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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Debate: MLB All-Star Selection

Wild on Sports
The Debate: MLB All-Star Selection
By Wild on Sports Analyst Anthony Cortese Jr.

MLB All–Star Selection Breakdown: The Debate on the Influence of Voters
Year after year one of the main arguments surrounding the monumental All-Star Game is the player selection process. On one side you have fans that want to see all their favorite players go head to head, and on the other there are players and managers looking to secure home field advantage for the World Series. For those not familiar with the way players are selected here is a quick overview: The starting lineup is voted on by the fans, then the players-vote will determine the next 16 players (eight pitchers and one backup for each position), followed by the managers selection of starting designated hitters.

Once the voting process is finished there is great discussion behind “why wasn’t this person picked,” or “how did this player make it on the team.” The 2013 season showed no changes. It was a repetition of snubbed players and pity rule acceptances. For example, the question still remains on why L.A. Dodgers Rookie right fielder, Yasiel Puig, was not chosen by either of the three tier ballots.

It was noted by baseball purists that Puig has not played enough games this season (37 of the Dodgers 95 games), to qualify for a spot on the ballot. Puig’s batting skills in the first six weeks of his big league career would argue against this unwritten rule. It is hard to argue with setting Puig aside, with the likes of, Carlos Beltran, Gonzales and Bryce Harper in the NL lineup. All three players have shown All-Star performances fans are accustom to watching. Even despite Haper’s injury, causing him to miss some games, his numbers are still decent hitting .265 with 13 home runs, 29 RBI and six stolen bases.

There is no doubt that the selection process has some quirks. Why should fans be given the majority of responsibly in the selection process? The fact of the matter is fans seem to have a large stake in the sport, from a business perspective. To be clear, they’re the ones supporting the sport, buying tickets, and purchasing memorabilia. So to include those dedicated fans every year will ensure their loyalty to the sport. There should be no confusion when it comes to knowing the sport from a strategic perspective, players and managers take the crown; but the fans are given an outside perspective that provides a slight advantage when it comes to voting.

Make no mistake that after all the arguments and complaining, on either side of the debate, millions of fans, spectators, and analysts will be watching this year’s All-Star Game. Overall, there will be 30 players making their first All-Star appearance, of which all should be applauded for making the 2013 teams.


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