"Band together in the best tradition of baseball fans and send our best, Jake Peavy, to theAll-Star Game,'' Quinn said in a videotaped endorsement on whitesox.com.
"I'm Jake Peavy and I approve this message,'' Peavy managed to say without laughing.
Even cuter was the slickly produced video of the "Take Jake'' campaign that uses a child's voice to read the inspirational speech from U.S. hockey coach Herb Brooks before the 1980 "Miracle on Ice'' gold-medal victory.
But the spot that made Sox officials smirk most featured Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf typing at a computer before turning in his chair.
"I don't always vote online, but when I do, I vote for Jake Peavy,'' Reinsdorf said in his best Dos Equis impression. "Vote often, my friends.''
The Sox hope fans use Independence Day to exercise that freedom before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline to give Peavy the edge in a group of five players that includes Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish of the Rangers. Considering so many of the 128 million people in Japan love baseball and own computers, that is no small task.
"We understand we're up against a country,'' Peavy kidded before Tuesday night's 19-2 rout of the Rangers. "I've had fun with this. The support has been overwhelming.''
A pitcher of Peavy's stature shouldn't need gimmicks to make the All-Star team. A former Cy Young award winner tied for the AL lead in quality starts shouldn't need to remind fans how qualified he is. Peavy's numbers speak for themselves, not that a Sox team leading the league in camaraderie let them.
There was Peavy the populist, doing everything Tuesday but shake hands and kiss babies to play along with an effort that showed how far the Sox organization will go to earn their players some respect. Had the Sox had more time, I suspect vice president of communications Scott Reifert could have coaxed actor Charlie Sheen into supporting his buddy Peavy beyond Twitter pleas and text messages.
"(Sheen) was one of the first people to reach out,'' Peavy said. "His text said something about a full-court press. A lot of people see the craziness, and I'm not going to deny he's crazy. But he's a good man.''
As the Sox tried generating All-Star attention, the reticent Rangers did their best to avoid it. Darvish sat alone in front of his locker, but a team official said he couldn't take questions. Outfielder Josh Hamilton, the most popular player in baseball who received 11 million fan votes, dismissed an interview request three hours before the game because he is, "trying to say 'no' more.'' Rangers President Nolan Ryan will be glad to hear it.
Even Rangers .235-hitting catcher Mike Napoli declined a chance to defend his All-Star status ahead ofA.J. Pierzynski, who mocked Napoli's batting average.
"I don't have anything to say about it,'' Napoli said.
Indeed the Rangers arrived in Chicago tightly wound but, when a team wins back-to-back pennants, it can act however it wants. It simply struck a stark contrast with a tight-knit Sox team rallying around a player in Peavy praised as a leader of a pitching staff that includes seven rookies.
"That has been as gratifying as anything,'' Peavy said. "Whether we win (the AL Central) or not, this team's special. We truly care about one another. Robin (Ventura) has brought us together like no team I've ever been on.''
Example: Pitching coach Don Cooper watched Peavy throw a bullpen session Tuesday before the veteran spent extra time offering advice to rookie right-hander Brian Omogrosso. Peavy counsels young pitchers often enough to convince Cooper his value goes well beyond a 6-5 record and 2.96 ERA.
"Leadership is an attribute I didn't know he had,'' Cooper said. "I'm not surprised by his pitching, but what impresses me is his preparation to pitch.''
Impressionable pitchers are paying attention. One recent off-day morning, five days before Chris Sale's next start, general manager Ken Williams spotted the ace lefty alone in the clubhouse finishing a workout.
"When I see that, I know that you've got a guy dedicated to making himself the best pitcher he can be,'' Williams said.
That approach helped send Sale to theAll-Star Game. The Sox believe he should take Peavy with him, and their arguments are as persuasive as they are entertaining.