2010 National League All-Stars… Starting Center Field, Carlos Beltran?

As you all are well aware the All-Star ballots are a joke.  We all know it is a popularity contest and more times then not, a more popular player will be chosen over a more deserving player.  In addition to being a mockery of the League’s best talent, it also reflects 1900 technology resorting to a preset roster established at the beginning of the season, typically resulting in players who have yet to have stepped on the field end up being eligible for nomination, ex. Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy.

Several years ago, this might not have been such a big deal since the All-Star Game had no influential effect on the regular season, and was basically a publicity stunt to draw attention mid-season when the initial hunger of the start of the baseball season wears off.  Since Bud Selig instituted that the winning league of the All-Star game would receive home field advantage in the World Series, in has become more imperative that each league outfits it’s club with the best talent available, but this is hardly the case.

Although it has been a tradition dating way back that fans pick which players make it to the All-Star game, perhaps it is too much responsibility to ask of the fans to nominate worthy players rather than fan favorite players.  Even team websites push fans to vote for every player on the home team, regardless of how their players are performing or if they have even played a game this season.  Major League Baseball also encourages voting fans to vote for their “favorite” players up to 25 times (probably the average number of times people are willing to vote before the say the hell with it).

The Solution:

1) There must be a minimum number of games that a player must start at that position in order to make the ballot.  How many, I don’t know 30, 60, somewhere in between?

2) Do away with all paper ballots, all future ballots will be online thus reducing the need to have them pre-printed before the season even starts.  Fans without Internet at home can cast their votes at the ball-park at terminals.

3) Voting will start on June 1st and end on the last day of June.  No more of this nominating player in late April because they hit a 2-run home run in the game you were at and then proceeded to bat under .200 for the next 4 weeks.

4) No longer can you fill out a ballot for both the American League and the National League.  You only get one league to nominate players from.  Even I am guilty of nominating the entire Kansas City Royals to the All-Star game in past years just to screw with their roster.  It hardly ever effects the outcome anyways, and just requires more time to process twice as many ballots, especially when they are nonsense ballots.

5) You are only allowed to select 3 players from any single team, no more filling out the roster with Mets, or Royals.  This will force fans to pick good quality players on opposing teams, and might encourage some voters who are unfamiliar with other teams to watch or attend more games to see who is deserving.  Everyone knows that every team must be represented at the All-Star game, so we might as well choose the best players in the National League.

I think that if these small changes were made, it might result in the All-Star Game becoming what it was envisioned to be… A game comprised of the best talent from both leagues, squaring off in a one game battle.  MLB needs a little motivation to employ some changes to fix this problem, therefore I am suggesting to all…