MLB All-Star week is one of the most exciting times of the season. It gathers the games' premier players and showcases them to the world in an exciting show for the fans. While it is a fun time for everybody involved, the All-Star break has its fair share of flaws.
The biggest of all, being the routine "snubs" from the All-Star Game and the participation of players who don't deserve to be there. A few of this years biggest "snubs" are a few Reds players in Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips, along with players like Michael Bourn, Johan Santana, Zack Grienke and Aaron Hill. Those are just a few of the deserving players who will miss out.
There will always be arguments about which player deserves to be in the game, but the truth is that the problem has become a big one. The main reason behind these now, routine problems, is the fan voting system.
Getting fans involved is always a great idea for any sports league, but the MLB has seemingly given the fans too much power. It has now became a popularity contest and a "box-stuffing" contest. There were more than a few players who haven't played one game this season, but received more votes than a routine starter in 2012.
Two of those players are from the Philadelphia Phillies, both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley received a decent amount of votes, despite not having one plate appearance all season.
The other big problem that the fans bring upon is their race to stuff the ballot box. David Wright was deservedly leading the All-Star game voting at third base for the National League, but he was dethroned of that position by Giants third baseman, Pablo Sandoval.
Wright had a half a million vote lead against Sandoval in the late days of the races, but "Panda" made a huge comeback. Some of the credit goes to the fact that the New York Mets are currently on a road trip, while the San Francisco Giants were in the midst of a homestand in the days leading up to the voting deadline.
The Giants must have did some killer campaigning for Sandoval and it seemed to have worked. Wright is superior in nearly every statistic this season compared to Sandoval, yet he will not be the NL's starting third baseman.
All of this may seem like nit-picking, but these are real problems. Most of the players couldn't care less about what happens, as long as they are in the All-Star Game, but the fans are infuriated by it. The All-Star Game decides which team has the home-field advantage in the World Series, and for however long that may be the case, the league should be required to field their best teams.
It's not as if the game means nothing, because it could end up deciding who wins the title. The managers of the game pay no mind to winning the game, but just getting all of the players playing time. That is no way to go about such a critical game.
There should be an established committee of baseball people who will decide the All-Star rosters. The fans vote should only count as one among the other 30 or so votes from the committee. That would help field the best teams for each league each season.
With that said, the fans should be given the power to vote for the players who play in the Home Run Derby. It is baffling as to why that isn't already implemented, because the derby is solely meant for the fans. The system is extremely flawed and MLB needs to think of a way to fix it, and quick.
All-Star week should be a great time for the league and its fans, but it has now turned into a controversial time where flaws are routinely pointed out. Bud Selig has to stop turning his head to the glaring problems in the system, and do something to fix it.