The first update on the National League balloting for the 2009 All-Star Game was released on Tuesday. While I was reading over the top vote getters after eight weeks of play, two things became obvious to me.
First, voting starts too early.
Second, too many Brewers fans are voting.
Because the All-Star game takes place in July, we as fans are only voting on the top performers of the first half. Actually, right now we’re voting on the top performers of the first eight weeks. For this reason, the system is flawed.
Opposed to allowing fans to vote over the course of several months, the polls should be opened two weeks before the game. After a week of voting, the polls should be closed, allowing a week’s time to tally/announce the voting results.
If Major League Baseball hyped it up the right way, voting could actually be quite an event.
As it is now, I can vote anytime between May and July. Knowing that, I will likely put my vote off until the last minute, allowing myself the chance to forget to submit my ballot.
A week of voting, if advertised correctly, would create quite a buzz; much like the first week of Interleague Play. This way, everyone is voting at the same time with the same amount of information.
This change alone, however, would not completely fix the problem.
As of Monday night, Adrian Gonzalez and Raul Ibanez are tied with the major league lead in Home Runs with 17. However, neither player ranks among the top five in NL votes at their respective position.
This is how the fans are ruining the All-Star Game.
What’s even more shocking, is that a Milwaukee Brewer currently ranks no worse than No. 2 at every single position.
With all due respect to Bill Hall and J.J. Hardy, neither player deserves to be considered for the All-Star Game based on their 2009 performance to this point.
Despite the facts, Bill Hall’s four homers and .230 average ranks No. 2 among NL third basemen, trailing the fan-favorite David Wright, but leading Ryan Zimmerman and his .346 batting average.
Although J.J. Hardy is batting just .234, he currently ranks No. 1 among all NL shortstops, ahead of Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Tejada.
While the All-Star Game in recent years has generally become crowded full of has-been superstars playing past the prime of their career, it seems as though this year’s game will be dominated by which team’s fan base votes the most.
Let’s be frank. Nobody wants to see J.J. Hardy in the All-Star Game, so why is he the leading vote getter among NL shortstops? Fans need to quit voting for their favorite team’s players, and give credit to the players who deserve the recognition.
While the All-Star Game may be “for the fans,” it’s the players who put on the show. If we fail to vote in the best ones, we become guilty of cheating not only ourselves, but the players and the game.