If you're like a lot of Giants fans, you've probably already voted for Pablo Sandoval to get the final spot on the NL All-Star roster. Forty or fifty times over, perhaps.
One more spot is up for grabs on the National League All-Star roster, and the winner of the spot is determined by fans voting online or via text message.
There's nothing preventing any fan of any MLB franchise from voting dozens, if not hundreds of times over for a favorite player they'd like to see make the All-Star team. Only five players apiece from the AL and NL are nominated, and Sandoval is in a tight race with the Phillies' Shane Victorino for that final spot on the NL All-Star roster. The winner of the final spot is determined entirely by a fan vote, and some fans are devising electronic ballot-stuffing tactics that would make Dick Nixon proud.
Giants fans didn't start the funny business -- the sitting Governors of Hawaii and Pennsylvania have openly wagered over which state can stuff more electronic fan ballots for Philadelphia's Victorino. (Victorino plays for Philadelphia, but is a native of Maui).
Undaunted, the Giants organization is blanketing the Venezuelan media with appeals for citizens of Sandoval's native country to do the right thing and vote Pablo. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Giants sent a taped video appeal featuring Sandoval to various Venezuelan news stations, and are running full-page ads in at least one Venezuelan newspaper.
Giants fans, meanwhile, are concocting far more hilarious appeals. Napoleon Dynamite enthusiasts will enjoy this YouTube video inspired by that film. The "Vote for Pablo" t-shirt parodies the "Vote for Pedro" shirt from that movie, while a rhythm-challenged white kid dances around to disco music and graphics that will make you feel like you're at the Love Parade and on your fourth pill.
But we may have hit an ethical tipping point with the creative ballot-stuffing. KNBR's Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have been on-air cajoling Giants fans to vote non-stop. Chronicle blogger Rich "Big Vinny" Lieberman cries foul, saying that this cheapens the All-Star ballot and writing, "this rather sophomoric, gimmicky device is so un-hip, so well, un-San Francisco-like."
Honestly, Mr. Lieberman! Anyone who's found boxes of ballots floating in the San Francisco Bay knows that electoral fraud is one of the most fundamentally "San Francisco-like" concepts we have.
Gary Radnich took to the pulpit as well, admonishing on his KNBR radio program that anyone who voted for Sandoval more than 25 times has "too much time on their hands" and "need(s) to get a life". I wonder if Gary Radnich realizes the 9 a.m.-Noon AM sports talk radio demographic is, ummm, not exactly the workaholic set.
All-Star votes can be cast online and via text until 1 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who hails proudly from "not exactly the workaholic set."