Upfront disclaimer: I always thought letting fans vote for the All-Star team -- or anything else -- is a horrid idea. It too often becomes more of a popularity contest or an award for a team’s marketing effort.
So with that as a backdrop, understand that I can’t get too worked up over the National League’s first release of its All-Star voting, which shows Yasiel Puig sitting in the fifth spot.
Voters also have Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth spot. That the two most obvious outfield choices for the National League currently would not start tells you all you need to know about fan voting.
The top three outfielders in the first release of the fan voting are Denver’s Charlie Blackmon, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. It’s not that any of those would be embarrassing All-Star selections or anything, though none deserve to start.
Puig leads outfielders in batting (.346) and on-base (.445) averages, and is second to Stanton in RBIs (38). And he probably leads in base-runner intimidation.
The Dodgers do have a leading vote-getter in Adrian Gonzalez at first, where he leads in home runs (12, tied with Milwaukee’s Mark Reynolds) and RBIs (36). Dee Gordon is a somewhat surprising No. 2 behind Philadelphia’s Chase Utley at second, which shows you what leading baseball in steals can do for you.
Major League Baseball has been using the fan vote since 1970, when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn reinstated it. It had been tried several times before but Commissioner Ford Frick killed it in after fans in Cincinnati stuffed the ballot box in 1957. The vote then reverted to players, managers and coaches.
Now MLB encourages you to stuff the ballot box. You can vote online up to 25 times. Does that make sense? Some people actually have more important things to do, though apparently not in Colorado.
The current system has sponsors and no doubt makes money and is not going away anytime soon. MLB received over 40 million ballots last year. So you get stuck with loony results like these.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times