MLB.com released the most recent update of the All-star game standings in regards to the fan vote. The Kansas City Royals continue to set the pace with three players leading the entire AL in voting (Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas). Perez leads second-place catcher Stephen Vogt by 1.3 million votes. Wow.
Royals fans seem intent on widening the margin for many of their own favorites in Royals Blue and have continued to vote early and often, even finding a second wind after the first results showed the fruits of their labor. Many around the nation have undoubtedly followed suit after they became somewhat of a darling in last years playoffs and eventually represented the league in the World Series.
At the end of the day, for the first time in a long time, this team matters. Fans care and there has certainly been a resurgence in the baseball town that is Kansas City. It shows in the All-Star voting. Sure, it may be stuffing ballot boxes, but lets face it….is there any fair way to do a FAN VOTE when small market clubs are up against the likes of New York and Los Angeles?
And while we are on the subject, how can there be any sanctity of the vote when each individual is allowed to vote up to 35 times per EMAIL ADDRESS? (not PERSON…Email address)
Now to the uneasy point. It would seem that I am tearing down the very thing that is giving so much excitement to Kansas City fans, the fact that they have a legitimate shot of having a huge All-Star game showing, but the question I ask is WHY they would have received it?
When I wrote after the last vote, I even pointed out how the five players who were currently in positions to be starters at the Mid Summer Classic all had cases of legitimacy to carry with them. The problem is not those who are leading, but rather the ones who shouldn’t even be listed at all.
Im looking at you Omar Infante…..and you Alex Rios.
Infante is currently sitting in SECOND PLACE in the AL second baseman voting behind Jose Altuve and well ahead of Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis. Rios is currently in 5th place among all outfielders in the American League.
Now, I am all for exuberance of the fans. I get it. We are excited. We MATTER. It is time we are HEARD!
Being a doormat for 29 years is tough. Its pretty easy and quite understandable that fans let out the loudest of roars when the opportunity is available. This All-Star game voting is the exact same passion that led to the electric feeling at the Wild Card game. And it is WONDERFUL!
The problem is not the passion of Royals fans, but rather the problem of what may happen because of it.
Omar Infante has a .568 OPS and a .241 on base percentage. He has the second worst OPS behind all qualified 2B in the AL beating out only Stephen Drew. He has been very not good. Not good enough to not only be a poor candidate for an All-Star game, but was even recently the topic of discussion as to whether or not he should be replaced by Christian Colon in the starting lineup for the Royals.
By comparison, Alex Rios actually has played quite well.
In the EIGHT WHOLE GAMES he has played. Thats right, Rios is on the doorstep of being an All-Star based on 1 week with a double headers worth of games, and its June.
See what I am getting at?
It is fantastic that Royals fans are excited about their team enough to pack those ballot boxes…but they seem to be doing it without any regard for whether or not they even have an ARGUMENT if the player is a valid option.
Its not that I would give two hoots about discrediting the All-Star game, MLB does a good enough job of that on their own, but they are discrediting the argument that many Royals DO belong.
What happens when 4 players DO start the All-Star game? The first thing opposing fanbases will show is that Alex Rios and Omar Infante were also top vote getters. And they will have a perfectly valid argument. There is honor and pride in having Alex and Sal voted in….it would be an utter embarrassment to see Omar voted in this year as well, and it would cheapen the validity of the deserving. We all knew the All-Star game fan vote was a farce, but we are going well above and beyond Derek Jeter farce here.
I want a dominant showing of Royals at an All-Star game to be special. And feel legitimate.
So vote early…vote often Royals fans, but please, PLEASE use at least a LITTLE discretion when placing your votes. There are plenty of Royals with a defendable resume to not have to blindly vote for the undeserving. Lets let Yankees fans do that.
Follow us on Twitter: @KCSportsNation
Like us on Facebook