Now that David Wright officially has been named the Mets' ambassador for July's All-Star Game at Citi Field, a title that was announced Wednesday at a City Hall news conference, there is the not-so-small matter of making sure he's on the National League roster.
"Vote early and often for David," said a smiling Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball's vice president of business operations. "He needs to be there."
"I already voted for David 15 times," said John Franco, Wright's predecessor as Mets captain.
In addition to the unveiling of this year's player ballots, MLB also revealed a schedule of the events leading up to the 84th Midsummer Classic, which will be held July 16. The All-Star FanFest will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center from July 12-16 and the Red Carpet Show, a sort of pregame open-air motorcade for the players, will start at Bryant Park and proceed along 42nd Street from Sixth Avenue to Second Avenue.
Brosnan described the event as "like arriving for the Oscars" and said the previous New York motorcade, which was staged before the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, attracted nearly 1.5 million fans.
"Baseball is in the blood of New Yorkers," Wright said. "If I had a vote, I'd have the All-Star Game here every year. I think that New York deserves that. New York has the most passionate, the greatest fans. I've been to six All-Star Games and I'd gladly trade all six of those in to participate in this year's event."
One serious concern raised Wednesday after last week's bombing at the Boston Marathon was the potential security risk of such a high-visibility event. MLB expects to have more than 30 million viewers worldwide for the All-Star Game, and the weeklong baseball festival is expected to attract more than 176,000 visitors to the city.
"We have the best police department in the world," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "We know what to do. I can't guarantee a 1,000-percent accuracy that everybody's going to be safe. We all know we live in a complex, difficult, dangerous world.
"But if I were going to go to a major event, I would rather go to a major event in New York City knowing that we have the NYPD providing security. Me and my daughters will be at most of these events."