Giambi falls short in AL Final Vote
Yankees' five-time All-Star slugger set to enjoy four days' rest
PITTSBURGH -- Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi fell short in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote.
Despite a popular "Support the 'Stache" campaign, the mustachioed Giambi finished third in the American League, followed by Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts and Royals outfielder Jose Guillen -- all of whom finished with impressive vote totals.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Brewers outfielder Corey Hart won the final roster spots on the AL and National League All-Star rosters, respectively, for the 79th All-Star Game. Longoria won a close race over White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, who was bidding to become the third White Sox player in four years to win the Final Vote.
Now in its seventh year, the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote gave baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevy, and ended at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.
"It would definitely have been an honor," Giambi said. "Either way, I get four days off. I always try to look at the positives of everything. It would have been a lot of fun and I would have been honored to play in it -- the positive side is I get four days off."
The Yankees staged a spirited campaign to get Giambi in the All-Star Game with the "Support the 'Stache" movement throughout the Bronx, backed by an official endorsement from the St. Louis-based American Mustache Institute. Giambi said his mustache is a throwback to the glory days of the 1970s and '80s.
Giambi appreciated the fan support.
"That's kind of special," Giambi said. "That's definitely come full circle [and] to have that closeness back with the fans again is definitely cool."
Longoria, 22, entered Thursday's action batting .281 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs since his April callup. Giambi and Longoria had a chance to chat at first base during Wednesday's Yankees-Rays game.
"I just wished him good luck," Giambi said. "He's a great kid and he went to Long Beach State -- so we had those ties and we just joked about it. He's a great player and he's only going to get better. He can definitely play defensively with anybody in the big leagues, there is no doubt about that. Offensively, he's got power to all fields, and he's just going to keep getting better and better."
It would have been the sixth All-Star appearance for Giambi had he been voted in.
"I'm disappointed -- I was hoping that he would be there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think he would have represented the Yankees and baseball very well, I would have loved to have seen him get in."
There is still a possibility that Giambi could be named as a replacement if someone cannot play in the game.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.