Red Sox going all-out to promote Youk
Club joins forces with Reds to send slugger to All-Star Game
ST. PETERSBURG -- Much like Kevin Youkilis when he is in the batter's box or in the field, the Red Sox will go all-out over the next few days to try to get their first baseman selected to the All-Star Game.
Youkilis is one of five American League players on the Final Vote ballot, and the Red Sox will do an assortment of things to promote the cause of a player who has spent his entire career in a Boston uniform.
For starters, the Red Sox have formed an alliance with the Cincinnati Reds in which both clubs will urge fans to vote for Youkilis (a Cincinnati native) and Joey Votto, the Reds' star who is on the National League's Final Vote ballot.
"The Red Sox and Reds are going to partner this week to encourage fans to support Youkilis, a Cincinnati native, and Votto, with the hope of getting both players in to the 2010 All-Star Game and getting fans excited about the upcoming Midsummer Classic," the Red Sox said in a statement.
The Red Sox, via their "insider" electronic newsletter, are also sending an alert each afternoon to remind fans to vote for Youkilis at www.redsox.com.
And in a sweepstakes promotion, fans can vote for Youkilis and be eligible to win two Monster Seats for a game at Fenway Park later this summer. There will be nine winners in that contest.
MLB.com issued its first voting update on Monday afternoon, and Youkilis was second behind Nick Swisher of the Yankees.
Because the Red Sox will be on the road for the rest of the voting period -- which ends on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET -- they will rely on their broadcast partners to continue to spread the word about voting for Youkilis.
NESN had several spots during Monday's game, as did WEEI-AM, the team's flagship radio station.
In addition, the club will reach out to its corporate and community partners. And during the daily tours at Fenway Park, fans will be encouraged to vote for Youkilis.
The Minor League affiliates Youkilis played for before getting to the Red Sox -- Class A Lowell, Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket -- will all promote his cause.
Utilizing social media, the Sox will continue to spread the word with Facebook and Twitter messages.
Of course, Youkilis will do his best to promote his cause with his bat. He belted an RBI triple in Monday's 6-5 loss to the Rays and is hitting .299 with 17 homers, 55 RBIs, a .416 on-base percentage and a 1.002 OPS this season.
"And hopefully our fans will rise to the occasion, that wouldn't a surprise," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "But I think people understand how good he is."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.