Keep the Votes Open

Ballots to vote on player selection to the All-Star Game are out and have been for a few weeks now. Their announcement generated the expected scorn from those who (rightfully) deride a voting process so influenced by early season results. I’ve personally stopped caring much about the All Star Game, but the season was basically two weeks old when voting began. That’s lame and unnecessary on baseball’s part. It’s not as if they have a need for voting to begin early. They’ll get votes; they’ll get plenty of votes.

However, instead of that usual track of criticism, I’m going to attack the voting process from the other side. It doesn’t begin soon enough. Namely, it should begin right after the conclusion of the previous All-Star Game. Why not? Right now, All Star selections too often reflect great starts to seasons, but what of great ends or even middles? The player who had a poor first half in 2011 but great second half is forgotten when it comes to All Star time unless that second-half hot streak continues into the next season. But if voting were always open, then that player would garner votes during his hot streak and possibly then hold on for a spot when the cutoff for selection ended.

Watering down the votes accrued from hot starts with votes already banked from good ends would, I feel, also indirectly lead to a better overall crop of players winning starting slots. Year round voting would better reward the players that are more able to sustain good play. There would be less flukes sneaking their way in.

If voting were active during the summer and fall, imagine how pennant drives and playoff heroics would drive votes. It would also lend a fun air to the offseason as passionate fanbases embrace and spite transactions involving players on the cusp of All Star leads. For an exhibition game that’s ultimately devoid of impact no matter how hard Bud Selig tries, isn’t having more fun with it a good aim? Sure, it’s still shortsighted, but you’re never going to get a majority of people to take a long-term view. Given that, baseball should make an effort to best balance it out and I think year-round voting would move closer to that goal.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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YP
Guest
YP
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t know how realistic that is with players changing teams, getting hurt, retiring, etc. during the offseason. There’s a lot of variables at play.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 years 4 months ago

Players changing teams and leagues would create some issues, but that already exists. I like this idea.

walt526
Member
walt526
4 years 4 months ago

A likely consequence of this proposal will be a ton of votes for mediocre players who happen to have a strong post-season. Like Cody Ross with the Giants in 2010. Whether that’s any better than overrewarding mediocre players who have a strong April-June is open to debate. But this proposal isn’t going to really help correct the problem (to the extent that who makes it to All Star games really matters), just create different variations of it.

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
4 years 4 months ago

Sure, but I’d rather get irrational votes based on small sample size based on the postseason rather than the first two weeks.

Cody Ross and David Freeze are gonna be remembered 10 or 20 years from now even if they never do anything more. Whoever was hot in the first two weeks of April? Heck, I’ve already forgotten.

cavebird
Guest
cavebird
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t remember David Freeze already. Who is he?

Nom Chompsky
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

David Freeze was the hero of last year’s World Series, when the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the New York Lazily Named Superheroes.

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
4 years 4 months ago

Well if you do that system then online voters should not be restricted to 25 ballots in total, but rather 5 ballots a month or some such. Otherwise, many people would vote only for second half players.

Joey
Guest
Joey
4 years 4 months ago

Just stop the All Star Game from deciding who gets home field advantage in the World Series. If there’s anything that needs a fan vote it’s that. Whoever has the best record of the two teams meeting in the World Series gets home field advantage.

sam
Guest
sam
4 years 4 months ago

maybe we could get a one-game playoff to see who gets home field.

Bryan
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Yeah, and they could play it on the moon.

cavebird
Guest
cavebird
4 years 4 months ago

Newt Gingrich could throw out the first pitch.

Brandon Warne
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

With the new schedule coming up next year, why not have playoffs be league-free?

As in, seed the teams 1-8 after play-in games and then just go for it?

Probably a logistical nightmare, but isn’t 15 teams in both leagues, too?

Joey
Guest
Joey
4 years 4 months ago

We already have interleague play every day coming next year because of odd number of teams in each league. But with interleague in the playoffs you run the risk of having two NL or two AL teams meeting in the World Series. If the ASG decides home field advantage between leagues and two NL teams meet you’ll need to change something.

MLB should have just kept the leagues 16/14 and waited until the sport was ready for two more AL teams (one in Vegas, another in NYC). Or until the sport was ready to lose two teams and bring things to 14/14. Then you can do away with divisions and do a balanced schedule in each league. Or break the divisions into four groups of four with no wild cards. But moving an NL team to the AL to make it 15/15 is robbing Peter to pay Paul because you’ve now got odd numbers in each division.

Next year things are going to be jarring for a lot of people who don’t like change. Interleague on opening week nonstop until the final week of play. More wild cards (starting this year technically). The Astros in the AL. It will be fascinating to see how fans react.

Nick
Guest
Nick
4 years 4 months ago

I really like this idea. The NHL was considering doing this once realignment occurs in a couple of years. This gives teams greater incentive to play out those last few games because the difference in the last two spots could be 4 or 5 games. Like you said, the logistical issues may be too much, but I think it is worth a try.

Bryan
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

If the schedule is balanced, I love it. If everyone played the same schedule and the NL only got, say, the 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th seeds in the playoffs, we’d stop hearing these ridiculous arguments about the NL being just as good as the AL because they’ve won 3 of the last 4 World Series.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
4 years 4 months ago

So what you are saying is that the gap in the leagues hasn’t shrunk significantly in recent years? Here are the inter-league records by year:

2011 131-121 [.520]
2010 134-118 [.532]
2009 138-114 [.558]
2005-2008 576-432 [.577]
1997-2004 988-960 [.502]

Yes, almost no doubt that the AL was way ahead in the mid aughts, but that seems to be trending back down towards even, no?

Johnny Come Lately
Guest
Johnny Come Lately
4 years 4 months ago

That would make the offseason more interesting. I could see myself passing the time in January by filling out an All Star ballot.

Julian
Guest
Julian
4 years 4 months ago

I like the idea, but the ballot should be closed over the offseason. Or else you’ll get a bunch of fans just passing time–like Johnny Come Lately–by filling out All Star ballots. That would prevent second-half performers from getting too many votes relative to first-half performers

everdiso
Guest
everdiso
4 years 4 months ago

Why are the Blue Jays always so underrepresented in the All-Star Game? It’s embarrassing that half the AL starting lineup is Yankees/Red Sox when super studs like Eric Thames and Adam Lind get overlooked.

You don’t finish in third place or lower for two decades without a lot of All-Star caliber performances.

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 years 4 months ago

or we could move the midsummer classic to September.

mikecarlucci
Member
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I sort of like this. Being an All-Star would be an ongoing title that plays try to hold on to. They could probably work better bonuses into their contracts too that could escalate with each season of AS they achieve. Imagine the circus when Jeter was scuffling in the first half last year and lost his 10 year grip on the Shortstop All-Star title.

As Julian said though, polls close for the offseason.

Mike
Guest
Mike
4 years 4 months ago

4 reasons to move the All-Star game to the end of the season:

1. Baseball has the longest season and therefore should give the most honor to those who complete a full season at the highest level.
2. It has the smallest post season and therefore the most players could be included if the game were to occur, say, right before the world series. When is the public’s interest in baseball highest, mid-July or right before the World Series? Why not display the best players, then let the best teams duke it out the next week? This was the NFL’s idea and it sound pretty good.
3. Having the longest season, players might be incredibly ready to blow off some steam with an exhale at the end of it instead of with a lunch break during the middle.
4. No more people complaining about what the all-star game does to their in-season performance. No more pitchers who can’t pitch because they are rested.

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