Rowand campaign looks for late surge
Giants outfielder in fourth place in latest Final Vote balloting
NEW YORK -- Aaron Rowand's bid to make the All-Star Game is in full swing.Rowand, the Giants center fielder who's among five National League candidates in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote, was interviewed Wednesday on KNBR-AM, the club's flagship station, which reaches hundreds of thousands of potential voters. Some fans might think that they're hearing Rowand's campaign in stereo. Besides Rowand's radio appearance, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow taped a message that was voice-mailed to 2,000 season-ticket holders, urging them to vote for Rowand.
Also, the Giants have been cross-promoting with the Chicago White Sox, with whom Rowand began his career. While Giants radio and television affiliates are urging fans to cast an AL Final Vote for Chicago outfielder Jermaine Dye, a northern California native, the White Sox media are pushing for Rowand. "It's such a no-brainer to work with them because the fans there still love Aaron," Giants senior vice president of communications Staci Slaughter said.Giants telecasts and programming on KNBR will air special 15-second spots promoting Rowand's candidacy. The clip also will be posted on sfgiants.com The Giants have sent pro-Rowand e-mails to nearly 400,000 people, a group that includes all season-ticket holders, as well as people who've previously registered to receive news and updates regarding the team. Employees at the AT&T Park dugout store are wearing "Vote Rowand" stickers, and Giants front-office employees have been voting non-stop for Rowand online. Contests are being held among employees to see who votes the most. Winners of those contests receive cash prizes and memorabilia, Slaughter said. "It's truly a political campaign, creating alliances with people," Slaughter said. "That's the only way to win something like this." Naturally, Rowand's immediate support group has tried to help him. He still needs a boost, trailing Corey Hart of the Brewers, David Wright of the Mets and Pat Burrell of the Phillies, according to the latest updates. "I've gotten a lot of text messages from my friends and my wife's brother, saying that they're voting," Rowand said. With the Giants in New York, Rowand's aware that Wright, who can benefit from a huge fan base that would like to see him participate in the Midsummer Classic at neighboring Yankee Stadium, is a formidable challenger. Rowand's countering with one of his biggest fans: His mother, Connie, who has been voting early and often. "I told her, 'Mom, it's you against New York City,' " Rowand said. "I wouldn't be surprised if my mom figured something out. She's doing her share." Now in its seventh year, the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevy, and continues until 2 p.m. PT on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter. There are two ways for fans to vote for the 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote -- online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans also can text the word "VOTE" to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. In Canada, fans should text the word "VOTE" to 88555. Standard rate text messaging rates apply -- please check with your mobile carrier for details. The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game on July 15. The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.