Friday, June 02, 2006

All-Star Game Voting

The Indians won a wild one last night, or so I'm told. I watched the injury-plagued Buffalo Sabres lose their series to the Carolina Hurricanes, and only tuned in to the Tribe in the 8th inning, after most of the fireworks had already gone off.

I went to the Indians' website to look at the box score and saw a pitch for me to vote for the Tribe's representatives on the All-Star ballot, which reminded me what a bad idea fan voting is. I'm one of those schmucks who actually likes the All-Star game, but I think having fans vote for the starting lineups is just dumb, particularly since--let's say it together, shall we-- this time it counts!

If you're an ordinary fan like me, your idea of following the game involves reading the sports section, watching the Indians and following other teams mainly through Sportscenter and Baseball Tonight. I don't think that really qualifies us to make intelligent choices, but it won't stop millions of us from voting.

Fan voting not only leads to really bad selections, but it also leads to pathetic vote begging by clubs, disturbing antics from looneys like these two, and attempts to highlight the problem by getting the likes of Neifi Perez and Juan Castro elected as starters.

Fan voting really needs to end. It isn't fair to the players, and it isn't fair to the teams whose home field fate is going to be decided by the game. While they're at it, they probably ought to do away with the whole idea of a mandatory representative from each team. This bad idea from MLB's marketing department has led to selections like former Pirates closer Mike Williams, who was added to the NL team in 2003 at a time when he was carrying an 0-3 record and a 6.29 ERA.

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