Royals take to social media to support Gordon
Team urges fans on Twitter to vote Gordon in to All-Star Game
KANSAS CITY -- Alex Gordon leads the Major Leagues in outfield assists, but for once, he needs a few assists thrown his way.
The Royals left fielder is one of five American League players who have a chance to be elected to the 2011 All-Star game via the All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint. After the first 24 hours of voting, Gordon is in third place, behind leading vote-getter Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Detroit's Victor Martinez. Baltimore's Adam Jones and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist are in fourth and fifth, respectively.
With Royals rookie setup man Aaron Crow already headed to Phoenix as a selection by AL team manager Ron Washington, the club is throwing everything it can behind the effort to get Gordon to join Crow in Arizona. As for not getting selected initially, there are no hard feelings on Gordon's part.
"No, because I knew there were a couple of us that could've gone, and whoever it was was well-deserving, and I'm just happy that Crow is in there. Not many times a rookie gets to go, especially from a team like us that has a losing record," Gordon said.
Royals vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson said the team is reaching out to celebrities to help promote the #VoteAlex movement on Twitter. Possible targets could be actors and comedians Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis. The three are originally from the Kansas City area and hosted a celebrity Wiffle Ball game at Kauffman Stadium to kick off a benefit poker tournament a couple of weeks ago.
Social media campaigning is almost all the Royals can do, as they play on the road until voting is over on Thursday. Player T-shirts might be delayed until the Fourth of July holiday is over, but are on their way. A peek at a potential design can be seen on the Royals' Facebook page -- another avenue the team is using to promote Gordon's candidacy.
Gordon's teammates are doing everything they can as well.
"We're voting for him and using our Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts to urge people to vote for him and making sure everybody goes to MLB.com to vote for him because he really deserves it," catcher Brayan Pena said. "I've got a lot of people in Miami that follow the Royals, and I'm contacting my Cuban community to make sure they vote for Alex Gordon."
Rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer might not be a prolific Twitter user, but that hasn't stopped him from helping spread the word about his teammate.
"I sent one out already, telling everyone to vote for him," Hosmer said. "The more people we can get to vote and hop on board with us to get him in there, he deserves it a hundred percent. We just need to get the votes in for him."
Royals manager Ned Yost will be promoting his left fielder on the Fox Sports Kansas City pregame show before Monday's game against the White Sox as well. Yost saw a player elected in the Final Vote in 2008 in Milwaukee, when outfielder Corey Hart was the fans' choice for the last roster spot on the National League team.
"It's very important that we do this," Yost said. "We're just asking everybody to take the time to vote."
Now in its 10th year, the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint gives 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 Taco Bell and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 7. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269 (Example: Text "A1" to vote for Gordon). In Canada, fans should text their choices to 65246. Standard message and data rates may apply.
The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 10-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 9-19. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on July 8 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.