I have a very unpopular opinion about Major League Baseball allowing fans to select its all-stars.
Simply put, I don't like it.
Ever since MLB adopted the format of allowing the fan vote to choose the starters, I've disliked the process. It's a popularity contest at best. A gigantic sham at worst.
I can live with the popularity contest part (sort of). I don't like it, but I can live with it. What I can't live with is that people can vote an unlimited amount of times, and teams actually encourage fans to do just that to get as many players from their club as possible into the Midsummer Classic. Teams, who should hold the integrity of the game closer than anyone, turn the vote into a ballot box bloating bash.
|Photo from: mlb.com|
Don't get me wrong, I get the fans wanting to vote for their favorite players. What I don't get is why people vote for every player that plays on their home team. Do they really think that every position player for the Royals, or Diamondbacks, or any other team, should be an all-star? Seriously?
Fans should be limited to one vote, period. I know that logistically that would be difficult at best, but that's how it should be.
I do like the fact that they finally decided to let the players have a say. I've said for years that they should have some sort of say in the matter. They, along with the manager of each team, pick the substitutes. The managers themselves pick the pitching staffs.
But Major League Baseball has it backwards. The players and managers should select the starters, and the fans should select the reserves. One, it lets the fans choose more of the players on the team (23 as opposed to 8 or 9), and it assures that the guys who deserve it most will be named the starters. If they did that, I wouldn't care if they let the fans vote a million times each.
I understand baseball's need to let the fans feel like they are involved in the game. After all, as with every all-star game in every sport, the all-star extravaganza doesn't have much value other than as an exhibition. Sure, Bud Selig arranged it so the winner of the game gets home field advantage in the World Series, but it still has little more than trivial value.
Of course, I'm the same guy that thinks letting the sportswriters select members of Baseball's Hall of Fame is insane, too. I believe the only people who should get to vote are the guys who are already in Cooperstown. They know what it takes to get there and are a much better judge of worthiness than some guy who has never swung anything heavier than an ink pen.
I'm in the minority on my all-star opinion. It won't change anytime soon.
So with one week left in the voting process, go stuff all your ballots at your local major league stadium, or go online and cast your 10,000 votes this week. Maybe soon we'll see the Yankees vs. the Giants for the first two innings of the All-Star Game before the real game begins.