Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
According to the first report on National League All-Star voting, Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval is leading Mets 3B David Wright by more than 127,000 votes.
“You want to be an All-Star and you want to be a starter every year,” Wright said Tuesday, according to MLB.com. “This year would be special, but I can’t concern myself with [the voting].”
Sandoval beat out Wright last summer as well, prompting Sandy Alderson to hit Twitter saying, “ASG election of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ shows the value of a cute nickname. Surprised Giants fans didn’t elect a ‘ball dude’ to start at 3B.”
This year, there is a player from the Giants in the top two of every infield position up for voting, according to Tuesday’s results. Giants’ outfielders Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence are in the top 10 for outfielders. All in all, the Giants have seven players getting votes, more than any other team in baseball.
Here’s the thing, the Giants draw the second most fans in baseball and they have an unbelievably effective social media team. They’re widely considered to be the best organization in sports at connecting with and motivating fans to act online. The Giants also have vote-enabled kiosks in their ballparks, in addition to traditional ballots, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the park, which makes it easier for fans to vote at games using their mobile phone.
Media people in baseball all say results are typically fueled by in-stadium voting during the last two weeks that votes can be cast, whether with online or paper ballot.
The Mets do not have free Wi-Fi. Actually, it’s quite difficult to keep a consistent connection on your phone in Citi Field. Also, in order to make kiosks most effective you need lots and lots of people in the ballpark, which the Mets do not have these days.
In other words, it’s going to be a tough fight for Wright. Frankly, it’s going to be a tough fight for every player who does not have “SF” on their uniform.
That said, Wright is within striking distance of Sandoval. Statistically speaking, again, Wright is having a better season than Sandoval. Cardinals 3B Matt Carpenter, Reds 3B Todd Frazier and Padres 3B Chase Headley are all having similarly productive seasons, too.
The Mets need to find a way to get fans of other teams behind Wright, perhaps engaging in a vote swap campaign: We vote for Matt Wieters and JJ Hardy, if Orioles fans agree to vote for Wright. Because it’s going to take more than Twitter hashtags, snarky comments and give-aways to beat the Giants.