We all know that the process of fan-voting for the MLB All Star Game is stupid. Gone are the days of players making the mid-summer classic simply because they are deserving – it has become a popularity contest, plain and simple. And while the league offices have turned a blind eye to the issue since fan voting was reinstated in 1970, Kansas City Royals fans are bringing the issue back to the forefront as they currently have positioned Royals’ players to represent eight of the ten American League starters for the big game in Cincinnati this July.
That’s right, thanks to the ridiculous fan vote, the eight starters (excluding pitcher) for the American League are currently set to be all members of the Kansas City Royals. In fact, Mike Trout is currently on pace to be the only starter who doesn’t play for the Royals. To show how insane (and awesome) this is, take a look at the stats for the projected AL starting second baseman, Omar Infante of the Royals:
.224 batting average, .234 on base percentage, .310 slugging percentage, .545 OPS. That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is likely to be your starting AL second baseman! Instead, it should be Jason Kipnis (.333/.408/.498/.906) or Jose Altuve (.287/.328/.390/.718), who are more than deserving of the selection.
Look, we have all known for quite some time that this process is a broken one. The voting for the All Star Game begins shortly after the new season kicks off, thus making it hard to truly vote based on who deserves to be there. After all, anybody could be worthy of an All Star selection just one month into the season.
When a game like the All Star Game holds as much weight as it does (winner gets World Series home field advantage), the rosters shouldn’t be left up to fan voting – especially when fans can rig the system easily enough to vote as many times as they desire.
Critics and fans have complained about the voting system for years, meanwhile MLB just let the criticism roll off their back. But thanks to the fans of Kansas City, the league offices can no longer overlook this issue. Change to the system has been long overdue, and this even might be exactly what it takes to finally see movement.
For the last time, let me say this – fans should have very little say when it comes to players in the ASG. Many contracts these days include bonuses for players who are selected to the game. And allowing fans to have that much say as to whether or not someone deserving makes the team and receives that bonus is so inconceivably wrong.
Today, those of us who have championed for ASG change all these years are all Kansas City Royals fans – if for no other reason than to force change to the broken system. I, for one, will be voting multiple times today for Royals players to help ensure we see a ton of blue starting for the American League this July.
Take notice, Rob Manfred.
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