With fan voting for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game coming down to its final stretch, players ranging from sure things to long shots are using Twitter as their prime method of self-marketing.
It doesn't come as a shock that each team is pushing for its players to make the trip to Citi Field. Here's a recent tweet from the Pittsburgh Pirates' official Twitter account regarding Pedro Alvarez, who hasn't cracked the top five in fan voting for third basemen:
Then there are players who have taken it upon themselves to toot their own horns. The outfield races in both leagues are especially tight, so it's unsurprising that vocal offenders hail from these positions.
Jose Bautista is a prime example. According to the updated polls, he's recently closed the gap between his fourth-place standing and the third outfield spot, which is currently in Nick Markakis' hands (the two are separated by just under 50,000 votes). Bautista currently has a .250/.345/.481 line—not that impressive—but has been integral to Toronto's recent run.
Not only is Bautista tweeting up a storm to help his cause, but just on Monday, the Twitter account @TeamBautista was created. The account is serving as a tool to help Bautista edge out fellow outfield candidates Markakis and Torii Hunter. He tweeted this on Sunday:
And then followed with this on Monday:
Here's an example of a @TeamBautista tweet:
Dexter Fowler, who hasn't even broken the top 15 outfielders in fan voting but who's statistically having a better season than Bautista, retweeted this from the Colorado Rockies' Twitter account on Monday:
Although Fowler's performance this season does warrant more recognition from fans, this quest is likely pretty futile for the center fielder this late in the game. He's the third-best hitter on the Rockies, and both Troy Tulowitzki (even injured) and Carlos Gonzalez have better chances of making the team from Colorado—in their respective positions. They are first and fourth, respectively, in fan voting.
Carlos Gomez, who is currently injured but in 11th place in the NL outfield fan voting, is making good use of his retweet button as well:
Gomez is having a breakout season (.313/.355/.570), which is why people have been voting for him. Not only has he been Mr. Consistency at the plate, his clinics in the field are can't-miss:
There's no statistic for how much Twitter campaigning sways voters, but if I had to guess, I'd say the influence is negligible. While it's true that some of these campaigners are deserving players on the bubble, they are baseball players, not politicians. Fans are voting for Miguel Cabrera not because he's an elite spokesperson for himself, but because he's one of the best hitters of our time.