For an All-Star game that prides itself on actually “mattering,” the MLB has a problem putting the right people in the game. After all, the team that wins the All-Star game gives their league home field advantage in the World Series.
Due to fan voting, it’s common for certain players on more popular teams to represent their league in the midsummer classic, although they may not necessarily be statistically worthy. This year is no different.
For one, the fans failed to vote in Miguel Cabrera as the starting first basemen for the American League, instead voting for the Kansas City Royals first baseman, Eric Hosmer. This brings up bad memories of last year, where fans voted in four Kansas City Royals players (some more deserving than others.)
This year, the team that seems to be over-represented is the Chicago Cubs of the National League. While they have gotten off to a fantastic start, the four players the fans voted into the starting lineup are somewhat questionable. The notable mistake here is Cubs’ second baseman, Ben Zobrist. Daniel Murphy of the Washington Nationals, batting .347 with 14 homers and 56 RBI’s definitely deserves the starting bid over Zobrist.
When you give the fans the power to vote in their favorite players it shouldn’t surprise anyone that mistakes are made. After all, it’s by definition a popularity contest. And thatmeans the quality of a player isn’t really being taken into account. The MLB needs to either change the method of voting players in or make the game, again, inconsequential. You can’t have it both ways.