07/08/08 8:48 PM ET
Wright lets his play do the talking
Mets slugger in tight race for Final Vote to All-Star Game
By Jon Blau / MLB.com
"It's probably like in here," Wright said in the clubhouse, speculating upon the wide range of people who might vote for him. "I'm the bridge."
Honestly, Wright hasn't given too much thought to the campaign for the last spot on the National League's 32-man All-Star roster. It's not his priority to worry, while his mother, father and brothers might be on the computers clicking away.
All he can hope is that nobody is voting against him.
"I am," joked teammate Marlon Anderson, who was only a few lockers away.
Now in its seventh year, the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote affords the public an opportunity to add the finishing touches to the league rosters by electing the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began on MLB.com on Sunday immediately following the Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Chevy, and it continues until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners are to be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
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 8 p.m. 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.
The Mets organization, on the other hand, is aggressively trying to persuade the electorate in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote to cast its ballot for Wright. Here and there, you'll notice his name mentioned a few more times over the Shea Stadium public address system. On occasion, you might even spot a Party Patrol member with a No. 5 jersey or a "Vote Wright Now" sign on the big boards. And on the team Web site, "Vote Wright Now" buttons are railed along the side of the page.
It's not an over-the-top, no-holds-barred campaign to get the face of the franchise in the 2008 All-Star Game. In fact, the Mets know Wright would rather let his performance on the field speak for itself in front of 50,000 or so potential voters at Shea Stadium.
But that's not to say the Mets wouldn't like to see him there, and the Final Vote gives the organization a chance to get another one of its players into this historic contest at Yankee Stadium. The Mets have sent out e-mail blasts to radio and television networks, asking them to plug Wright in their broadcasts. Marketers of Wright's campaign would say they are just trying to enhance his chances, while doing it in a respectful way.
And that's not to say Wright doesn't appreciate their efforts or wouldn't mind being on the All-Star roster. Currently, Wright is in second place behind Brewers right fielder Corey Hart. Others in competition for the final spot are Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell, Astros left fielder Carlos Lee and Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand.
"Hopefully, New York fans will understand how much it means to me and come out in full force," Wright said.
Major League Baseball has created two methods for fans to participate in the 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 their phones. 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.
Fans will once again 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.
If Wright wins, he will join Billy Wagner on July 15 at the 79th All-Star Game. In 2006, his first season with the Mets, Wagner was a part of the Final Vote. Although he wasn't elected that year, he was named to the team in 2007. If Wright does not win the vote, Wagner will be the Mets' lone representative.
The Mets had four All-Stars last year and six in 2006 -- both years that Wright was named to the team.
"When I was a kid, being in [an All-Star Game] would have been 'I'll take that,' " Wright said. "Now I've started in two and I'm being considered for another. Of course it's a thrill and something I want to experience again and again."
Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.