I filled my All Star ballot today and a couple of things occurred to me. One thing I can’t figure out is why I’m allowed to vote 35 times. I’ve never been able to vote more more than one once in any other election I participated in (maybe that’s because I never lived in Chicago but that’s neither here nor there). But, thirty five times! Jeez. Well, maybe that’s nitpicking but here’s what concerns me more……
Presumably like most fans, I found myself trending to players with the best numbers this year. But what if it were 2001 when Cal Ripken was playing his final season and hitting .239 going against the Red Sox phenom Xander Bogoerts who’s hitting .343 and having a career year. Ripken at the time was a sure fire Hall of Famer and Bogoerts may end up there too – but really? You would have had to vote to for Ripken, no? And Ripken being Ripken did rise to the moment giving fans an All Star Game memory in his final at bat that night (watch here).
Same with Derek Jeter in 2014. How could he not be in the starting lineup for his final All Star game even though by comparison to his career numbers he was merely a shell of himself.
Which brings us to this year’s ballot…..
And one named Alex Rodriguez. Here’s a player beyond the twilight of his career who’s hitting under the Mendoza line this year. Occasionally, he still puts one in orbit. And I get all the baggage he carries – but he’s at the cusp of hitting 700 home runs in a major league uniform. He has to be on the field in San Diego. However, I couldn’t and therefore didn’t vote for him given the year David Ortiz is having.
Similarly, there are others who long standing and exceptional careers under their belts who (if this game is really for the fans) would be in uniform and introduced – at the very least. Troy Tulowitski, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Beltran, Giancarlo Stanton, Juan Bautista, Albert Pujols, and others I’m probably forgetting. They’re all having sub par years…..but aren’t they still
Major League All Stars?
It’s still basically a exhibition game and a showcase for MLB. Put these great players out there for all to see. Drew Story won’t be offended. The kid is having a great year and he deserves to be there too. But so do these other guys – they’ve earned it too year after year.
Come on MLB……..figure something out here. Oh and by the way I still haven’t heard anything from the suits on Vin Scully being honored at the game. Maybe their Marketing Department should give the game over to a average fan – someone like me. I’m not kidding, these guys need what Bryce Harper said they need……..some pizazz for a game that’s “tired”…….Something new and different…….not the same ‘O same ‘O………
But I gotta go now…”…I’ve got 23 votes left….