Gardner letting numbers speak in FV push

Gardner letting numbers speak in FV push

NEW YORK -- The brainstorming sessions started in the Yankees' offices shortly after Brett Gardner was named as one of the five candidates for the American League Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on Monday, with officials tossing around some creative ways in which the outfielder could campaign for a ticket to Cincinnati for the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.

• VOTE Gardner for Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote

Gardner had a front-row seat to watch Nick Swisher's over-the-top push to the All-Star Game in 2010, and though it was ultimately successful, it's also not a recipe to fit all personalities. Gardner would prefer to let his numbers do the talking as he looks for his first career All-Star selection.

"You guys know me. I'm more of a low-key guy," Gardner said before going 1-for-4 with a run and a walk in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the A's. "I know the team's going to do their part and hopefully some of my teammates step up. I don't even have a Twitter account. I know they're going to try to get me some votes. I'm going to focus on playing, helping us win games, and we'll see how it turns out on Friday."

Gardner hopes to join Swisher and Hideki Matsui (2004) among Yanks players who have made it to the All-Star Game via the Final Vote ballot. He has been given the Twitter hashtag #VoteGardy, but for now, the promotional rubber bald caps -- just one of the team's rejected ideas to pump the vote -- will remain in storage.

After the first balloting update, Gardner is fourth behind Kansas City's Mike Moustakas, Minnesota's Brian Dozier and Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes. But still, gimmicks may not be necessary. The 31-year-old Gardner is fourth in the Majors with 61 runs scored, ranks fourth in the AL with 15 steals, is tied for fifth with 21 doubles and ranks ninth with a .373 on-base percentage. Entering play on Tuesday, he was the only AL player batting at least .295 with nine homers and 15 steals.

"I voted last night," All-Star reliever Dellin Betances said. "Whatever we've got to do to get him in, he's done a hell of a job. Obviously, Jacoby Ellsbury went down for a while and he's been in the leadoff spot doing everything he can, playing every day, stealing bases, robbing base hits, starting things up for the rest of the lineup. He's done it all. I think we've got to get him in somehow."

Gardner a Final Vote candidate

"I hope the New York fans come out. I would love to see Gardy make it," All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "It would be really cool to have him with me there, and with Dellin, to represent the Yankees. So hopefully Yankee fans will come out to support him."

Manager Joe Girardi said that he believes Gardner is a deserving All-Star, and that it is "refreshing" to see his on-field performance be the basis of his entire candidacy.

"This is a guy that wants nothing to do with self-promoting himself, making the All-Star team," Girardi said. "He's not going to be a part of a campaign, he's just going to go out and play; go out and help us try to win."

Some were surprised that Gardner was in a situation where he needed to lobby for more votes -- his numbers compare favorably to the AL's starting left fielder, Alex Gordon of the Royals. Gardner said that he hopes the Yanks' widespread fan base and the New York media spotlight will help his cause.

"I do play for the Yankees. That's got to count for something, right?" Gardner said. "That's just the way I want it and like it, and is kind of the way I've always been. I'm not going to change who I am for this Final Vote deal for these couple days.

"I'm just happy, honored to be a part of it, happy to be mentioned alongside all these great players. If it works out, I'd obviously enjoy going to Cincinnati next week and being a part of it."

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.