Major League Baseball has wiped out more than 60 million votes for the 2015 All-Star Game amid fears of improper voting techniques.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports the number of accepted votes is still greater than 300 million.
"I'm not saying we bat 1.000," CEO of MLB Advanced Media Bob Bowman explained, per Passan. "But it's between 60 and 65 million votes that have been canceled. We don't really trumpet it because if someone thinks they're getting away with it, they'll try to again."
The voting procedures have come under extra scrutiny this year with the Kansas City Royals completely dominating the projected American League lineup.
Members of the Royals occupied eight of the nine starting spots for hitters in the latest update, as noted by Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk. The only exception is Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who owned an advantage of around 2 million votes over Kansas City's Alex Rios.
|2015 American League All-Star Vote Leaders|
The current lineup would also include Royals second baseman Omar Infante, who sports a .547 OPS, well below the .718 of second-place vote-getter Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.
"I have to be happy. The fans vote for me," Infante told Passan. "I'm happy about that. I can't control that. I'm happy because if I'm there, the opportunity to go to the All-Star Game is great."
Rob Neyer of Fox Sports doesn't believe that the Royals have done anything shady in landing so many players at the top of their positions:
But I’ve talked myself into thinking that nobody has hijacked the balloting this year. If only because if it were that easy, a) somebody would have done it before, and b) somebody would be doing it this year, for some other team.
Based on Bowman's comments, it appears the vote removal is an ongoing process and not a one-time mass cancellation of prior votes. That would suggest the last update was accurate in reflecting the Kansas City players' leads.
The voting period continues through July 2, and the 2015 All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Even with the voting protections in place, expect to see a lot of Royal blue in the starting lineup.