Kennedy a quiet All-Star candidate

Kennedy a quiet All-Star candidate

OAKLAND -- With apologies to Jason Giambi and Nomar Garciaparra, who used to be regulars at baseball's Midsummer Classic, Matt Holliday is the biggest star on the A's current roster.

For one thing, Holliday is in his prime, a 29-year-old slugger who figures to be one of the hottest names on the free-agent market in the offseason. Giambi is 38, Garciaparra, 35.

So when it comes time to select Oakland's representative in the 2009 All-Star Game, to be held July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Holliday seems a safe bet to get the most votes.

But none of the A's ranks among the top five at his position in fan balloting, and Holliday, a three-time National League All-Star with the Rockies, is outside the top 15 among American League outfielders.

Thus, unless A's fans start stuffing the ballot boxes online and in stadiums across the nation, AL All-Star manager Joe Maddon might have the final say as to who represents the green-and-gold. And if Maddon is a sucker for a great story, he might just tab Adam Kennedy.

Kennedy, acquired by the A's from Maddon's Rays in early May, has been the most consistent offensive performer on the team since his arrival. He's never been an All-Star, but he's been playing like one for Oakland.

"He's been a huge pickup," said A's rookie right-hander Trevor Cahill. "It seems like whenever we need a hit, he gets it. Even if we need a home run."

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 8:59 p.m. PT.

Voting also can be done at the ballpark; at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, in-stadium balloting ends June 24.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet 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 MLB.com.

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 MLB.com.

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 MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

The A's haven't had more than one player named to the All-Star team since 2004. Last year's lone honoree was right-hander Justin Duchscherer, who hasn't played this season and isn't expected to be fully recovered from late-spring arthroscopic elbow surgery until after the break.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.