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Buster Posey is a fan favorite, but that doesn't mean he should be starting over a potential MVP.
Fans deserve their say on the MLB All-Star roster. Filling out an All-Star ballot at the ballpark is a wonderful tradition that needs to stay. All-Star games thrive on fan interaction.
But let's not get carried away. The MLB All-Star starting lineups should not be left to fans and their hometown bias. The competitiveness of the game should not be compromised for fan interaction.
If Derek Jeter still collects the most votes when he is 50 just because he played for the New York Yankees and is a recognizable name to the average baseball fan, then let him play. If that's who the people want to see, then let them see him.
Starting positions, however, need to be reserved for players that earn the reward. Again, if baseball wants the MLB All-Star Game to matter, then both leagues better be able to field their best possible lineups.
Nothing against San Francisco, but all three Giants starting for the National League were backed up by better players.
Yadier Molina didn't attend the All-Star Game due to a death in his family, but his MVP-worthy season should have earned him the chance to start over Buster Posey. Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gonzalez both deserved to start over Melky Cabrera, as did Ryan Braun had Matt Kemp been healthy enough to play. David Wright coming off the bench at third for Pablo Sandoval was laughable.
All of these Giants, of course, backed up their selections with great performances Tuesday night—performances that were far better than those produced by their backups. Had the starting lineup been a managerial decision, those performances would have validated that decision.
But that is not how the starting lineup is determined. When judging the lineup before the game without the benefit of hindsight, it was clear that the best players were not rewarded with starting positions. Cabrera's MVP trophy doesn't change that.
Let the fans vote. Announce the winners. Put them on the team.
Let the managers fill out their starting lineup.