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Swisher would be honored to get Final Vote

Swisher would be honored to get Final Vote

NEW YORK -- This sort of promotion, Nick Swisher had to agree, just seems a little bit too custom-made for him.

Minutes after the Yankees outfielder was informed that he was one of the American League's five Final Vote candidates, Swisher was in front of a camera at Yankee Stadium, rocking a Tommy Bahama shirt and clutching a surfboard to do his best impression of a California beach dude.

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The video was shot quickly -- "I'm a one-take wonder," he said -- and with six other Yankees teammates named on Sunday to the AL All-Star team, Swisher is hoping the fans will make good use of their unlimited votes and punch one more ticket to Anaheim.

"I see all of these guys going and I want to go, too," Swisher said. "I think it would mean so much extra now because it's up to the fans. I think I've generated a pretty good rapport here with the fans of New York.

"There'd be nothing more that I'd want to do than represent them in the All-Star Game. I think it'd be amazing. I get excited about it, because I've never had this opportunity before. To be 29 and finally start to think things out, it'd be a blessing."

Swisher will be facing stiff competition from Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox, Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox, Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins and Michael Young of the Texas Rangers. He is relying on his Bleacher Creatures and all other Yankees fans to get the word out, but isn't ready to handicap his chances yet.

"I'd like to say they're pretty good, but that's why we have to have the vote," Swisher said. "It's going to be a blast. Obviously there's some talented guys along with me in that race. I'm excited to see what happens."

Now in its ninth year, the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint 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 and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555. Standard rates may apply.

The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and this week the 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 Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Swisher has had a fine season as the Yankees' starting right fielder, showing renewed commitment and focus after his struggles in the 2009 postseason motivated him to work harder during the offseason and improve his physical conditioning.

"I'm telling my people to vote for him," said Robinson Cano. "He's having a great year. He's got great numbers. You never know. He might go, and I hope he goes."

The switch-hitting Swisher spoke about being frustrated by looking up at the scoreboard and seeing meager numbers next to his batting average, and put in time with hitting coach Kevin Long to tweak his mechanics.

The proof has been in the results -- Swisher has seen a boost in his numbers when it counts, including improvement with runners on base. Swisher said that a bonus of being selected would be matching his father, Steve, who represented the National League wearing a Cubs uniform as a 1976 All-Star.

"It would just be such an honor for me, to be in my sixth year and to be able to get my first All-Star appearance," Swisher said. "It would mean the world to me and my family, and not only that, but to be able to represent your team and your city.

"This city has been nothing but great to me. I have an opportunity, and hopefully my Creatures get everybody to vote on that last spot. It's something I'd be really excited for."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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