Every July the best in Major League Baseball are assembled to play in an exhibition game tagged the “All Star Game”. The concept of game is to be a showcase of the top players from both the National & American Leagues. The kicker here is that, very rarely are the best and most deserving players selected for the all-star game. Due to two major factors this trend will continue for many years to come. In my opinion, these factors are very easy and quick changes that can be made.
Fan Voting: Fan voting should be eliminated from the all-star selection process. Continuing to have fans vote for all-star starters will forever insure that the all-star game will remain a popularity contest. The casual MLB fan is more likely to vote for their home team’s players or more “popular” players, which skews the voting process. This is no different than American Idol fans voting for the contestant with the best “feel good story” or hometown hero. With no regards to stats or impact to players respective teams. Fan voting routinely leads to, players who have missed significant time with injuries (Matt Kemp) & players in major markets (Dan Uggla) getting voted in. Voting rights should only be delegated between players, managers and sports writers.
Team Representation Rule: There is no reason for any player wearing a Padres uniform to be in the all-star game. The team representation rule simply means that every team must be represented in the all-star game. Which means a deserving player on a decent team with other all-stars is guaranteed to get snubbed. For example: no matter how good Jason Hammel’s numbers are if the Oakland A’s only decent player is a pitcher (Ryan Cook) Hammel gets snubbed.
Victims of the Team Representation Rule for the 2012 all-star game include:
AJ Pierzynski .291 BA, 15 HR, 48 RBI vs. Joe Mauer .332 BA, 5 HR, 38 RBI
Edwin Encarnacion .296 BA, 22 HR, 56 RBI vs. Brett Butler .290 BA, 16 HR, 48 RBI
Rafael Soriano 19 Saves, 1.72 ERA vs. Ryan Cook 8 Saves, 1.50 ERA
Brandon Phillips .283 BA, 10 HR, 47 RBI vs. Dan Uggla .231 BA, 11 HR, RBI 43
Johnny Cuerto 9 Wins, 86 K’s 2.35 ERA vs. Huston Street 12 Saves, 28 K’s, 1.29 ERA
Aaron Hill .301 BA, 11 HR, 38 RBI vs. Jose Altuve .303 BA, 5 HR, RBI 25
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