I will start this column off with; I am not in favor of fans voting in the all star game. I have been at the stadium during the time of voting and just pass the ballots down the line. The comments that are made by fans filling in the ballots make the selection process a farce. We need to vote for all Cardinals, or I will vote for him because he is cute. I think you get my idea.
I was watching the Cardinals play the Brewers in Milwaukee and right behind the catcher at the backstop was a sign that said vote for your Brewer players to be at the all star game. I think this is terrible and I am guessing it is happening all over the major leagues. I have heard the on field announcer tell fans to vote for their favorite Cardinal.
Baseball says this is all for the fans, and they are correct. But there are some circumstances that a player will be voted in or receive a lot of votes and he is having a terrible year or has been injured. This seems to happen every year and a deserved player ends up missing a chance to be on the roster.
The Cincinnati Reds had a ballot stuffing plan in the 50s that caused some problems for major league baseball. Here is a link that explains what happened – http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60255
I imagine you think I am a grouchy old man that wants to take the vote away from the fans. Stay with me, I think we can have a compromise and keep everybody happy! I just want to see the players that deserve to be at the game get the honor.
Here is the deal, there will be four groups participating and this should keep everybody happy. The groups will be fans, players, coaches, and selective sports writers. MLB will announce in a grand fashion who the all stars are in each voting group! This could create a lot of enthusiasm and discussion. I would have the votes from each group on record. I love when people are talking about baseball and this could add to the discussion. This could build a little rivalry among the groups on who could pick the best team. MLB could every Monday morning make an announcement on who are the leading vote getters from each group. This could make the voters more aware and vote for the more deserving player.
Now we need to narrow this down to one team and keep the discussion active. This will be real simple; each group will have equal shares on the final vote. This will be good for baseball and the interest and competition to pick the best team will be fun for all! This could keep the teams from ballot stuffing and giving the honor to a player that doesn’t deserve to be at the game. If there happens to be any ties, the manager can make the decision on who gets chosen.
The manager will still have the ability to pick the rest of his pitching staff, and add players because of injuries.