Nick Swisher(notes) might have used the power of his 1.2 million Twitter followers and a special hashtag to gain an early lead in the vote for the American League's final All-Star spot, but will it be enough to ward off the influence of a former presidential candidate?
Not if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has anything to say about it.
Six years after unsuccessfully battling George W. Bush for the White House, Kerry has turned his attention toward matters a bit more trivial.
Namely, using his sizable email list to make sure that Boston Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis(notes) has a chance to compete with Minnesota's Justin Morneau(notes) and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera(notes) for some playing time at first base in Anaheim next week.
And it actually might be working, as it was just announced that Youk has taken the lead.
Here's the stump speech email that was sent to my YSB-mate, Andy Behrens
Hope you had a terrific Fourth of July — and I hope you'll afford me what the Senate calls a "point of personal privilege." All 3 million of you in the johnkerry.com community have done incredible work these last seven years on some of the biggest fights of our lives. This isn't one of them. But it's not small potatoes either if you're a Red Sox fan. (If you're a Yankees fan, read no further.)
Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox is an All Star in anyone's book. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played, he hustles, he has a great bat and a glove to match, and he brings with it the kind of intensity we respected for years in guys like Trot Nixon(notes). Youk deserves to be in the All-Star game -- while the team has grinded it out in spite of injury after injury, he's been a rock. But now he needs to win a fan vote to make it to Anaheim next week.
The stakes are also just a little personal: in the fan voting, currently Nick Swisher of the Yankees is in first place. Swisher's having a fine year, but Youk is better in just about every category, batting average, slugging, homeruns, everything and he plays Gold Glove defense to boot. Please don't let anyone say that Swisher beat Youkilis because Sox fans have gone a little soft after '04 and '07. Let's show we're still the most ravenous fans in baseball.
Please vote Youkilis in.
Not a bad tactic by Kerry, though you wish that whatever intern wrote the email would've mentioned that Youkilis' OPS (1.002) is just a tad higher than Swisher's (.883).
Still, three million followers x 25 votes per day x 3 days could mean an extra 225 million votes — about four times more than Kerry received in 2004 — for Youk's campaign.
Well, it could bring that total so long as Kerry's followers aren't more preoccupied with the political issues they presumably wanted to see the Senator address by signing up for his email list in the first place.