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Brandon Belt thanks fans, blames Russians after losing All-Star Final Vote


Following a thrilling, 13-inning walk-off win over the Chicago Cubs, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt received the news that he would not be a 2018 All-Star along with teammates Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey – who will remain out of the All-Star game with hip inflammation. Belt finished second in the final round of voting in the National League to Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar. MLB has yet to publish the final vote tallies.

While Belt struggled in the win, going 0-for-5 on the day, he managed to work a walk in the bottom of the 13th inning. Two batters later, Posey drove Belt in as the winning run with a walk-off single off the right-field wall.

Despite missing what would have been his second All-Star appearance, Belt was nothing but thankful to his fellow vote-getters, teammates and social media team. He did place the blame for his snub, jokingly, on one source: Russia.

“First off, I just want to say I believe, I was told, that Russia actually interfered in this election,” Belt joked.

“I just want to say congrats to Jesus (Aguilar) and Jean (Segura),” Belt said. “I want to say thank you to all the fans for voting. It was pretty amazing. I think Jesus had 20 million votes, so just the fact that I was in second was pretty cool.”

Belt continued, thanking the Giants social media team, which helped him organize efforts like his off-beat “Brandons of the World” campaign with Crawford.

“(I) want to say thank you to Becky, Jen, Brian and Alfonso, the digital social media team,” Belt said. “They did an unbelievable job. Without them, I might have had three or four votes, so they did an amazing job.”

Finally, Belt thanked his teammates. Before the game, a shirtless and oil-soaked Derek Holland – with sharpie-drawn abs – and a shirt-tearing Hunter Pence recorded a WWE-style promo video encouraging fans to get their final votes in before the 4 p.m. voting deadline.

“Holland? He did alright,” Belt teased. “That was very cool. That was one of the coolest things just to see your teammates behind you. And they already have so much stuff to do, and to take time out of their schedule and promote me, really meant a lot, so thanks to all my teammates too.”