The MLB All-Star Game is, and always was, the best all-star game in all of sports. You have the Home Run Derby one night, and the actual game the next night. It's great fun for the whole family.
But things are changing, especially the players who are in the game.
So I ask: What happened to the old All-Star Game? What happened to the game we knew and loved? Where is that genuine feel in the game? What happened?
Ever since fan voting began, many of the players on the rosters have been Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs players. Do those players deserve it? Most of the time, yes. But this year it got out of hand.
Examples of this are Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia (Kinsler should be the starter), Kosuke Fukudome, and Alfonso Soriano starting. In addition, A-Rod was the leading vote getter, even though he missed quite a few games.
Most of those I just named were either injured or are just starting because of a strong fan base voting for them.
Fan voting has been a problem for many years, but this year, it is not the only problem.
The players vote in the reserves, and they also made the mistakes this year. How Evan Longoria didn't get in is pretty mind boggling. But how Jason Varitek did get in blows my mind. Jason Varitek? Seriously? I know this guy is a great captain and a respected player, but voting him in is just terrible. He doesn't deserve it.
Also, look at last year's voting.
The MVP of the National League last year didn't even make the team! And if you look at other notable selections from years past, there were many times that players like Cal Ripken Jr. didn't deserve to be in the game but still made it in.
A large part of these terrible rosters are the fact that voting starts so early in the season. Why start voting in May? It's ridiculous.
The system is clearly corrupt, so here is how I think the voting should be done.
The fans should not vote at all.
Players who deserve to make it, but are on low fanbase teams like Tampa Bay don't get to make it when undeserving players in Boston do.
So you ask how the voting shall be done?
The managers of all 30 MLB teams vote for the players, and can only vote for a maximum one of their players. This way the rosters are more spread out, and the men who really know the game get to choose the right guys. Also, get rid of the rule that every team needs to be represented.
Finally, the voting would take place exactly two weeks prior to the All-Star Game.
That's it. It's that simple. Managers vote, fans don't. There you go. Problem solved.
Listen, I'm not saying that the All-Star Game is not fun to watch and that the whole roster is terrible. But every year there are so many players that don't deserve to make it on the roster, and there are so many deserving players that don't make it.
And yes, it is just an All-Star Game, but these deserving players may never experience it, so the players who deserve it need to be there. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these players, so let's put them in the game.
I know I would enjoy the game a lot more if the best players of the year make it, and players like Varitek don't. There would be more competition and better representation.
So please, Bud Selig, do something to change the voting. The MLB All-Star Game is the best all-star game in all of sports. Let's keep it that way.