|Swisher beats Youkilis in All-Star vote||07.08.10 at 6:03 pm ET|
Nick Swisher reigned victorious in a balloting showdown between the guy from “Moneyball” and the other guy from “Moneyball,” edging Kevin Youkilis to earn the final spot on the American League All-Star team. Major League Baseball is saying it was the closest such vote ever.
Final Vote candidates for the AL included Swisher, Youkilis, Paul Konerko, Michael Young and Delmon Young. The Yankees right fielder and Red Sox first baseman swapped places in the driver’s seat throughout the checkpoints of voting, which commenced following the initial roster’s announcement over the weekend.
Swisher becomes the eighth Yankee to be named to the squad, joining pitchers Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte (the replacement for Dustin Pedroia on the roster) and infielders Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. It is Swisher’s first All-Star appearance.
On paper, Youkilis seemed to have the edge in nearly every major offensive statistical category with the exception of average. Though Swisher hit at a slightly higher clip (.298, six points higher than Youkilis’ .292), the Red Sox first baseman has an on-base percentage of .409 to go with 17 homers and 55 RBI. Swisher is worse off in those categories, as he has an OBP of .376 with just 14 dingers and 48 RBI. The plate appearances were nearly identical, with Youkilis coming up 345 times to Swisher’s 341.
Youkilis had been hampered by an ankle injury the last two days but the injury is not considered serious and he stated on The Big Show that he would be healthy enough to play if he were to elected to the All-Star team.
Justice was seemingly done in the National League vote, as Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who leads the NL in homers with 21, was chosen over Ryan Zimmerman, Carlos Gonzalez and Billy Wagner. The Reds and Red Sox had teamed up throughout the week to campaign for both Votto and Youkilis, an Ohio native.
Red Sox aside from Pedroia to make the team include Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz, though Buchholz, Martinez and Pedroia will miss the game due to injury. Ortiz is set to participate in the Home Run Derby.
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