After this successful campaign, maybe New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher should consider a future in politics.
Swisher and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto were chosen by fans on Thursday for the final two roster spots in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Anaheim, Calif.
Swisher edged Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis for the final American League spot. He was also competing against Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Texas third baseman Michael Young and Minnesota outfielder Delmon Young.
Swisher received 9.8 million votes during the four days of Internet balloting and is the eighth Yankees player selected. Seven are headed to Anaheim — closer Mariano Rivera will skip the game because of nagging injuries. Plus, New York manager Joe Girardi will lead the AL squad.
“It’s so crazy. I felt like a politician the last four days. You’re up in the polls; you’re down in the polls. Man, this is taxing,” Swisher said. “I’m glad this is over. I couldn’t be any more excited.”
Thanks to his Twitter account and his nearly 1.3 million followers, Swisher spent the final few days of the vote campaigning for support. When baseball announced Thursday morning that Swisher and Youkilis were nearly tied, Swisher tweeted “We’re in the final stretch. Can’t thank yall enough for your support. Let’s finish strong!”
After getting word he won, Swisher tweeted “THANK YOU!!!”
TEXAS AUCTION ON HOLD
An auction to sell the Texas Rangers was in limbo following opposition to the process that would have been controlled by Major League Baseball.
Just days after seeking court approval for the July 16 auction, the team withdrew its motion Thursday following opposition from the court-appointed restructuring officer in the bankruptcy case. William K. Snyder, appointed to make sure the team was maximizing its assets, said he no longer supported the Rangers’ bidding process but still believed the team should be sold at an auction.
Outside experts had suggested the narrow guidelines in the bidding process were a clever maneuver to push through the long-delayed sale to the MLB’s preferred buyer, a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg.
A SWING AND AN OUCH
San Francisco reliever Dan Runzler dislocated his left knee and had to leave while batting in the seventh inning of the Giants’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Runzler swung and missed on a 1-1 pitch from David Riske, falling backward onto the ground in his first major-league at-bat. He appeared to twist his left leg and walked gingerly to the dugout.
He said the knee popped back into place on its own, but he had a set of crutches after the game and will undergo an MRI today.
Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been added to the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break. The 2009 National League batting champion will participate in his first derby on Monday in Anaheim, Calif. … Yankees designated hitter Nick Johnson has had a setback in his recovery from right wrist surgery. Johnson, who was placed on the disabled list in early May and transferred to the 60-day DL after surgery, felt pain in the wrist while taking swings in the initial stages of his recovery and has been sent back to New York for additional evaluation. … Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is day to day with a mild concussion after he was accidentally kneed in the head Wednesday. Morneau, who was voted an All-Star starter, is second in the AL with a .345 average, seventh in home runs with 18 and 10th in RBI with 56. … Sidelined since May with a lower back strain, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett will make a Triple-A rehab start this weekend.