All-Star voting gives baseball black eye • Latino Sports


All-Star voting gives baseball black eye


Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

The season is just three weeks old but All-Star voting is in full swing.

As Yogi Berra might say, something’s not kosher in the State of Denmark.

For one thing, nobody knows at the end of April who deserves to go play in the All-Star Game in mid-July.

For another, fans don’t know enough to be involved in the process at any time.

The computerized fan ballot is prepared far too early to include such early-season sensations as Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis.
In addition, the use of the ballot allows teams and even Major League Baseball to urge fans not only to elect their favorites but to vote early and vote often.

We’re not talking about Honduras here, folks. This is the United States of America, established on the principle of one man, one vote.

When players, managers, and coached picked the lineups, they were actually barred from voting for teammates. That was an fair selection process.

As baseball prepares to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first All-Star Game, the game could not give its fans a better present than to return the vote to the men who see baseball every day. Nor would it be a bad idea to stop rewarding World Series home-field advantage to the winning league.

All-Star starter despite .199 average

All-Star starter despite .199 average

Even the fans agree; as long ago as 1974, a poll by The Sporting News indicated three of every four fans wanted All-Star to be picked by people in uniform. Results have shown why: Luis Aparicio was elected a starter after he retired, Davey Lopes was picked with a .169 batting average, Reggie Jackson was picked in a year when he was hitting .199, and Ozzie Smith could do little more than turn somersaults.

In the days when players picked the lineups, the American and National Leagues had a real rivalry. With no interleague play outside of the World Series, league pride meant something.

The way the current system works, there’s actually no need for the fan vote — anybody with half a brain could pick the most popular players from the biggest cities, wind them up, and watch them play.

Also worth noting this weekend:

Broken hand rattles Yanks

Broken hand rattles Yanks

The fractured hand suffered by Francisco Cervelli tonight is yet another blow for the injury-riddled Yankees. Cervelli had been performing well this season after inherited the job by default following the free agent defection of Russell Martin . . .

Another contender dealt a serious setback this week is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost starting pitcher Chad Billingsley to Tommy John surgery . . .

Former All-Star catcher Brian McCann hammered two homers in his first rehab game as he tries to work his way back to Atlanta . . .

Now that he’s finally used to wearing pinstripes, Kevin Youkilis could join the expanding Yankee disabled list as his back problems continue . . .

Before the Uptons did it last week, the Waners were the only brothers in baseball history to smack consecutive home runs (in 1938) . . .

Loved Tania Grossinger’s new children’s book Jackie & Me, about her encounters with Jackie Robinson while she was a teenager growing up at Grossinger’s Resort in the Catskills . . .

Although he grew up in Southern California, Darrell Evans said this week that he rooted for the Milwaukee Braves and idolized Eddie Mathews, who played third base for the Braves before Evans . . .

Ex-Yankees Ron Blomberg, Fritz Peterson, and Jay Johnstone are among the celebrities headlining back-to-back ‘Baseball Legends Cruises’ aboard the American Queen paddlewheel steamboat starting July 19. Also involved are ex-Met Art Shamsky and former umpire Al Clark. The cruises go from St. Louis to Cincinnati (7 nights) and Cincinnati to Pittsburgh (5 nights).






About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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