With the All-Star Game less than a month away, MLB has released another voting update and it's a doozy. Two weeks ago, during the initial update, the Royals had five players leading the polls (including two of the three starting outfield positions). Now they're leading every single position, and if voting ends like this, the only non-Royal position player to start the game will be Mike Trout. The Royals made a hell of a run in the postseason last year, but that doesn't mean that their entire team deserves to start the All-Star Game. Clearly the system is flawed, and there are several changes that should be made before 2016 rolls around.
Here's what the All-Star Game should be: the best players from the American League playing against the best from the National League. There are a few problems with this though. First, some fans just want to see players from their favorite team make the ASG. This appears to be what is happening with the AL voting right now, and to a lesser extent with the Cardinals in the NL. The fact that the fan vote decides the starting fielders turns the entire thing into a popularity contest. MLB tries to counter-balance that with the rule that every team must be represented, but that becomes more challenging with the Royals fielding every position. As things currently stand, the managers select the pitchers, and the managers and players vote for the reserves, but maybe the fan vote should be eliminated altogether. Each fan can currently cast thirty-five votes per email address, but maybe that number should be reduced. Another idea would be to have the players nominate three or four guys from every position, and then let the fans vote from those choices. They could even put a cap on the number of players who can start from each team.
However, if MLB insists that the fan vote is part of what makes the ASG fun, then they should make it so that the game doesn't count for anything. The league that wins the ASG gets home field advantage in the World Series, so wouldn't they both want to field the best possible teams? That can't be accomplished with the fan vote the way it is now. Previous years haven't been as bad, but Royals fans appear to be setting up the AL for failure this year. Which is not to say that I think any Yankees should be leading the votes, but there are many non-Royals who deserve recognition. In what world does Kendrys Morales deserve to start over Nelson Cruz? Or Eric Hosmer over Miguel Cabrera? Either make changes to the fan vote component (or eliminate it altogether), or make the ASG into something that the players just do for fun to relax in the middle of the season. Both the NBA and the NFL have fans vote for their All-Star games, but their games don't effect the playoffs in any way and that's the way it should be.
What changes would you like to see made to the All-Star Game or the voting process?