In what was the closest race in Final Vote history, the New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher edged out the Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis to become the final member of the 2010 American League All-Star team. Also, for the National League, Joey Votto, the power hitting first baseman from the Cincinnati Reds, was named in a landslide over Ryan Zimmerman.
This past week turned into an all-out media war between New York and Boston, because, let’s face it, someone from the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, or Chicago White Sox would be able to drum up the support that is enjoyed by Swish and Youk. From the Boston perspective, Kevin Youkilis had the campaigning of Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry. Nick Swisher had a massive Twitter campaign as well as support from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, actress Jessica Alba, and some fellow you might have heard of, LeBron James. Regardless of who was supporting who, it looks like John Kerry has lost another election. Zing!
Nick didn’t just earn votes from playing in the world’s largest media market, but from his best MLB season to date. Through 84 games, Swish is batting .298 (a career high), has an OBP of .376, and is slugging .518 (also a career high). He also has 14 home runs and 48 RBIs. Why is this year different? Last year, he relied on walks (97 in 2009) to get on base. This year, he’s swinging more often, which is leading to more hits and more runs batted in.
With the nomination, Swisher now joins Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, and Alex Rodriguez as 2010 Yankee All-Stars. Although Sabathia and Rivera will not be making the trip, the Yankees have the most All-Stars with eight.