I’ll preface this by saying that I doubt anyone thinks the current voting process for the MLB All-Star Game is a good idea. As a matter of fact, it’s a complete joke. I understand that Major League Baseball wants its fans to be included, for them to feel like their voice matters. But it has turned into an utter failure.
The voting for the ASG has slowly turned into a popularity contest. What was once an honor for the players has become a charade. Gone are the days when you earned a spot by your exploits on the field. You can rock a .242 average today as long as you play in a big market. And MLB isn’t helping matters by allowing you to vote multiple times online. I grew up punching holes in the voting card at Riverfront Stadium and then turning it in to an usher. Yes, I get it, times change. But apparently so has integrity.
As a kid, I could watch the ASG and see Aaron, Bench, Brock, Robinson, etc.. Now I see marginal players who play on good teams with high attendance and a large fan base. I remember several years ago when Jimmy Rollins started the ASG with a .217 average. Rollins had a great career, but he didn’t deserve to be there that year.
My California pal, and fellow Reds fan, Anthony Esquivel put it in a nutshell. When teams are bribing fans to vote by offering bobbleheads in exchange, you’ve got a problem. I see Reds fans complaining that Votto is in 5th place. Although I don’t think he should be starting, he should definitely be higher. Freeman should start, in my opinion. But these same people complaining about Votto are voting for Jesse Winker and Adam Duvall because the Reds have bribed them by allowing them to acquire a bobblehead. I’m sure other teams are doing similar things. Therein lies the problem.
It’s time to take voting privileges away from the fans. Let the players, managers, coaches, and select writers vote. Let’s get a true All-Star Game. In the meantime, shame on the clubs that are offering fans gifts in order for them to attain their votes. Vote for the ones who deserve it. Because of this trend, I haven’t watched an ASG since 1994. The only reason I did then was because my boys were born that morning and I was at the hospital. What else was I going to do? By the way, Moises Alou had the game winning hit in that game.
I doubt it will change. But we can do our part by voting honestly. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask. Is it?