Kevin Youkilis doesn't need friends in high places to help secure a spot on the All-Star team roster through the final vote. He has plenty of friends back home.
The Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds have formed an alliance to help vote Youkilis and Reds first baseman Joey Votto into the All-Star Game.
The "Vote Red" campaign will run until the polls close at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Youkilis, who is from Cincinnati, was a 1997 graduate of Sycamore High School and was a two-time All-American for the University of Cincinnati. He is currently hitting .299 with 17 home runs and leads the majors in runs scored. His numbers also rank in the top 10 in all offensive categories.
Votto is hitting .318 and leads the National League in home runs (21), on-base percentage (.418), and slugging percentage (.599). He followed his All-Star snubbing with a two-homer performance against the Mets on Monday, a day after the All-Star rosters were announced.
According to MLB.com, the Reds will be wearing "Vote Red" and "Vote Votto-Youkilis" T-shirts during batting practice, and they will also be broadcasting TV and radio advertisements during every game before the polls close. They have even employed the help of Votto's native Toronto, publishing a "Vote Votto" page in the Tuesday edition of the Toronto Sun.
Early returns showed Youkilis trailing only Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher on the AL ballot, while Votto led the NL ballot over Padres reliever Heath Bell.