With two days to go in the All-Star Game voting process, it's time to go ahead and say it—the fan vote is flawed.
The problem lies not only in the fan votes, but broadcasters, announcers and team websites saying to stuff the ballot box with that team's players.
There are certain players who don't deserve All-Star consideration. However, that team's fans don't seem to care.
Even as an Atlanta Braves fan, I couldn't bring myself to vote for guys like Dan Uggla, B.J. Upton or Jason Heyward.
Although they've gotten better over the last few weeks, their first half doesn't warrant them selection to the team.
Yet, the team website pushes for them to be voted in, as do announcers during the game.
This year, San Francisco fans have been the worst, as all eight starting offensive players have earned a significant amount of votes. Marco Scutaro is even within 269,000 votes from getting the start at second base (more on him later).
Of all the Giants players ranked on the list, only catcher Buster Posey (second: 4,674,847) and third baseman Pablo Sandoval (second: 3,610,096) are worthy of starting consideration.
Yet, multiple are still there.
Scutaro is ranked third currently and has a chance to start the game. Really?
He's batting .315 with two home runs and 18 RBI.
Phillips is batting .272 with 11 home runs and 61 RBI, while Carpenter is batting .322 with seven home runs and 32 RBI.
Let's not forget to mention that Carpenter only has four errors at second, while Phillips has six and Scutaro has nine. That means you can throw out the better defensive player argument.
There is no reason why Scutaro should be even close to Carpenter and Phillips, yet he is.
For announcers who continue to push for all of a certain team's players to get voted in by the fans, maybe this will serve as a warning to encourage the best player to be voted in.
These same announcers who push for that will be the ones complaining if Scutaro gets the nod. Yet, they encourage it for other players.
Could you imagine if Yadier Molina wasn't having as good of a season as Buster Posey? Giants announcers and fans would be up in arms about Molina leading the vote total.
Brandon Belt ranks fourth (1,804,152) at first base and is batting .266 with nine home runs and 35 RBI. That's not bad, but there are multiple players with less vote totals that are more deserving. Mainly Freddie Freeman with a .307 batting average, nine home runs and 53 RBI.
Brandon Crawford ranks second (2,383,248) at shortstop, with the injured Troy Tulowitzki leading the vote totals. Jean Segura ranks third.
If it becomes official that Tulowitzki won't play, does that mean Crawford is going to get the start? He's batting .267 with five home runs and 28 RBI.
Meanwhile, Segura is batting .325 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. Tell me, who deserves the start there more?
Then there's the outfield where the Giants have all three starters ranked in the top 13.
Hunter Pence ranks seventh (2,379,606), Angel Pagan ranks ninth (2,016,370) and Gregor Blanco ranks 13th (1,717,194).
Thankfully, none of the three will get the start or likely even make it to the game, but that vote total shows how bad the fan vote is.
Pagan is batting .262 with three home runs and 24 RBI and has only played in 46 games. Yet, he's the ninth-best outfielder in the National League.
Then there's Blanco, who is supposed to be a threat on the base paths but only has nine stolen bases (while being caught five times). He's also batting .281 with 26 RBI. But is that worthy of getting 1.7 million votes?
I won't say anything bad about Pence because he's had a good season and has earned all of his votes.
But when you look at the other outfielders, there is no reason they should have as many votes as they do.
The fan vote has been a great thing for baseball, but there are obviously some issues with it.
MLB has to do something to fix it, as "stuffing the ballot box" is wrong in so many ways.
While the game is a showcase for the fans, every year there are players in the game who don't deserve to go, much less start.
It's become a popularity contest, and when you have teams pushing for players (regardless or whether they deserve it or not), it puts a cloud over the game.
If the All-Star Game is going to truly feature the best players from the first half, then MLB has to get this under control.
After all, how would you feel if a player from your team deserved to start, but a less-deserving player earned the nod because his fans stuffed the ballot box?
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