By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
It’s Tuesday, so two topics will be tackled by our writers. Since we are in All-Star mode today, it makes sense to spend a little time talking about the All-Star game, the impact on the World Series and the voting process.
Nothing is shared prior to publishing, offering a good differential in how these questions are answered. Well? It usually does!
Here are this week’s Tuesday questions.
Do you approve of the All-Star game determining home field advantage in the World Series? If not, what else could make it more impactful?
It’s ridiculous for any team or player to have a hand in determining the fate of a team headed to the World Series and smacks of a plot twist from a reality TV series. I understand the need for MLB to boost attendance, but this is just silly – especially now given how easy it is for fans to overwhelm the ballot boxes via online voting.
When this decision was made in 2003, baseball said that it was to inspire “a greater competitive spirit” and “higher level of play.” But these guys are All-Stars, right? Shouldn’t this be the norm for them?
And I highly doubt that a player from a team with no hope of October baseball is seriously interested in helping his league win home field advantage.
Paying them money won’t help as they already receive first-class airfare and hotels, stipends, rings and gifts for appearing. Most players also have it written into their contracts that they receive significant 6-figure bonuses if they make the team.
Maybe MLB can make the game more worthy with a focus on giving to charity and have the players vote on one or two worthy organizations – or donate a certain amount to a player’s named group for every hit or strikeout they achieve. It would certainly be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
I have hated the idea from its inception. The team that fights tooth and nail through a grueling 6-month, 162 game marathon and then battles through the playoffs to get to the World Series should not be penalized when they get there.
Is that what we want; the team with the better record having to start the Series on the road based on the results of an exhibition? The game meant to be a showcase of talent cannot decide anything tied to the World Series; the two should never meet.
The greats of the game with their talents on display should be enough for the fans. Outside of the cities who feel a legitimate shot to make it to the Series, I doubt people really think that much about the October home field ramifications.
So, what else would make the All-Star game more impactful? Sorry, you’re going to be disappointed in my answer. The All-Star Game, second only to the World Series, is baseball’s opportunity to promote the product and their stars. If that doesn’t provide tangible impact, I’m sorry.
Does fan voting enhance or interfere with the quality of the All Star game?
Oooh, don’t even get me started. Fan voting has become a farce in this day and age given all the loopholes that allow fans to vote hundreds of times and stuff the ballot box.
Last year, we saw the KC Royals fans vote in almost their entire team. This year, these same fans continued to vote heavily for Omar Infante despite him being cut from the team and now playing in the minor leagues for Atlanta.
And for Omar to receive more votes than Ian Kinsler just makes my face as red as my hair. It is an absolute mockery that discredits the sport and I would certainly not be adverse to baseball once again taking the vote away from fans.
Fans have an important place but to allow them to determine who is most deserving (and impact a World Series factor) always results, especially in the days of online and social media, in naming favorites, not the best. And isn’t this game what it’s all about?
I understand the need to allow everyone to have input because it’s what attracts attendance, viewership and the almighty dollar. But baseball should give them one-third of the vote and have Front Offices and players contribute the other 2/3rds to make this a credible contest.
Every season, the fan voting results become more and more ridiculous. Last season, Kansas City nearly fielded the whole American League starting lineup. This year, the Cubs dominate the infield for the National League. Is this what the All-Star Game has become? Well, count me out.
I want to see the players having the best seasons. And we risk that opportunity by including us, the fans, especially while the game impacts the World Series. Does baseball really want the fans to have a role in determining home field advantage in the World Series? Because that’s what’s happening.
I don’t mind the voting for the last player in. It’s a good role for the fans. I might even expand it to the last 2 in for each league. But the fans have demonstrated that they are not knowledgeable enough or care enough to continue to have the power over who starts in what is currently a pretty important exhibition game.
As a sidebar, Kurt and I have been accredited by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and along with other members, who have also passed accreditation standards, voted for our own All-Star lineup. Membership, from all across the country, voted in Miggy as a starter. Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez were voted in as reserves.