik (2005,) A.J. Pierzynski ('06) and Paul Konerko ('11) as White Sox Final Vote winners. The Red Sox and Phillies are the only other teams with three Final Vote success stories.

This year's challenge will be a tough one for both the White Sox and their ace hurler. With Yu Darvish on the ballot, the Texas right-hander figures to have all of Japan's support, having previously pitched there.

"Obviously, we've got our work cut out for us with a Japanese player in there," Peavy said. "But Chicago has been great, and maybe it will happen."

"Looking at who's on there, he's got a tough road, but White Sox fans have done it before," said Pierzynski, one of the All-Star snubs in this year's selection process. "I'm happy for Jake. I hope he gets in. Hopefully people will look at his numbers and his season so far and realize that Jake deserves to be an American League All-Star."

Peavy's 6-5 win-loss record might not exactly scream All-Star. But he's tied for first in the AL with four complete games and ranks second in innings pitched (112 2/3), fifth in batting average against (.215) and sixth in strikeouts (101) and ERA (2.96).

Even if he doesn't beat out Darvish or Kansas City's Jonathan Broxton, the Angels' Ernesto Frieri and Baltimore's Jason Hammel, Peavy understands how the system works.

"It's the way the chips fall sometimes," Peavy said. "I'm fortunate enough to be part of a couple of All-Star teams, and even start one. I've had a very, very blessed career. But I'm certainly excited for my teammates."

Chris Sale, Adam Dunn and Konerko all were named All-Stars from the White Sox, selected through the players' vote.

There will be an extra treat for fans as a thanks for participating in the Final Vote. If you are not a current subscriber to MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium, you will be offered the opportunity to receive up to 14 days of 2012 MLB.TV from Friday to July 20. If you are a current subscriber, you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all eligible Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.

"As a kid, I remember always reading the annual articles about the biggest All-Star snubs and wishing there was some way to solve this debate by allowing the most deserving player from each league to grab the final spots in the All-Star Game," said Gregg Klayman, vice president of content development at MLB Advanced Media, explaining his original idea for the Final Vote concept. "The Internet eventually made it possible years later, and now fans have been able to participate in this run-off election for the past decade."

It has been popular beyond anyone's expectation. Let the campaigning and club alliances begin again. Balloting will be progressively intense, social media and hashtagging will be key, and you will get updates right here every day along the way, and remember to pay attention on the Fourth of July. Be sure to include #FinalVote with your tweets.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 83rd 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 6:30 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

While the White Sox put their Peavy election campaign together, Peavy will be watching his son on the field in Alabama. Peavy just hopes to have a chance to take his three sons to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, via a final vote that would be fitting for this great first half following his lat surgery two years ago.

"Being an All-Star is not what you play for," said Peavy, who plans to attend the funeral of Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, his close friend and mentor who succumbed to pancreatic cancer last Sunday, the day before the All-Star Game, even if he's selected. "But it certainly is a great honor to be chosen, however you get there: by the fans, your peers or by the coaches.

"Certainly, after the last few years, the way they have gone for me in Chicago, it means something more to go and represent the city of Chicago as another starting pitcher alongside Chris Sale. It would be outstanding. We'll see how it all shakes out."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.