The MLB All Star game is as unique and as fan fulfilling as any all star game in professional sports. The event brings together the game’s biggest stars yet still serves a major purpose in deciding home field advantage for the winning team’s league in the World Series. Like the rest of pro sports, all star games are cultivated based on fan votes for whom they decide to be put in the game. This on paper seems like a great idea not only for baseball, but all sports.
Letting the fans have a voice in deciding the best players in the mid-summer classic puts fan recognition front and center, but does have its consequences. Fans sometimes vote with their heart rather than their head. This shouldn’t be a problem, right? It’s an all star game isn’t it? I’d be all for that except the MLB all star game actually has a purpose in deciding the World Series and isn’t just an exhibition like the NBA and NFL all star games.
What if similar to the NFL “fantasy draft” Major League Baseball let the managers for the all star game have a fantasy draft for the rosters in their respective leagues? While this would limit the fan interaction, as compensation, the fans could have a larger voice in the MLB home run derby like nominating players from a certain pool of players. If it truly is “the best vs. the best” then it should absolutely be that way, either that or don’t let the game decide home field advantage for the winning league.
On June 14th, Major League Baseball released its voting updates for the game on July 12th in San Diego. With respect to them, players like Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar should not be leading vote getters over players like Dustin Pedroia and Francisco Lindor at their respective positions. Letting the managers who see these players play day in and day out decide who will be representing their league would benefit a game that probably has more meaning then it should.
The system would be simple in the selection process and could even be marketed by Major League Baseball as a major event heading into the mid-summer classic. A 30 second clock between each pick is what the managers would have in order to decide on what player they would select next.
This would be a new fresh event that would entice fantasy hungry MLB fans while also letting the truly best players in the game be showcased in one of Major League Baseball’s biggest events of the year. This would help everyone around the game and not just let the All Star game turn into a game that’s basically a major fan service.
I’m not completely against fan voting. Fan voting does allow fans to have a voice in front of the massive league offices, but it can be misleading. Whether you’re a casual fan or a die hard baseball fanatic, you should want to see the best players play on the field instead of just one fan base’s team getting more credit than they should.