It's that time of year again. The time of year when everyone is shown why fans voting for the MLB All-Star Game is one of the worst things in sports, especially since the All-Star game "matters." There are several other issues I have with the All-Star Game and how it's handled, but for now I'll just talk about the voting.
In the first release of the All-Star game voting for the American League, six New York Yankees are leading their respective positions, a player that's played in only nine games all season is in second place for his position (Joe Mauer) while one that's only played in 20 games is in third place for his position but would be a starter (Josh Hamilton).
Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Russel Martin, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are all leading their respective positions. Yes, you read that right, Derek Jeter is the leading vote getter for starting short stop for the American League.
Out of those players, only two deserve to be the starter and that's Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson (with Cano being at least debateable). The rest either shouldn't be in the discussion at all or at least no better than second. Then, add in the fact that Jorge Posada is third in the Designated Hitter voting and it further proves that fans simply vote for the name or team and nothing else.
I understand that simply playing for the New York Yankees, being the reigning MVP or being the most popular catcher in the game is going to get you votes but that doesn't mean that it's right and further shows that the All-Star Game is simply a popularity contest and shouldn't be used to determine anything, let alone home field advantage in the World Series.
Should fans be allowed to vote for All-Star Game starters?
Teixeira and Martin both deserve to be at least in the top five for their position, but there are other more deserving players that should be leading the vote (Adrian Gonzalez and Alex Avila for example). Also, there's just no reason for Posada to receive any votes. No player batting under .200 should be anywhere near the All-Star Game.
As for Derek Jeter, I can understand the votes for his career (just like Cal Ripken in 2001), however, the All-Star game isn't supposed to be for the player's career, it's supposed to be for the best players from April through July of that season and Derek Jeter simply isn't one of them.
Granted some of these votes might have been cast early in the season when players like Teixeira and Martin were playing well but this just goes to show that no votes should be cast until June 1st. Let the players play for a couple of months so you can better see if it was simply a hot start (or even a cold one) before casting millions of votes to determine the starters.
With the game determining home field advantage in the World Series, it is in the best interest of each league to have the best players at each position start the game.
Baseball has revoked the fan voting in the past (in the 1970s when fans stuffed the ballot box for the Big Red Machine) and if the game is going to "mean something", MLB needs to revoke it once again or remove the meaning from the game.