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Updated: July 9th, 2014 10:21am
Most Minnesota counties voting for Morneau in All-Star Game final vote

Most Minnesota counties voting for Morneau in All-Star Game final vote

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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Audio Clip
7/8/2014
Justin Morneau on the possibility of being named to the All-Star team
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After getting his career back on track in Colorado, Justin Morneau has a chance to return to the Twin Cities as a National League All-Star.

It's not a done deal yet, but Morneau has a lead in the Final Vote for the last National League All-Star roster spot. Morneau led a "tight race" after 36 hours of voting, according to MLB.com.

As a writer, it's easy to pull for compelling stories. As a writer based in Minneapolis, picking the best story line out of these five names is a cinch. 

Morneau has the support of the country of Canada (67.2 percent) and nearly every Minnesota county, according to this data vizualization map from MLB.com. He also owns the Colorado and Wyoming. The two Minnesota counties in which Morneau is not the leading vote getter are Yellow Medicine and Otter Tail. Both favor Anthony Rizzo.

I like stats in baseball more than any other sport, but to me the final roster spot (like Derek Jeter starting at shortstop) is less about numbers than it is an honorary nod. Still, I can't blame people if they'd prefer to optimize the roster based on performance and positional fit. The National League already has two first baseman, and even if it needed another, lineup optimizers might look in a different direction. 

Here's how the final vote contestants stack up in the National League based on Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacent:

2B Anthony Rendon, WAS ... 3.3 WAR

1B Anthony Rizzo, CHC ... 2.7 WAR

OF Justin Upton, ATL ... 2.5 WAR

3B Casey McGehee, MIA ... 1.9 WAR 

1B Justin Morneau, COL ... 1.5 WAR

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Here's the link to the voting page.

How would you assemble an All-Star team if it were up to you?

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
In this story: Justin Morneau
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