Will All-Star Voting break?

In 1957, fans of the Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box, leading to the Reds taking seven of the eight starting positions for that year’s National League All-Star Team. Only Stan Musial was able to survive the Cincinnati wave.

Commissioner Ford Frick would have none of it. He demoted Gus Bell to a reserve and replaced him and Wally Post with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron (Post wouldn’t have played in the All-Star Game anyway, as he was injured). And, to make sure this kind of thing never happened again, he took away the right to vote from the fans of Major League Baseball. They wouldn’t get it back until 1970.

Now, of course, it is a cliche to complain about the All-Star voting. But I’m going to rather talk about one particular battle ground: David Wright vs. Pablo Sandoval. Going by numbers, Wright is the better candidate. But, that’s not why the Mets are trying everything within their power to get him as a starter. Nope, it’s because, well, he’d be the starter in his home ballpark, and they still are angry about the fact a late get-out-the-vote campaign by San Francisco took Wright out of a starting spot last season.

So, they are doing drastic measures: they tried to get cougars to vote for him, there were reports on Twitter of employees literally stuffing the ballots with Wright’s name, and it’s gotten so bad that Wright has even asked them to tone it down a bit. The Giants, no doubt, are trying to do similar things to ensure that the Kung Fu Panda maintains his lead.

But I wonder: as these get-out-the-vote campaigns continue to escalate, are we risking that one day we may have another 1957 moment where the fans so screw up the voting that fan suffrage will be imperiled?

What do you think?

The early voting for the NL All-Stars also aren’t terrible!

Yesterday, I looked at the early voting for the American League All-Stars. Today the NL’s early voting results came out, so, here are my early impressions on them:

Okay, catcher. It’s Posey, then Molina, then everyone else. Seems about right, as the two of them are by far the best catchers in the NL.

First Base has Joey Votto with a big lead, and he deserves it. Paul Goldschmidt, however, is having a much better year than Brandon Belt, who inexplicably is in 2nd place.

Brandon Phillips isn’t a bad leader at second, but there are others, including Marco Scutaro and Cardinals Super-Utility Matt Carpenter, who are doing better than him. I have no idea how Dan Uggla is in the top five with his .175 batting average and league-leading 71 strikeouts.

Troy Tulowitzki is the correct answer at Shortstop.

Third Base is where I have a bit of a nitpick, as Pablo Sandoval holds a small lead over David Wright. Given that this All-Star Game is taking place in Flushing, I feel like it’d be better if Wright was the starting 3B and Kung Fu Panda was the DH (since the DH is now used at all All-Star Games). That’s just my opinion, though.

The outfield, much like the outfield with the AL, is really hard to pick. It’s hard to argue with Justin Upton (although he has cooled off significantly lately), Bryce Harper and Ryan Braun, but Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Gomez and plenty of others are also having great seasons. So many good choices but only three starting spots!

That said… again, not that bad of a early ballot results, although I feel like the Braves and Giants may be trying to stuff the ballots. Although, admittedly, every team does that- it’s just that the Giants and Braves are doing the best at it this year so far.

The early voting for the AL All-Stars is… surprisingly good, actually.

It’s a yearly thing: the early returns for voting in the All-Star Game comes out, and I start to think that maybe this “democracy” thing has run it’s course, as people vote for their favorite players, instead of people who, y’know, actually deserve to be in there and are having good seasons.

So imagine my surprise when the earliest returns on voting for the American League were released today. I mean, look at it. Here’s a rough version of what I thought while look at it:

Oh, boy, early ASG voting. This should be good, let’s see how stupid the people of the internet are these days….

Hmmmm. Joe Mauer and then Matt Wieters at catcher. Nothing to complain about there, although Wieters isn’t doing so great at the plate this year so far.

Okay, Chris Davis is first at 1B. Good. I was a little worried he’d go under the radar of casual fans.

Robinson Cano at 2B. Again, probably the right choice, although I’m a little surprised that Dustin Pedroia, who at least as far as hitting for average is concerned is doing better than Cano, is such a distant third. Also surprised that Brian Roberts cracked the top five, since he’s only played three games this season.

Third Base. Miguel Cabrera, as he should be, is in the lead, and is the top vote-getter. Anyone who would argue otherwise is dumb. It’s a shame that Manny Machado has come up to the majors as a 3B… he’ll probably be a backup until Cabrera either starts a decline (And even then, Evan Longoria -who also would be an extremely worthy selection- might block him) or Machado moves over to SS.

Hang on, how is Derek Jeter in the top five of the shortstop voting? Oh, right, because he’s Derek Jeter. Elvis Andrus‘ spot on top is extremely suspect, and probably the only big headscratcher of the bunch. I’d go with Jhonny Peralta here, by the way.

Mike Trout is the leading outfielder, with Adam Jones and Torii Hunter rounding it out and Nelson Cruz, Jose Bautista and Nick Markakis looking in. Trout cannot be argued with, and the other two leaders aren’t bad selections either, but I feel like Bautista would be a better choice than them. Maybe. There are so many good OF that it’s hard to really complain about anything.

DH is David Ortiz. Good, that is the correct answer. Well, him or Mark Trumbo.

Presumably the NL’s early voting results come out tomorrow, so I’ll have my thoughts on them too.