It's been five years since the Houston Astros had more than the mandatory minimum number of players in the All-Star Game. Which is to say, two. That's so long ago that Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Mike Hampton, and Carlos Lee were still around, though it was Hunter Pence and Miguel Tejada who earned the '09 All-Star nods.
This year, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who leads the American League in stolen bases (and has also broken Bob Watson's franchise record for most hits before the break), will take a well-earned trip to Minnesota. And he could be joined by 'Stros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who is one of the five players in MLB's "Final Vote" promotion, which lets the fans select the last man on the roster.
Now, we could tell you how nice a season Keuchel's been having on the otherwise up-down, last-place, still-mostly-potential Astros. He's 9-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts, with three complete games.
But nobody votes for all-stars on merit. They vote for players from their favorite team. And since there's no one from the Texas Rangers in the final vote quintet (Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre are already going), Texas Monthly can be partisan.
Voting has been going on online, and it is not looking too good for Keuchel. He's in the same spot that his team has been until they beat the Rangers Wednesday: last place. It probably doesn't help that the Astros, which have the sixth-worst attendance in the league, have partnered with Miami, a team that draws even fewer fans, for an NL/AL vote swap scheme involving Keuchel and Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee.
But on Thursday, it becomes a Twitter campign. From 9am to 3pm, all tweets with the hashtag #VoteKeuchel will be counted in the balloting. And the best part is, the hashtag is only thing that matters. Which means you could tweet things like this:
And the votes would still go to the Astros pitcher. (Needless to say, those aren't real tweets. After all, they wouldn't count yet.)
So, with that in mind, we've pre-written some tweets for you to use.
#VoteKeuchel. We need this.
Houston Astros baseball: our players are more than just a unit of measurement. #VoteKeuchel
Houston, we have a Dallas! #VoteKeuchel
Who's got as many All-Stars as the Texas Rangers? This team, if you #VoteKeuchel.
#VoteKeuchel. It's pronounced, KYK-ill.
Will the Sports Illustrated cover jinx wear off by 2017? #VoteKeuchel
#VoteKeuchel, and maybe Texas Monthly will remember what he looks like.
Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night? How 'bout in Minnesota at the All-Star Game? #VoteKeuchel
#VoteKeuchel. We're gonna get great prospects for him.
The best beard in baseball, and the second-best in Texas after Willie. #VoteKeuchel
(Photo by Alex Brandon | Associated Press)
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