The MLB All-Star game is starting to become nothing short of a high school popularity contest. The players elected to the game seem to be done so on name sake or the team they play for rather than performance. The worst part of it is that this game actually matters. I wouldn’t mind if the popularity contest created a fun exhibition game. However, the fact of the matter is, the managers are compromised between a rock and a hard place. The All-Star game is for the enjoyment of the fans so they must find a way to get as many possible players into the game while winning at the same time. In the nicest way possible : That’s a load of crap.
The ballot stuffing in the AS voting is pathetic and this year I have had enough of it. Just taking a quick glance at the NL leader board, because it’d be way too much ranting for me to cover both, I’ll show you the ridiculous numbers for the voting and the obvious bias. Here’s a link to the NL voting leaderboard.
Note : The statistics I will be using for comparison will be simple fantasy baseball ones and no sabermetrics. Feel free to research on your own but the numbers are being used just to make a point. So let’s go around the diamond, shall we?
Catcher: Leader : Yadier Molina. Behind : Brian Mccann, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Ruiz, Rod Barajas. Underrated : Miguel Olivo.
So let me get this straight. The two top catchers in the NL – Rod Barajas and Miguel Olivo don’t have enough votes combined to be in second place. Barajas and Olivo lead all NL C in HR and Olivo leads them in RBI with Barajas 3rd. Just saying… Oh, one more thing? Molina’s batting .235 and Olivo’s batting .308.
First Base: Leader : Albert Pujols. Behind : Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Troy Glaus, Joey Votto. Underrated : Adrian Gonzalez.
Alright, so we all know Albert Pujols is Albert Pujols and merits consideration as an all-star every single year. However, before his recent 2 HR/5 RBI outburst, he did not lead NL 1B in HR/RBI/AVG. Joey Votto led in all three, yet somehow managed to be fifth in NL voting. Know a guy named Adrian Gonzalez? A slugger who’s now batting over .300 is getting no recognition in the AS voting. As much as I don’t mind Pujols being the NL 1B, he should not be leading by 1.5 million votes.
Second Base: Leader : Chase Utley. Behind : Martin Prado, Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Brandon Phillips. Underrated : Kelly Johnson.
Chase Utley has the second most votes behind Albert Pujols (2.5 Million) with 2.4 million. That’s funny because I never looked at Utley as the second best player in the NL. Met fans can chill because Utley was placed on the DL recently and probably won’t play in the game. However, for those of you who believe Utley should be in the game solely based on this year’s performance, think again. .277/11/37 isn’t too impressive especially when Kelly Johnson’s .261/13/35 is right behind, and he’s got virtually no votes.
Shortstop: Leader : Hanley Ramirez. Behind : Jimmy Rollins, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, Orlando Cabrera. Underrated : Juan Uribe.
There is no question in my mind that Han-Ram should be the man going into the AS game but there is a slight problem here still. Jimmy Rollins, who spent more than half of the season on the DL, was actually the leader at SS while on the DL. That’s crap. Reyes has amassed a ton of votes in a short time and that’s nice to see but it should be Han-Ram’s start. The man who has gotten no respect here is Juan Uribe who has 12 HRs and 46 RBI (T-1st and 2nd for NL SS.)
Third Base: Leader: Placido Polanco. Behind : David Wright, Chipper Jones, Casey McGehee, Scott Rolen. Underrated: Ryan Zimmerman.
Look, simply put, this is pathetic. Placido Polanco has more votes than Wright, Jones, McGehee, Rolen, and Zimmerman who have all had better seasons than him. With 5 HRs and 27 RBI, Polanco deserves 0 AS votes and yet somehow he leads and amassed about 1.2 million votes. Alright, let me cut him some slack. He’s batting a ridiculous .318 which makes up for the 9 more HRs and 36 more RBI David Wright has while batting a horrible .310. Casey – 12/50, Jones – 5/32, Rolen – 17/52, Zimmerman – 13/39.
Outfield: Leader: Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward, Andre Ethier. Behind : Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Matt Kemp, Raul Ibanez, Manny Ramirez. Underrated : Corey Hart, Colby Rasmus, Chris Young.
See some familiar names up there? Jason Bay doesn’t deserve to be there and neither do those 3 Phillie Players. I’m not too convinced on Heyward either. You know who leads all NL OF in HR? Corey Hart. You know who leads all NL OF in RBI? Corey Hart. That should say enough. Take a look at Chris Young who has posted 14 HRs, 52 RBI and 13 SB which outranks all 3 Philadelphia OF except for Victorino in SB. I could go on forever here, taking a shot at Manny’s popularity versus his numbers too, but I think i’ll have a heart attack.
The AS game? More like the BS game.
Quoting fellow writer Ed Leyro :
Commissioner Selig should have spent less time on his decision to make the All-Star Game’s winning league have home field advantage in the World Series and should have devoted that time to figuring out how to eliminate ballot stuffing in order to get real All-Stars into the game.
That’d be nice.