The fans may watch the games, but they don't always get the MLB All-Star voting right.
They did well in the American League this year (except for choosing Derek Jeter, but we'll give them a pass, given the circumstances), but there were three very questionable selections in the National League.
The Senior Circuit boasts a strong lineup, but it's one that could be much stronger. The fans chose to vote for names rather than production at these spots, and it could potentially prove critical to the NL's chances of success at earning home-field advantage in the World Series.
Below is a breakdown of the three ballots that the fans messed up.
Chase Utley over Anthony Rendon
The fans really got this one wrong. Anthony Rendon, second baseman for the Washington Nationals, was a far more deserving candidate to start at the position for the NL. Chase Utley is having a good season, but not like the one Rendon is enjoying.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com broke down Utley's accomplishments to this point:
Utley is hitting .286 with 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .776 OPS in 84 games this season. He entered Sunday first among NL second basemen in doubles; second in triples, RBIs, slugging percentage (.437) and OPS; third in runs (46), hits (93) and on-base percentage (.345); fourth in batting average; and fifth in home runs.
What about Rendon's numbers?
He's slashing .284/.340/.491 with 13 homers, 52 RBI, 62 runs and 97 hits. For comparison, Utley has eight homers and 46 RBI.
Rendon's accomplishments are also far more impressive when you consider the injuries that have nagged the Nationals this season. Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos have all missed good chunks of the 2014 season because of injury. Without the consistent production of Rendon in the lineup, the Nats likely wouldn't be in this position—first place in the NL East with a record of 49-40.
Rendon has plenty of time during his career to start in the Midsummer Classic, but this season was the perfect opportunity to for the fans to vote for him. Utley's numbers are good and his importance to the Philadelphia Phillies is undeniable, but Rendon has trumped the veteran in both respects.
Aramis Ramirez over Todd Frazier
This one is a head-scratcher.
Aramis Ramirez has played in just 66 games and is hitting .281/.333/.459 with 11 homers and 41 RBI. Good numbers, but not great ones.
Todd Frazier, on the other hand, has been fantastic. He is hitting .291/.353/.494 with 17 homers, 48 RBI, 100 hits and even 13 steals. His power has been on display this season, and that has even earned him a spot in the Home Run Derby.
Kevin Goheen of Fox Sports broke down Frazier's ranks among NL third basemen:
Frazier leads the Reds with 17 home runs and 47 RBI and is second to [Devin] Mesoraco in batting average (.291) and slugging percentage (.500). He had a pair of hits against the [Milwaukee] Brewers on Sunday, his 26th multi-hit game of the season. Frazier leads all NL third basemen in home runs, slugging, stolen bases (13) and extra base hits (34). He's fourth in the NL among third basemen with a .971 fielding percentage.
The New Jersey native has plenty of time left in his young career to make starts at the hot corner for the NL, but his emergence this season as one of the top hitters in the Senior Circuit made his omission from the final fan vote results puzzling.
Frazier doesn't seem too fazed by the results, however, via Goheen:
You think back to those days where sometimes it's 'what am I doing here?' where some days are better than others and you're on 14-hour bus rides. You really don't have any words. It's just awesome to see that hard work pays off in any job or profession you do. The harder you work hopefully good things come from it.
The Cincinnati Reds star will look to make the most of his limited appearance in the game after Ramirez gets his hacks.
Yadier Molina over Jonathan Lucroy
Yadier Molina is out eight to 12 weeks with a thumb injury, reports Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, so Jonathan Lucroy could very well get the opportunity to start. That doesn't mean the fans are off the hook for messing up the vote in the first place.
Molina is a great catcher, and his skills defensively are hardly measurable. He's also one of the best offensively, evidenced by his slash line of .287/.341/.409 line.
Should the fans have voted for Lucroy over Molina?
Lucroy's line is even better, however. He's slashing .327/.396/.512 with nine homers, 44 RBI and 31 doubles through 84 games. Not even Molina deserves to start over that kind of production.
Aside from the numbers, Lucroy has been essential to the success of the Brewers this season. Leading the NL Central, the Brewers have ridden their backstop for consistency. The St. Louis Cardinals are chasing the Brewers in the division, but they'll now have to do it without Molina for at least the next two months.
Lucroy will likely start now, so the fans don't have to feel guilty anymore. That said, they should still be reprimanded for shorting Lucroy during this great stretch.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR