The Convoluted All-Star Selection Process

The All-Star game rosters were announced Sunday, which of course means chaos ensued when the selections were revealed. Player X shouldn’t have gotten in while Stats-Stud Y should have been a lock. Since many of the selections were pretty predictable, those snubbed from the festivities, as usual, garnered a tremendous amount of attention.

Of those who were not selected, perhaps nobody was more egregiously snubbed than Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 24-year-old center fielder ranks eighth among National League hitters with a .395 wOBA. His 6.9 fielding runs derived from solid play at the toughest outfield position ranks third in the league behind Shane Victorino (also snubbed, but on the final vote, unlike McCutchen), and Troy Tulowitzki.

All told, his 4.6 wins above replacement ranks him ahead of everyone except the two Joses: Bautista and Reyes. Any list of first-half MVP contenders would be incomplete without his name, and yet fans, players and the coaching staff of the National League team somehow found a way to select other less-qualified players. That he isn’t even included on the final ballot for fan voting — the list includes Victorino, Todd Helton, Ian Kennedy, Michael Morse and Andre Ethier — further perpetuates the madness. McCutchen is one of the top players in the sport right now, better than Jay Bruce, Carlos Beltran, Chipper Jones, Morse and Ethier. Yet the first three members of that group were voted in by the players, and the latter two still have a fighting chance of making the team.

Upon reviewing the teams, I tend to think about who should have been selected over whom, and why, but this time my thought process changed. My mind gravitated towards the all-star selection process, and the game itself, which is really absurd. The game was originally designed to be an exhibition pitting the best players in the game against one another — but when interest waned, Bud Selig decided to make the game count by having the result determine home field advantage in the World Series. Interest improved, sure, but the process of selecting the participating players didn’t. So now there are fans of contending teams who have to wonder if a pitcher like Ryan Vogelsong will be the difference between their team getting three or four home games in the Fall Classic.

The rosters are selected by three different groups of people, in and out of the game, and under different rules that preclude the best possible team from being assembled. Realistically, all that changed was its status as an exhibition, which is alarming given all the stipulations. So how are the rosters selected? First, we have the starters, voted on by the fans, which becomes a popularity contest. Occasionally, the best players are the most popular group, but when half of the Yankees starting lineup is voted in over more deserving players, it becomes clear that popularity doesn’t necessarily correlate to ASG-worthiness.

Players then vote on the next 16 to make the team. They vote on eight pitchers, and one backup for each position on the diamond. If it turns out that the leading vote-getter by the fans is also the lead guy from the player-vote, the second place finisher in the player-vote gets in. This sounds good, in theory, until we remember that not every player closely follows the sport as a whole. A Reds player might vote for a Cubs player because he had two great series against them in the first half. Another might vote for a guy like Chipper over, say, Headley, based on past performance and reputation.

If some of us who complain about the process don’t take the fan balloting seriously — I can’t recall the last time I actually punched holes in a ballot — imagine how a busy player might feel.

Then the manager selects the starting designated hitter — each league uses one, even if the game takes place in an NL park — and eight others, be they pitchers or position players. The manager has a tough task in that he can’t merely select the best possible players. He has to choose with the caveat in mind that every team needs at least one representative. While that roster stipulation makes sense so that fans of every team can hold some type of vesting interest, it inevitably means that certain players will be picked over others because their teams were not yet represented in the fan and player votes.

None of this explains how McCutchen was snubbed by all three groups, or how he didn’t even make the final list of five to be voted on by fans. But it does explain how easily snubs can occur, and lends credence to the idea that “snub” is probably the wrong term. These players should probably be referred to as victims of circumstance given the convoluted selection process. The game, and the manner in which rosters are selected makes little sense, and yet year after year we allow ourselves to get stressed and take up the cause of a deserving player left off of the roster. This will be repeated until some type of change is implemented.

One way to fix the issue, whether it falls into the realm of Occam’s Razor or not, is to have the players and managers select the entire teams. Fans would then be able to vote on the starting lineups and pitchers from the previously selected groups. While some undeserving players might still find their way onto the roster, this “fix” would prevent a slew of them from preventing other superior performers from being left out in the cold. And it would still keep the fans involved, as their vote would be counted on to decide which selections deserve to start.

Is this fix reasonable? Are there other ways to fix the selection process in the game? Or would the best bet be getting rid of home field advantage ramifications and go back to an exhibition?




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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.


72 Responses to “The Convoluted All-Star Selection Process”

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  1. Todd says:

    Just let the fans choose entirely. The logistics would be a little hard to reconcile with the every team represented requirement, and it would end up with even more objectionable rosters in all likelihood. But the ASG isn’t about merit, it’s about the fans. The end of season awards can deal with merit (not that they do that perfectly, but they’re a better vehicle for it).

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    • John says:

      The problem as Eric points out is that while the ASG is indeed about the fans, it is a game that carries real consequences. Just as good baseball teams use the best players on their roster to win games, the ASG should be comprised of the best players in the league (real All-Stars) to win the game since winning the ASG matters. I like the idea of having fans create the ballot through voting and then allow the players and coaches select from the fan-made ballot. The fans could then select starters.

      Will there be “snubs”? Of course, the roster can only be so big, not every deserving player can be on the team. Will there be fewer “I’m on the All-Star team because I’m always on the All-Star team”? I hope so.

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    • GiantHusker says:

      I am in total agreement with you, Todd. Drop the stupid home-field advantage nonsense and let the fans decide whom they would like to see. That was the purpose of the All Star Game from the beginning–not to pick nits about who has had the best half-season.
      Having said that, I’d like to have a way to make the fan voting fairer, but I don’t know how to accomplish that.

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    • Temo says:

      I think this is an awful solution. The popular vote does always result in a popular selection.

      In other words, Yankee players and (probably) Philly players in the NL will garner most of the bids by virtue of having the most fans. However, they will still account for like 10% each of the fanbase that actually watches the game.

      So say at SS, where Derek Jeter gets the popular vote. I bet if you asked the viewing public and gave them the option of Derek Jeter or Johnny Peralta, they’d take the latter. However the latter doesn’t get voted in because of all the fans who just vote for the guy on their team.

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      • chuckb says:

        The fans, in my opinion, did a much better job this year than the manager or players. Jeter shouldn’t be on the team, of course, and probably neither should Hamilton but, aside from that, they did pretty well.

        The chose Avila for C, for example, which never would have happened 5 years ago.

        Including players like Tyler Clippard, Ryan Vogelsong, Chipper, and Carlos Beltran at the expense of Andrew McCutchen is an abomination, on the other hand.

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      • Neil S says:

        There’s an easy way to mitigate some of the damage – don’t count the gross vote, but give every stadium equal weight.

        There are two easy ways to do this. One would be to assign each player a number of votes based on their percentage of the vote for that position, for all votes recorded at that stadium. The other would be to assign ordinals. That way, the Yankee vote carries no more weight than the Pirate vote, and that particular bias is gone – no more stuffing the ballot box.

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      • Kevin says:

        “I bet if you asked the viewing public and gave them the option of Derek Jeter or Johnny Peralta, they’d take the latter.”

        No way – I bet that about half of the viewing public doesn’t even know who Jhonny Peralta is. Most people who watch the All-Star Game – and to whom MLB is most heavily marketing the event – are very casual baseball fans.

        I do think MLB should be doing everything it can to get the young, rising stars into the game (like McCutchen), because those are the players that will be the centerpieces in two years, and you want to showcase them. But I don’t think it serves MLB at all to have a journeyman who’s had three good months start in place of one of the league’s most popular players.

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      • Derek says:

        Kevin,

        While I agree there can be some argument to Jeter over Peralta. What about the young players like Alexei, Andrus, and Yunel Escobar? All have been good to great starters for the past couple of years and they never get on the All-Star team.

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      • JohnnyComeLately says:

        @ Neil S

        I’m pretty sure most voting is done online now. The days of counting paper ballots are nearly over.

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  2. Nathan says:

    As long as the fans are making the selections, though, your Yankees will always show up in the starting lineup. While some of them—Granderson, Cano—are deserving, for others—Jeter as the obvious example—it’s merely a lifetime achievement award. And I don’t think that will change as long as the fans (and perhaps even players) are involved.

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    • Buzzy says:

      How is Cano deserving? He is the 3rd best 2b in his own division-with Zobrist and Pedroia worth *more* than 1 win more by both Fangraphs WAR and BR.com’s WAR. His performance is also probably worse than Kendrick’s so far. His wOBA is all of 0.07 higher than Pedroia’s, and Pedroia is far better in the field (same for Zobrist). I grant you that he is far more deserving than Jeter, but he trails pretty clear several others in the AL at 2b this year.

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      • Rob in CT says:

        If you are restricting this to this season only, that’s fair enough. If you’re the type who thinks that one should consider what a player has done in the past (recent past, such as the past season or two), however, Cano isn’t a bad pick.

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      • Buzzy says:

        Reply to Rob:
        Cano is an excellent player no doubt. But is is getting some sort of official pass based on last year. Last year his BB rate was an outlier (it has returned to its crappy level again this year) as well as his defense. Futher lets look at WAR-Pedroia has been better than Cano each of the last 4 years on a per-game basis (last year, Cano’s best, he was 6.6 WAR in 160 games; Pedroia was 3.3 in 75 games). What I find funny about it is that Yankee fans complain about how biased the media is towards the Red Sox-yet in the press considering Pedroia to be on Cano’s level elicits smirks.

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      • Sultan of Schwinngg says:

        No, he isn’t a bad pick. Zonbrist and Pedroia are still better though. I think that’s what Hassan is addressing.

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      • Nathan says:

        I wasn’t saying Cano is the best pick, per se, just that there is a case to be made (most WAR among AL second-baseman since the start of ’10, second-most since the start of ’09); I don’t think there is nearly as compelling a case to be made for Jeter.

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      • frank says:

        I’m sorry…but you guys need to stop your hot love affair with WAR. It’s not the stat to end all stats. You can’t just say “WAR!” and all of a sudden your player is better.

        Cano is absolutely deserving of starting the All Star game. The All-Star game is ONE GAME. One game where a player’s UZR over half a season’s worth of data is very unlikely to have any effect on the game itself; unless you’re fielding a team of Derek Jeters in the INF and Lance Berkmans in the OF. That being said, over the past two-and-a-half years, Cano has consistently shown to be an average to slightly below average defender (as far as UZR goes) with the ability to make some incredible plays. It’s not like he’s going to kill you at all defensively.

        Only Howie Kendrick has been Cano’s equal offensively this season. Cano’s counting stats (which do matter believe it or not) are better than Pedroia and Zobrist by a good margin. His wOBA, wRC+ are all better. Cano is the better offensive player right now. Period. End of story. This has even been a down year by Cano’s standards. It’s obvious to me that 2008 was his outlier, not 2010.

        If you think Pedroia or Zobrist are more deserving this season…then I don’t know what to say. Maybe you can create your own All-Star game one day where only the top players in UZR make the team.

        If that were the case, Howie Kendrick, the REAL second baseman deserving of the All Star selection, would have been starting anyway. He’s done it all both offensively and defensively. He doesn’t take walks?? Fine. He’s still better.. and missed some games due to injury as well. That’s the only reason he doesn’t have a higher WAR and have you all foaming at the mouth.

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      • Sultan of Schwinngg says:

        Kendrick is both an average batter and fielder who just so happened to have a favorable 1st half. He doesn’t belong in this discussion.

        Let me also be the first to say how McCutchen is in that boat as well. He’s a good hitter and sporadic fielder having a good 1st half, so not only are there more deserving outfielders, I’d say Victorino is one of them.

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        If you think Kendrick is a better 2b candidate than Zobrist, Pedroia or Cano, you obviously haven’t looked at how many games he’s actually played at 2b and what his BABIP is (I know he’s prone to above average BABIPs, but it’s still high).

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    • Sultan of Schwinngg says:

      That’s cherry-picking though. 2010 was Cano’s only season in which he showed skills he’s considered particularly weak at (plate discipline, defense).

      I don’t hate the pick though. Cano is arguably the most powerful 2nd baseman in the game, and that’s more important to me than how this or that site rate his defense, especially with his defense pretty decent anyway.

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      • frank says:

        Since when is Cano weak defensively?? Over the past few years it seems like his numbers have stabilized. His -11.2 and +7.5 ratings seem to be outliers and he’s settled right into that average/slightly below average range. FWIW, DRS rates Cano above average.

        Listen, I understand he doesn’t have the best range at his position, but I simply don’t think you can call Cano a “bad” defender…or call it a weakness.

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      • Sultan of Schwinngg says:

        Since this discussion is taking place on Fangraphs shouldn’t we just limit the selection to,,, Fangraphs? Cano has a career -6.2 UZR/150; that’s not particularly good. For comparison, Zobrist: +21, Pedroia: +8.3

        But as I said, it’s no big deal to me that he was chosen. I personally prefer Zobrist and Pedroia because their games aren’t as limited as Cano’s is, ie, they too have power (though not at Cano’s level) but they also have: Plate discipline, speed and defensive value. They’re just better ballplayers, whereas Cano is the superior slugger.

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      • Oasis says:

        I think frank’s last name is Cano.

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      • fren11 says:

        “They’re just better ballplayers, whereas Cano is the superior slugger.”

        Cano is a far superior hitter than Pedroia, Dusty being a better defender and “taking more pitches” (when did this become an issue when discussing guys who handle the bat as well as Cano?) doesn’t make him a better player. You’d have somewhat of an argument if Pedroia’s career numbers were what they currently are, had he not had the benefit of playing 81 games at Fenway.

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      • Al says:

        Cmon now fren. Cano is a “far superior hitter” than Pedroia? Really? .007 wOBA points this season equates to “far superior hitter”?

        This shouldn’t be so hard, especially for users of this site. Cano and Pedroia are similarly valuable, if profoundly different, batters. Cano boasts better power, Pedroia has better on-base skills. Cano is probably the superior hitter, but only MARGINALLY so; and any advanced defensive metric, scout outside the Yankees organization, or casual fan should be able to tell you that Pedroia is a far superior fielder.

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  3. Nathan says:

    As an addendum, I’d love to see the single representative from each team be the team leader in WAR, and then let the manager pick the rest of the roster. You could then have fans vote on the starters to keep them “invested.” Granted, this would only engender massive amounts of griping about “intangibles” and “leadership” and “grit” that WAR fails to account for.

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    • Bolton says:

      That might be a tough sell, given that very few fans, players and managers have heard of WAR. McCutchen was probably “snubbed” because he didn’t have gaudy numbers in the stats the above groups understand: home runs and runs batted in.

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    • AdamM says:

      … and you can’t field a team filled with first basemen and corner outfielders

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  4. Phil says:

    I do so love watching the Gold Glove Statues, Jeter and Cano, continue to make spectacular plays on routine ground balls …

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  5. MikeS says:

    It sort of, kind of, works itself out when many players come up with little nagging “injuries” necessitating that they need to be replaced by the manager with whoever he wants. These phantom injuries seem to be most prevalent amongst veran players who have played in the game several times and would rather take a few days off than play in it again. I think Jeter, just coming off the DL, might be a prime candidate to announce that maybe his hammy is tightening up a little and why risk it.

    Still, to put togetehr a team in this way and have it actually count for something is just plain silly. Add in the fact that there are 10 teams at least 10 games back o their divisional lead and you have a bunch of players who have no chance that the game will “count” for them unless they get traded.

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  6. Bpdelia says:

    See ms. to me canos is a defensible pick and is obviously better than kendrick. Pedroia and zobrist are also deserving. No need to get benter outta shape about cano. Likewise granderson and rodriguez are deserving. Jeter obviosly is not but it is what it is there. Aside from jeter the all starters are actually pretty decent this year. Incest avilla passed martin I was happy.

    The every team gets a player rule, however, MUST go. Or rosters need to expand again.

    Honestly I haven’t watched an entire asg since the mid 80s.

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  7. BDF says:

    I don’t think the WS home-field advantage rule came about because interest was lacking. It came about after that travesty of a tie about eight years ago, for force managers to try to win the game.

    I like the rule.

    *ducks flying insults and objects*

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    • MikeS says:

      Technically right about why the rule came about. Interest was waning and they were worried the threat of ties would hurt it further, especially for a game on a Tuesday night that often doesn’t end till 11 or 12 eastern time.

      Wrong on liking it, but to each his own.

      BTW, most of the people who really get into this gameare kids, aren’t they? I know I cared about it a lot more back then. So why do they play a game that most kids will not see the end of? I know MLB doesn’t want to give up a weekend of attendance (even though they play on 26 weekends a year not counting the playoffs. The NBA, NHL and even NFL play a Sunday afternoon game and the world doesn’t end. Maybe MLB has given up on turning kids on to baseball?

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  8. kid says:

    1) The fans are the ones who shell out all of their money to watch baseball, so I can’t help but think that they should get to see whatever players they want, regardless of whether they happen to include every player in the top-10 in NL WAR.

    2) You sound very bitter over this issue. This reads like a “Dear Diary” entry.

    3) If McCutchen had popped a few more homers, maybe we wouldn’t have to campaign for his inclusion in the Midsummer Classic.

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    • Ryan says:

      Fans, eh? When the spot for McCutchen was assumed to be lost because of the fan vote to more deserving offensive players, yet he lost out to two less deserving outfielders picked by the players and the managers…why?

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    • A guy from PA says:

      I’m sorry that being on a 23 homer pace isn’t enough for you from a center fielder. I’m also sorry he batted leadoff for a decent part of the season so his RBI total was down. He’s still got more than Victorino in BOTH and that guy got put on the final vote.

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    • Ben says:

      McCutchen is superior to Beltran in every category except RBIs (and that is because he batted leadoff for substantial parts of the season). Beltran got in because he plays for the Mets and McCutchen plays for the Pirates.

      Fortunately, the reaction to the snub this year will probably get him in next year.

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    • matt w says:

      Yes, it’s a shame that McCutchen didn’t hit more homers, playing as he does in a park whose home run factor for righties is 81.

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    • The Howling Fantods says:

      SIgh…

      You’re on the wrong site, brah.

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  9. I personally come down on the side of hair. Reyes hair quotient just slightly edged out McCutchen. This really a slam on Iron City hairdressers.

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  10. Joel says:

    Not exactly fair, but this would be a way to reconcile the “every team gets a representative” and the “fans vote for everything” dichotomy.

    Votes for each team’s players are tallied for their home stadium. The player (position-independent) with the most votes from their hometown fans gets automatic entry into the allstar game. So that’s 14 automatic berths for the AL and 16 for the NL.

    With the remaining slots, you look at the remaining positions on the roster and fill them with the leading vote getters across the league. In the extremely unlikely scenario where the fans voted for 16 pitchers in the NL (say) you technically have enough players to cover all the positions. The only way this becomes unworkable is if the fans vote for something ludicrous, like 16 first basemen. I don’t know what the likelihood of this would be, but I imagine that it’s very low. In this “emergency” case, an allstar selection committee can override some of the selections.

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    • Trotter76 says:

      How do you account for online voting? Once that rule is in place, lots of Yankee fans could say they’re “hometown” fans of the Padres or Brewers and basically stuff that team’s ballot box with Yankees.

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  11. frank says:

    Every Yankees All-Star starter other than Jeter is deserving of his spot. Or at least has a very, very strong argument.

    So this statement, “half of the Yankees starting lineup is voted in over more deserving players,” is nonsense.

    Who’s more deserving than A-Rod? Youkilis?? Very debatable. Who gets the nod over Granderson? Cano’s already been discussed… you can make an argument for or against, but it’s so close that you really can’t kill the pick.

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    • Joel says:

      If you completely discount fielding, Kendrick, Pedroia and Kinsler are all as deserving as Cano. However, once you throw in fielding, they’re all more deserving, and Zobrist is, too.

      Not to bash Cano, but there are a lot of great second basemen in the AL this season.

      As for outfielders, Granderson totally belongs. My only beef is with Hamilton, but I know why he’s there. Every other spot (save Jeter, whom you mention) is about right.

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  12. Shaggychild says:

    Things would be easier if people just conceded the fact that Jeter will be the AL all-star starting shortstop for the rest of his life.

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  13. Devon Young says:

    There should be a clause that when a clearly deserving player is left out, he replaces a player on the roster. Of course, that’s a very simplistic way of putting it, ’cause the rule would have to define “deserving” and define which player should be replaced. That can be worked out easy enough I think.

    I think the All-Star game would be more fun to watch on TV again if they… played it in Hawaii, or London, or Puerto Rico, or Venezuela, or Mexico City, or…something like that.

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  14. Antonio Bananas says:

    I don’t think the fans should vote. I think if you have a selection of writers, say the HOF committee or something, vote in the players then you have a better team. I think this would grow the game because instead of seeing Derek Jeter every freakin All Star Game then people see Andrew McCutchen or Asdrubal Cabrera starting. They get educated. Sure some of them don’t watch, but I doubt that number will be all that high as long as you maintain the “every team needs a rep” rule.

    I think about the fans like children. You can’t let them choose what to have for supper every night; and you have to show them a better way to do things to expand their horizons.

    To give the fans a choice, maybe you make it like an award like “fans choice awards” or something. Which would be meaningless but whatever.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      I think not forcing networks and fans to see other teams and players is a huge part of baseball’s problem. In the NFL people know a lot about several different teams. Not just ones in large markets. It’s because you don’t see the same 2 teams on TV every game and all teams get ESPN exposure because all good players (for the most part) are hyped up.

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  15. Sox2727 says:

    Can someone explain to me how Kendrick and Young get reserve spots ahead of Konerko? Konerko is the only player on the Sox that has had ANY level of consistency the entire season. How did he get overlooked and put in the “Final Vote” for the second consecutive season? He has carried the Sox offense the entire season, and you can easily make the argument that he has been more valuable to the Sox offense than any player on any team. I realize that is a huge indictment on the Sox team but it doesn’t change the fact that without Konerko the Sox are an absolute joke.

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  16. Just take the top two players in Fangraphs WAR and make them the all stars. Everyone will agree to that, right?

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  17. Bascinator says:

    I think baseball should do what the NFL does for the pro bowl selections: make the entire roster comprised of 1/3 fan vote, 1/3 players, and 1/3 managers/coaches. Keep the one player per team rule. Also, get rid of the home-field advantage rule. It’s so lame that the game counts for home-field advantage, but the managers don’t manage it that way. The MLB all-star game still beats out other sports, regardless of whether or not “it counts” since you can easily have the best players on the field and not worry about team chemistry. Also, the starters should play at least 5 innings (except P). The best players in each league should be out there for the longest time.

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  18. CircleChange11 says:

    IMO, more kids watch the HR Derby than the All-Star game.

    Lots of kid baseball fans still have games of their own on week days.

    The same folks that watch the ASG are the ones that watch games on a regular basis … those fans that have 3 hours a night with nothing to do. My dad and his peers.

    IMHO, more kids are probably thrilled with Azdrubal than Jeter because of all the web gens he had this year. He threw a ball to second behind his back, he fielded a one hopper barehanded. Kids don’t remember Jeter flipping the ball to home to get Giambi or diving into the crowd.

    Kids always like the young prospects better than veterans because of the “cool factor”. If kids determined the All-Star voting, Bryce Harper would be starting in RF (you know what I mean).

    IMO, if you ask kids who the best defensive 2B in the NL is, slot of them are going to say “that dude that flipped the ball between his legs with his glove.” kid’s memories are not very long … so the idea that kids are selecting guys based on reputation is probably not accurate.

    My guess is that kids love McCutchen. He’s cool looking and makes a lot of cool looking plays.

    The problem with the AS vote has always been fans voting for players on their favorite team.

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  19. CFIC says:

    Hard to believe that the best center fielder in the game does not make the team; and is not even available as an option for final vote. baseball, I dunno; you make no sense half the time.

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  20. CircleChange11 says:

    Doesn’t using WAR as a deciding stat reward batters for BABIP and HR/FB luck and fielders for small sample UZR?

    I bring that up for 2 reasons:

    (1) People have spoken out against rewarding 1 half, perhaps flukey, performance.

    (2) Pitcher WAR doesn’t (although FB/HR luck is included, and depending on WAR variety BABIP luck may be a %).

    People have already throughly explained the problem of the game being a conflict between a showcase of popular players and it being a “must win” game. It’s complicated further by players being able to bow out with a “nagging injury” or teams demanding/requesting their ace not pitch (or pitching them right before the ASG so they are “not available”).

    Until we have a consensus on the purpose of the game or what criteria to use for selection, there will be as many selection methods as there are opinions.

    There also seem to be a growing number of players that want selected for the prestige, but don’t really want to play in the game.

    I recall the ASG being the time during the season where the “superiority” of the league was settled. Now, everyone’s priority seems to be on “not getting injured”. Too much money on the line, and large sums of money trumps bragging rights.

    As a side, there was some grumbling about Pujols not being selected out of respect (and to keep his AS streak alive) and then being replaced due to injury. But that seems to be the type of thing my Cardinals complain about these days.

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  21. pft says:

    Yawn. Just let whomever broadcasts the game select the players, or let King Bud select the players. They will select the players that will get them the best ratings.

    The average fan does no better voting for players than the average citizens does voting for politicians.

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  22. CubsCrazy says:

    It seems like there isn’t such an uproar among fanbases of the other major sports in regard to All-Star voting. Of course, there are “snubs” in the other major sports, but it seems like baseball fans gripe more than any other over which players are and are not worthy of participating in a game that shouldn’t mean anything. Bud should just scrap the current format and maybe copy the NHL’s ’11 ASG; letting two captains pick teams. I seriously doubt it would hurt MLB ASG’s popularity.

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  23. Paul says:

    The only thing that annoys me in ASG voting is that these popularity contests count when weighing up a player’s career. How many times did you see Bert Blyleven’s detractors harp on about his lack of AS games & MVP votes etc..

    Take McCutch, a nice hitting, OBP good glove CF is the sort of player who ends up underrated in his career, thereby lessening his HoF chances (yes a long way off, but still) – so missing out on ASG when he is deserving sucks.

    OTOH another ASG for Beltran should help another career underrated player in a few years.

    Konerko should be pissed (and he is a guy who needs all the extra help he can get for the HoF)

    The fact that it is easier to get AS status now means is sucks even more when you are snubbed

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  24. YazInLeft8 says:

    Someone was trying to tell me that Chris Perez making the All Star team was absurd. And I couldn’t believe my ears.
    The kid had an incredible ’10 season on it’s own, and has continued have strong K/9 and BB/9 while keeping his ERA below 3.
    He is the stud of the Indians bullpen, and a bargain.

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    • Templeton1979 says:

      I think David Robertson has been the best reliever in the AL so far. I know he’s a Yankee and a lot of people don’t like that, but no AL reliever is better, especially with the bases loaded (2.2 ip in that situation, 8k 0er. Every out was a K!). Overall 1.67 FIP (best in the AL among pitchers with 20+ innings) and 1.05 era in 34 1/3 innings, not one home run given up all season. And they use him for bases loaded jams frequently! Tremendous under pressure, they call him Houdini.

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  25. Templeton1979 says:

    WOW the DH rule is terrible. They should get rid of it completely! It’s useless, it doesn’t create more excitement, all it does is inflate standard AL hitting stats and do the opposite for the pitchers, making them harder to compare to standard NL stats . Plus, it keeps players around past their time or who do not deserve to be in the majors at all apart from on the bench. Why would you want to watch a mediocre hitter bat?? Might as well just watch the pitcher hit(some can do it very well!) and enjoy the actual position players. Ortiz and Young should either be first basemen(Though Ortiz would be terrible defensively) or situational hitters. The rest should either be pinch hitters or retire, and NONE of them should be all-stars. The fact that they’re trying to put it in the All-Star game in an NL park is ridiculous. It needs to go away, not spread further! HORRIBLE idea.

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  26. ritz says:

    McCutchen was a huge snub, but I have noticed a few places (sports forums, blog comments and even MLB Network) people making it a point to single out Carlos Beltran when talking about McCutchen getting snubbed. Clearly McCutchen is having a better year, but how about looking at another OF reserves. Jay Bruce, perhaps? Carlos Beltran is having a superior year than Bruce, yet no one is saying “McCutchen should be in the ASG over Bruce.”

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  27. Ryan says:

    Allow for FanGraphs to create the ‘Final Ballot’ of players to be selected by fans.

    Once the media goes through the process of complaining (rightly so in most cases I think) over who was snubbed (and said snubbed players would be on the Fnal Ballot), the fans would be aware of the McCutcheons of the world and set things right.

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  28. Templeton1979 says:

    Dustin Pedroia: .394 obp, decent baserunner, great defender, amazing plate discipline, team leader.

    Robinson Cano: .342 obp, decent baserunner, sub par defender, can hardly draw a walk.

    I understand that the fans voted for the starters, but how is Pedroia not an All-Star?

    I’d also like to add that I am a Cardinals fan, not a Red Sox fan. The only bias I have toward either the Yankees or the Red Sox is that they both spend way too much money.

    It’s not all about home runs and batting average, especially in the middle infield!

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  29. CircleChange11 says:

    I haven’t viewed the online ballot, but posting the ballot on June 1st and listing a players main stats next to his name seems like something that could be done easily. WAR could be one of the stats listed.

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  30. William says:

    isn’t mcutchen on the all star team?

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