There is not a dumber tradition in sports than the MLB allowing fans to vote in the starters for the all-star game.
Since 1970, the MLB has allowed for the fans to decide who gets to start in each season’s all-star game. Other organizations, such as the NBA have followed in baseball’s foot steps when it comes to fan voting, but nobody pushes it on their fans quite like the MLB.
Every time around this year, it is impossible to miss. On the television, signs, billboards, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it and you’ll find advertisements reminding you not to forget to vote in your favorite player, whether he deserves it or not. Fans are allowed to vote up to 30 times per day, but as we have come to find out, there are not really any regulations.
All of this leads to numerous snubs and undeserving all-stars every season. Like right now, Jason Heyward is a leading vote getter, putting him in a starting outfield spot if the game were today. Jason Heyward is hitting .258 with 6 homers, 31 RBIs, and a .315 on-base percentage. I can name twenty outfielders with better numbers. Atlanta’s own, Matt Kemp, is hitting .320 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs and a .362 OBP and would not be a starter in the outfield if the game were today.
Tyler Flowers, who is second among all catchers in batting average and first in on-base percentage is not even on the radar for a possible starting spot according to fans. He deserves to be an all-star, but what 12-year old kid outside of Atlanta, who has never heard of Tyler Flowers, is going to vote for a guy whose last name is Flowers.
It is not happening, and Flowers is not the type of player who is going to be in this position very often. He has never put up these types of numbers and will likely never do it again. This could very well be the only time he is ever even considered for an all-star selection, and a flawed system could prevent that from happening.
These scenarios happen so often that the actual significance of being named to the all-star game has been diluted over the last 47 years. An all-star selection can come down to how interesting your name is, how popular you are, or even how much a particular team shoves fan voting advertisements in the faces of their fans. Remember when Kansas City nearly had their whole damn team in the starting lineup? It gets more and more ridiculous as technology continues to evolve and it’s about time it comes to an end.