It's Time to Revamp MLB All-Star Game Voting

It's Time to Revamp MLB All-Star Game Voting

I should begin with a confession: I have not cast a vote for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. At all. Not even once. No online voting, no tweets, no text votes, nothing. Not even a paper ballot (I did that at a Bulls game once not that long ago.).

I did not set out not to vote this year, as I have always voted each year for as long as I can remember, and I voted religiously for Anthony Rizzo last year, but for some reason it’s ringing hollow for me this season. And it has nothing to do with the ballot stuffing that the Royals fans are doing. I think it’s more because the whole selection process has gone stale for me somewhere along the way. I will still watch the homerun derby (with Chris Berman muted, of course) and watch the game itself on Tuesday night, but I might just take a year off from voting.

I think the reason the voting has gone sour for me is because I have slowly realized that the fan vote is probably mostly stupid. Why? Because we are encouraged to be homers in a time when we least should be. If you care about seeing the best roster for the National League and the American League on the field in an exhibition of the game’s best talent, then sometimes that means not voting for your guys.

The MLB All-Star Game has been a part of the league since 1933, when it was first played at Comiskey Park as a way to renew interest in the game after attendance had fallen off during the first few years of the Great Depression. The game was also set up to coincide with the 1933 World’s Fair, which was held in Chicago that year. The “Game of the Century” exhibition stuck, and it has endure, with tweaks here and there, ever since.

I have a few more tweaks for making it a little more interesting going forward:

Manager-selected rosters –

This is not necessarily the entire team (I’ll get to that later.). I am fine with the previous year’s World Series managers being in charge of the game, but I want to give them more responsibility for the rosters with which they work.

To begin, let’s cut back the roster size from 33 to 25. Sorry, I know that means fewer guys get in, but I don’t think we’d have to look very hard to find eight guys on each team’s roster from the 2014 game who probably didn’t need to be there. A 25-man All-Star roster is reflective of what a manager uses during the season anyway, and it will reduce the meaningless switches during the game, which are meant to try to give every player a chance to see some action. It’s usually just frustrating, because the only guys I care about seeing play are the starters and then whoever is there representing my team.

And no, of these 25 men on the roster, we don’t need every team represented. I know that breaks some sportsmanship rule, but I experienced this as a Little League player when I was about 13 years old. I’ll spare you the long story, but in spite of having a few good players on our team (No, I was not one of them.), we were so bad as a whole that the league decided not to have anyone from our team represented in the All-Star Game that summer.

And this was Little League. Again, Little League.

I was 13. If my friends and I could have handled it then, I trust we could have gotten over not seeing someone in our team’s uniform in the All-Star Game every summer.

The potential flaw with ta 25-man roster for the MLB All-Star Game is that the manager may choose too heavily from his own team. Aside from setting some sort of limit on him, I’ll be honest and say I’m not totally sure of a best solution to prevent that.

With that said, I would grant the manager power of selecting 24 of the 25 players.

  • Those selections have to be done by the Thursday preceding the All-Star Game. If possible, a draft-style announcement would be an interesting thing to see.
  • Broadcast the selections on MLB Network or ESPN, but have the managers announce their picks one a time so fans can follow along as the roster builds. I would watch something like this, and I suspect many others would as well.
  • In a sport that needs to attract younger fans as much as possible, giving them another reason to tune in or log on to something involving baseball is always a good thing.
  • Once the 24 spots are finalized, let the fan voting frenzy begin.

Scrap the fan vote –

Not entirely, but the fan vote needs to be cut back dramatically. Again, this is because we most often vote for players on our own team, and you can cast essentially the same vote more 30 times, which is kind of absurd. Even worse is the fact that fan voting begins almost as soon as the season starts. I will never understand that.

So here’s what I think would spice up the fan voting:

  • After the first 24 spots on each side have been announced on Thursday night, fan voting begins, to fill that last roster spot on each team. We love to rail about the guy who should be on the roster, but who isn’t, so here’s your shot at remedying that.
  • You get one vote. Just one. You know, like actual elections. You can cast a vote for the last spot in both leagues, but you can only do it once.
  • The simplest way possible to prevent multiple votes is to do it via text voting. You send in your vote via text to specific phone numbers for each league, and then you can send no more votes from that number. Tell your friends, family and neighbors to vote for your guys, but each of you get just one vote per league.
  • Voting would close following the Sunday night game, so that gives at least three full days to vote.

From there, the game can play out more like an actual game, as managers have rosters that reflect the ones they use during the regular season, and they would have to be more selective about who plays and when.

I am fine with the idea of granting home-field advantage for the World Series based on the outcome, so I would keep that. Though my ideas here are not perfect, and probably pretty far from it, I think the MLB All-Star Game needs some changes to renew interest.

What do you think? Use the comments below to let me know what I have missed what you would do.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    I didn't vote either. This whole thing gets more frustrating every year--one big popularity contest.

  • In reply to Stephanie Lynn:

    I actually intended on voting eventually, but just never did. Guess that shows how important I thought it was.

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