About this All-Star Game Final Vote….
On July 4th (that was a National Holiday I might remind you) I received not one, not two, but three phone calls from the PR departments of MLB clubs asking me to pen an article to be published on Tuesday pimping their All-Star candidates. All three requests were essentially the same, asking me to provide a link to where you could vote for their player in the article. In addition, I had four teams request that I have their prospective All-Star candidate interviewed on our morning Fantasy Sports drive time show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel. And the purpose of the interview? That’s it you guessed it, to pimp their All-Star candidate and try to get you, the member of the public to vote for them.
I don’t know why I was so surprised by the PR efforts of these clubs to try to manipulate / massage / influence / (whatever you want to call it) the fan voting, after all this is politics and campaigning for an election is a dirty job, but I was. So Tuesday and Wednesday I spent some time looking into this a bit more to find out what lengths each team was going through to try to get their player into the game.
It appears that most of clubs had their candidates spending the past two days as if they were on a book promo tour going on every radio and TV show possible. In addition, team members and just about anyone who knew the players prostituted their twitter accounts trying to get followers to vote.
But the MLB teams didn’t just stay in the background and have others do the dirty work. There is apparently no shame in MLB in begging the public to vote for a player on your roster. And as if that weren’t bad enough, a few teams are begging the public to like their teams too. Or at least be the fan’s mistress. Here’s what I mean……
- In the AL, the Kansas Royals are giving 50% off a game ticket if you vote for Alex Gordon AND select the Royals as your favourite team or other favourite team. Isn’t having an “other favourite team” a bit like polygamy? The Royals are currently known for having the best minor league system in MLB (after finishing last so often they should, shouldn’t they?) and they are bringing their hot prospects up one by one. However, if you look closely, the Royals actually have a shot to have all three of their starting outfielders finish with at least 20 HRs and 100 RBI. Alex Gordon .296 BA, 10 HRs, 46 RBI – Melky Cabrera .287 BA, 11 HRs, 48 RBI, Jeff Francoeur .265 BA, 12 HRs, 55 RBI, yet the Royals lone representative on the All-Star team is Aaron Crow who has thrown all of 41.1 innings this year in middle relief. That’s less than five Roy Hallady starts!
- The Baltimore Orioles are entering fans who vote for Adam Jones into a sweepstakes for a chance to have a VIP meet-and-greet with Jones, plus parking and four field-box seat tickets to an Orioles non-prime home game this season. An Orioles non-prime home game? The Orioles have prime home games? When did that happen? Who do they play, an all female porn-star team wearing their work clothes? They didn’t even include a free rack of ribs from Boog’s Barbecue! Jones has no shot.
- Everyone who votes for Paul Konerko is entered into the 2011 Vote Paul Konerko All-Star Game Final Vote Sweepstakes. 10 winners will receive two tickets, an autographed Konerko jersey and a pre-game on field photo with Konerko on Aug. 30 at U.S. Cellular Field. Konerko should win this thing hands down based on his first half production so it looks like there will be 10 lucky fans here. Paulie seems to be getting better with age and really starting to compile some impressive career stats. He going to have to get used to this campaign stuff if he’s going to lobby for the MLB Hall of Fame when he retires. You think Paulie has no shot for the Hall? Juxtapose his stats against Andre Dawson who just got in and add another year or two of production from Konerko and then tell me how he doesn’t stack up.
- If you for Victor Martinez vote 100 times, you are eligible to win two tickets to a Detroit Tigers home game this season, watching batting practice on the field and meeting the four-time All-Star himself. Not only do they want you to vote, but they want you to vote 100 times! On top of that, they have Jose Martinez, Victor’s little kid begging to vote for his father. Isn’t that child labour or something?
- The Tampa Bay Rays apparently aren’t giving anything away to get Ben Zobirst voted in, but his manager Joe Maddon has been seen wearing a Zorilla T-shirt to support him. Lame.
- In the NL, if you vote for Andre Ethier, you can win two tickets to a Los Angeles Dodgers home game this season, an autographed Ethier jersey or baseball, and a meet-and-greet with Ethier for you and a guest. You also will be eligible to receive a 70%-off discount offer for tickets in locations valued up to $50 to either the July 27 or July 30 games at Dodger Stadium. What, no offer to buy the club?
- If you vote for Todd Helton the Colorado Rockies are offering a chance to win four Midfield Box Premium or Value Game tickets to a 2011 regular-season game at Coors Field. In addition, eligible voters also will receive a 50% discount offer for tickets in select seating categories. Did you know that Todd Helton backed up Peyton Manning at Tennessee? Perhaps they should enlist Manning to help him make a late push?
- If you vote for Michael Morse and choose the Washington Nationals as your favourite, or other favourite team, you receive a 50-per cent-off discount for two tickets to a select Nationals home game this regular season. Not only that, but you are entered into a sweepstakes to win one of his game-used jerseys. Why would anyone want a smelly dirty jersey? Can’t the Nationals afford to give away a new one? Did they give all their money to Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth? Taking a page out of the Royals book, the Nationals are also begging for you to make them your favourite team. Or second favourite….
- Personally I would vote for Ian Kennedy in the NL but the Arizona Diamondbacks much like the Rays while pimping him in every media possible don’t seem to be giving anything away. Sorry Ian, you would be the home town favourite here, but your employer apparently isn’t willing to dip into their pockets to get you in.
- If you vote for Philadelphia Phillies’ Shane Victorino at least 100 times you are eligible to be entered into a random drawing to win a meet-and-greet with Victorino at Citizens Bank Park, two tickets to an upcoming game, parking and a signed Victorino jersey. The Flyin Hawaiian is batting .303, has 9 HRs, 34 RBI and 13 SBs. Those stats are good, but that’s not exactly what I call an All-Star yet he’s somehow the favourite going down the stretch here. I don’t get it. I don’t see how his perks are any better than anyone else’s and his stats aren’t either.
Voting ends at 4pm ET today. Mercifully, the pimping should stop then too.
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