When I got an MLB AtBat alert about the latest All-Star Game results, I had to say I was stunned and maybe even a little surprised. My shock had nothing to do with none of the Yankees being in a position to start the game simply because none of the Yankees (maybe Mark Teixeira and possibly Dellin Betances) have played like All-Stars. The surprising portion is there are eight Kansas City Royals slated to start the All-Star Game if voting ended at 11:59 p.m. tonight.
Yes, you heard correctly. Eight Royals out of nine position players would start the All-Star Game for the American League, which means the only player who isn’t on the Royals that would start is Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.
Not to take anything away from the Kansas City Royals considering they made it to the World Series for the first time since 1986 last year, but to have eight of their position players lead in voting is alarming. The Royals are mostly known for their dominant bullpen, in fact they have one of the best bullpens in the American League, but they aren’t in the Top 3 of any meaningful offensive category.
No one would be alarmed about the All-Star Game voting if the game didn’t count, but the fact of the matter is the game does count. The winner of the All-Star game has home field advantage for the duration of the World Series and any team would want to have home field advantage for the Fall Classic, simply because they know their own ballpark better than their opponent.
So what did Yankees manager Joe Girardi have to say about the matter before yesterday’s game?
“It’s a fan vote, and obviously (Royals) fans are very active,” Joe Girardi said. “I’ve often thought that if it counts for something, it should be the managers and the general mangers picking who the starters are based on the years guys are having. But it’s a fan vote, and that’s the way we want it. I’m not surprised it’s happening. They created a huge buzz last year around the country, especially in their home state, so I’m not surprised.”
I understand Major League Baseball wants to have the fans involved, but having the fans involved in the process is causing more harm than good. There are players that deserve to go to the All-Star game this year (ex. Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira, Adam Jones, Jose Altuve(!!!), Edwin Encarnacion), but there’s also a chance none of these players start because the Royals fans are busy stuffing the ballot boxes for their favorites to play.
The All-Star Game is not supposed to show favoritism. It’s supposed to showcase the best talent in baseball, which means Omar Infante (who is considered one of the worst hitting second basemen in the American League) should not be considered the starting second basemen (.210 BA) over the Houston Astros’s Jose Altuve (.290 BA) (who is considered one of the best second basemen in baseball).
The current voting needs to open the eyes of Major League Baseball and I will agree with Joe Girardi on one thing; if the game counts for something, the managers and general managers should vote. Two managers out of 30 teams are going to make it to the World Series, but do they really want home field advantage to not be in their favor because an entire Royals lineup became a factor?
This years All-Star Game is causing a lot of controversy because many players who deserve to play in the Midsummer Classic aren’t going to get the chance, and players that don’t necessarily deserve a spot on the roster are going to play. Yes, people are snubbed every single year, but the amount of players that are bound to be snubbed this season is unacceptable. I’m not saying Major League Baseball needs to take away the fan vote completely, but maybe the fans vote should only count for a portion of the votes. Maybe the managers, the general managers and even the players get a portion, so the process is more fair.
The voting process for the All-Star Game this year has been a disaster, and it’s time Major League Baseball gets involved.