BOSTON -- The White Sox political machine was prepared for a 2014 American League Final Vote campaign.
They simply thought their record 11th candidate would be Alexei Ramirez and not Chris Sale. But Ramirez joined Jose Abreu as White Sox All-Stars, and Sale is trying to join them at Target Field while joining Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Paul Konerko (2011) as Final Vote winners.
"We take a lot of pride and have a lot of fun in doing this," said White Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert. "We win some and we lose some, but we seem to have a lot of opportunities and always try to have fun."
"Just seeing how much involvement they're putting on me," said Sale of fun with the Final Vote campaign process. "I've got texts from high school coaches, my college coach saying we've got everyone we know, they've got their sources, this and that all voting for you. It definitely makes me appreciate everyone around me a lot more."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 3 p.m. CT.
Fans can also cast votes on the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the Final Vote ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. For example: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.
The hashtags and text designations are as follows:
Dallas Keuchel: #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Corey Kluber: #VoteKluber (A2)
Rick Porcello: #PickRick (A3)
Garrett Richards: #VoteGRich (A4)
Chris Sale: #TargetSale (A5)
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
A camera crew was on hand at Fenway Park Monday to shoot Sale promotional videos, while players were sporting new "K-Zone for Sale: #TargetSale" T-shirts. Reifert mentioned that the #TargetSale hashtag was trending globally and nationally on Sunday, which was the first time he could remember that happening for the White Sox.
Scott Carroll (@Scotty_Carroll) July 7, 2014
Anthony Rendon of the Nationals and Sale have formed a Final Vote partnership. The Nationals are at home for the next two games against Baltimore and then play at Baltimore on Wednesday, giving the White Sox an eastern market rivalry along with Chicago while they are on the road in Boston.
Avoiding a Final Vote partnership with the Cubs and their candidate, Anthony Rizzo, had more to do with electability and much less to do with the intra-city Chicago rivalry. Then again, there might be some fans who wouldn't support the other player because of said rivalry.
Sale seems to be having fun with the process, mentioning that his wife even pushed his election on her Facebook page.
"We've got the shirts on. They made the hats with [Scott] Carroll's doodle hats. By the way, buy one of those," said Sale with a smile. "But yeah, it's fun. I'm sure we'll see a few more."