Dan's Dugout: Ballot-Box Stuffing hurts All-Star Game • Latino Sports

Baseball

Dan’s Dugout: Ballot-Box Stuffing hurts All-Star Game

on

Vote early and vote often. Fans can vote up to 35 times. Elect your favorite players.

All three of those slogans underline exactly why the All-Star Game has lost its luster, not to mention its prestige.

Awarding the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series is another hair-brained idea but that’s another story.

This article is about the whole idiotic process — and how to stop it.

Commissioner Rob Manfred should stop the KC ballot-box stuffing

Commissioner Rob Manfred should stop the KC ballot-box stuffing

Now that bumbling Bud Selig is out of the way, Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to follow the example of Ford Frick and veto the lunacy of the electors.

In 1957, when Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot box, Frick vetoed the selections of Wally Post and Gus Bell in favor of two guys named Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. Then he stripped the fans of the vote and decided All-Star lineups should be picked by players, coaches, and managers — barring them from voting for teammates to ensure objectivity. Yes, one man, one vote. What an ingenuius idea!

Simply put, fans of the 2015 Kansas City Royals are making a mockery of the process. At last look, seven of the eight American League starters were playing for that team. As a result, deserving players like batting leader Cecil Fielder (Rangers), defending and current home run king Nelson Cruz (Mariners), and Triple Crown contender Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) would only earn selection as a designated hitter or bench-warmer.

Prince Fielder deserves to start in the All-Star Game

Prince Fielder deserves to start in the All-Star Game

That’s no way to win fans and TV ratings. Are you listening, FOX?

While it is amazing that baseball’s smallest market is producing its biggest travesty. the fact is that the Royals have ramped up their attendance in the wake of their surprise run from wild-card winner to Almost But Not Quite World Champion.

Teams that pack their ballparks have an unfair advantage in the All-Star balloting — which is also tilted toward St. Louis on the National League side — but Major League Baseball compounds the felony by releasing returns on a weekly basis.

That is as thoughtless as releasing presidential election results before the election is over. Maybe Al Gore would have won after all. Oh, that’s right: he did !!

While it’s great the Royals are on pace to draw 2.6 million — trumping the 1989 club record of 2.47 million — nobody wants to see the Kansas City Royals versus the National League All-Stars.

Royals manager Ned Yost has no qualms about filling the All-Star roster with Royals

Royals manager Ned Yost has no qualms about filling the All-Star roster with Royals

Well, maybe Mrs. Yost does, since Kaycee manager Ned Yost is bringing his entire coaching staff with him to Cincinnati. The few fans who watch the late-starting game will get sick of the baby blue uniforms in no time.

As for the manager himself, he sees nothing wrong with the voting process. “These guys all desire attention and exposure,” he says. “Each and every position. I always thought (Mike) Moustakas had a chance to be an All-Star, that (Alcides) Escobar and (Lorenzo) Cain would be All-Stars. Alex Gordon has already been an All-Star. I thought Salvy (Perez) would be an All-Star when I first saw him. I thought (Eric) Hosmer would be an All-Star. It’s cool seeing it all come together.”

No, Ned, you’re way off base. This is NOT how it should be. It’s a game for the fans of America, not just the fans of one city.

Okay, Rob Manfred, this is a real chance to show the Bud Lite days are over, that the game now has a Commissioner with a backbone, someone willing to make a controversial move to protect the integrity of the game. As they say in the NBA, the ball is in your court.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Charlton Heston may have parted the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments but rookie Chris Heston (Giants) needed only nine innings to part Flushing Bay Tuesday with the first no-hitter of the season . . .

It took him a year-and-a-half to figure it out, but Brian McCann finally realizes the short porch at Yankee Stadium was made for his lefthanded swing . . .

Brian McCann has found the range in New York Image Credit: Bill Menzel

Brian McCann has found the range in New York
Image Credit: Bill Menzel

After an awful start, the Texas Rangers have been raking — thanks in part to the return of injured stars Prince Fielder (neck), Shin-Soo Choo (ankle), and Mitch Moreland (elbow) but also to the wise signing of veteran southpaw Wandy Rodriguez, released by Atlanta in spring training . . .

Congratulations to Atlanta youngsters Christian Bethancourt and Joey Terdoslavich for making their first big-league homers game-winners just several days apart . . .

Fenway Park’s Green Monster is giving converted infielder Hanley Ramirez more fits than it gave Manny Ramirez, one of Boston’s worst defensive leftfielders . . .

Hanley Ramirez has been a horror show in left field

Hanley Ramirez has been a horror show in left field

The demotion of Cleveland third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, a surprise last year, shocked Indians fans but is one of the reasons Terry Francona’s team never got off the ground in the AL Central . . .

Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer is the first pitcher since 1900 with double-digit strikeouts and zero walks in three straight games . . .

After toying with the idea of a six-man rotation, the Mets relented and pushed struggling veteran starter Dillon Gee into their bullpen . . .

Kelly Johnson’s imminent return from a Triple-A rehab assignment means the Braves are four-deep at third base with Chris Johnson, Juan Uribe, and the injured Phil Gosselin other options for Fredi Gonzalez . . .

Really enjoyed Kevin Neary’s new Hank Aaron tribute book 715: Reflections on Remembering Hank and the Home Run That Made History (Skyhorse) . . .

Hank Aaron is the subject of a new book called '715'

Hank Aaron is the subject of a new book called ‘715’

People who scoffed when Twins closer Glen Perkins was considered a hometown concession for the 2014 All-Star Game roster aren’t laughing now that he converted his first 21 save chances . . .

Baltimore got a big boost when catcher Matt Wieters, recovered from Tommy John surgery, hit his first home run in more than a year . . .

Cubs closer Jason Motte, who just got his first save since 2012, will have to work extra hard to fend off a challenge from just-signed veteran Rafael Soriano, trying to work his way back from the minors . . .

Gerrit Cole is the first Pirate since 1925 with 30 wins in 53 or less lifetime starts . . .

Justin Verlander’s scheduled Saturday return should prevent any future slumps by the Tigers but newcomer Alfredo Simon, obtained from Cincinnati, helped pick up the slack . . .

David Hale finally has a home in Colorado

David Hale finally has a home in Colorado

Colorado has told David Hale he’s now a permanent member of its rotation after two straight strong starts by the former Princeton  standout . . .

If Toronto had any pitching to match its robust hitting, the AL East might be a runaway for the Jays . . .

Since Pablo Sandoval is playing so poorly in his first year as Boston’s third baseman, the Sox might consider returning Hanley Ramirez to the hot corner and sending Sandoval back to a National League team . . .

At least Boston pitching is better under Carl Willis than it was under Juan Nieves, fired as pitching coach May 9 . . .

Hard to believe Jason Hammel (Cubs) is 9-0 against Washington in 11 career starts . . .

Also hard to believe Jeff Francoeur (Phillies) hit a grand slam against Madison Bumgarner (Giants) . . .

Madison Bumgarner threw a gopher ball to Jeff Francoeur with the bases loaded

Madison Bumgarner threw a gopher ball to Jeff Francoeur with the bases loaded

The suddenly-potent Minnesota Twins will get an extra boost next month when Ervin Santana (drug suspension) returns for the second half . . .

Miami Marlins speed merchant Dee Gordon could become the first man to top the majors in batting average and stolen bases since Jackie Robinson in 1949.

 

 

 

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.

Recommended for you