OAKLAND -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has agreed to attend a fund-raiser for a foundation that educates youth about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Rodriguez promised to work with the Taylor Hooton Foundation when he admitted to performance-enhancing drug use last spring. The organization honors the memory of a 17-year-old baseball player who committed suicide in 2003 and will hold a reception at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 19.

"Don Hooton is just a guy that has tremendous passion with what he's done," Rodriguez said. "It's no secret we've been working together for a while now. I'd rather not talk about it too much."

Swisher enlists NY star power to vote

OAKLAND -- Nick Swisher is hoping that the Twitter app on his mobile phone can help unlock his entry into the July 13 All-Star Game at Angel Stadium.

After an e-mail endorsement from Massachusetts senator John Kerry helped Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis jump into the lead for the American League's Final Vote campaign, Swisher started plugging away on his own, asking some famous New Yorkers for their help.

So consider this an open invitation: if Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Sean Combs, Jennifer Lopez or (if Knicks fans have their way) LeBron James -- among others -- want to help "Send Swish" to Anaheim, the Yankees outfielder is more than ready to add to his brigade.

"It's fun," Swisher said. "All the stuff that I've had before is really paying off for us now. John Kerry sent something out, so we need some New York people to step up. If he's going to do that, we've got to get our guys, too, because we've got some pretty powerful people."

It's not only Youkilis whom Swisher has to worry about. As of Tuesday, Michael Young of the Rangers, Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Delmon Young of the Twins each were north of 1 million votes and well positioned to make a run at the top spot.

As Swisher looks for what would be his first All-Star selection, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is also pledging to lend a hand. Cashman will team up with children at the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx on Wednesday, helping make a voting push for Swisher.

"I'm just trying to have fun with it, you know?" Swisher said. "I'm not worried about that stuff. It's up to the fans. I think it'd be an honor. Like I've always said before, I think it would be great. I'd love to represent my team and do it with the rest of the guys. I think it'd be a great honor."

Surprisingly healthy, Posada returns

OAKLAND -- Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was back behind the plate on Tuesday, and even he was a little surprised by how good his sprained left ring finger was feeling.

Posada took a foul tip off his glove hand in Sunday's 7-6 win over the Blue Jays, and he's sporting a new protective cover over the knuckle on his finger. The catcher said it allows him to be flexible enough to squeeze incoming pitches and will not affect his hitting.

"It doesn't bother me to do anything, unless I get a foul tip, and we can't control that," Posada said on Tuesday. "I was hoping that I would play today. I'm surprised with the way it felt yesterday. It felt better than I thought it would."

Worth noting

Brett Gardner logged a second straight game in the leadoff spot for the Yankees on Tuesday night in Oakland. Manager Joe Girardi pointed to Gardner's .415 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching as a reason. ... Mark Teixeira entered Tuesday hitting .323 (20-for-62) over his last 16 games since June 18 and had raised his average from .224 to .243. ... Reggie Jackson has been named as a grand marshal for the July 13 "Parade of All-Stars" leading to Angel Stadium. Rod Carew will also participate. ... Girardi said that he plans to name Angels pitcher Jered Weaver to replace CC Sabathia, who will pitch on Sunday and therefore would be ineligible, on the American League All-Star roster. ... Right-hander Alfredo Aceves, on the disabled list with lower back stiffness, had a third epidural injection administered on Tuesday in New York after consulting with team physician Christopher Ahmad. Aceves has been on the DL since May 12.