The players surprised Segura by wearing white T-shirts with his picture that say "Send Segura."
ANAHEIM, Calif. — When Jean Segura arrived to Safeco Field on Monday afternoon to catch the bus for the team’s flight to Anaheim, he was greeted with a surprise — all of his teammates were wearing crisp white t-shirts with a his picture and the words “Send Segura.” It’s the motto of the Mariners’ elaborate and overwhelming social media campaign that features videos, contests and giveaways all to generate enough votes to send Segura to the All-Star game as part of Major League Baseball’s Final Vote promotion.
“It says a lot about our marketing department and the job they do,” manager Scott Servais said. “When it was first brought to my attention about the T-shirts and trying to put this campaign together, I was blown away that they had all these deals. They’re very creative. One of their ideas was getting all our players on social media promoting some of this stuff. Our marketing department is knocking it out of the park and hopefully we can bring it home for Jean.”
All the anger and disappointment that Segura felt for the prior 24 hours after finding out he didn’t make the American League All-Star team started to wane as he saw teammates and coaches wearing the shirts and their flood of support on Twitter and Instagram.
“To be honest, it surprised me,”he said. “I feel really good. I feel proud of the way my teammates have supported me along with the fans in Seattle, the media, the organization. It’s really good support. I was very disappointed when I got the news. At the end of the day, everything is going to be all right.”
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Servais immediately saw the change in Segura’s demeanor.
“He had a smile on his face,” Servais said. “I think it meant a lot to him and it should mean a lot to him. I’m really excited. The first tallies came out and he’s leading the race right now, which is awesome. It says a lot about our fanbase and not just in Seattle, but across the Pacific Northwest. It makes all the guys feel good. It seems like we’re making a difference here. But it’s not over. We have to keep voting and hopefully get him in that game.”
Players were still wearing the t-shirts pregame on Tuesday.
“I will be honest with you, I was mad,” Segura said. “At one point, I didn’t want to talk about it with the media or with anyone. But now, my teammates are supporting me and everyone is doing it. What can I do?”
The players campaigning didn’t stop with the shirts and social media posts. As Segura addressed the media, Dee Gordon, who was at his locker a few feet away, kept chiming in with comments.
Segura: “As a professional, you have to handle that.”
Gordon: “I’m not professional. He should’ve already been there.”
Segura: “If I make it great, if not …”
Gordon: “He’s hitting .330.”
Segura couldn’t help but laugh every time Gordon chimed in from behind the media scrum.
“If I make it, great. If not, I’m going to continue to do my thing and have fun,” Segura said. “We have so many good shortstops in the league. Unfortunately, this game is a lot of tougher when you play shortstop, especially with the young talent you have around the league — (Francisco) Lindor, (Carlos) Correa, (Manny) Machado. Those types of guys are really good.”
During that response from Segura, Gordon tossed in these statements:
“No else is hitting .330 and didn’t make it.”
“I’m just sayin'”
“We shouldn’t have to send him because he already should be there.”
“And his team’s winning.”
“He’s going to the All-Star game. We’ve got the best fans on Instagram.”
While he’s thankful to the campaign, Segura is still not pleased about not being chosen.
“As a player, I expect that,” he said. “I’m hitting .330, 47 RBIs, 61 runs scored, I think I deserve to be a reserve in the all-star game. I’m ok with not starting. At the end of the day, the All-Star game is the guys that deserve to be out of there. The all-star game means the best people that are the most deserving. That’s what the all-star game means to me. I saw a lot of guys that didn’t make it, even (Blake) Snell. Come on, that’s ridiculous. How does this guy not make the All-Star game with his numbers?”
The latest voting update offered by MLB had Segura leading the group of five American League players. The voting ends at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Segura recognized the effort being put in by his teammates, the Mariners and the fans.
“I appreciate it,” he said. “They’re doing it all with the campaign. I appreciate the effort they’ve made for me. That means a lot. Maybe tomorrow, I won’t make it. But I’m going to and take a video for Instagram, show that I appreciate them and for all the effort and support they’ve given to me. It’s really good.”