The MLB All-Star game is an annual event that pits the top National League players against the top American League players. At least that’s usually how it works. This year there’s a bit of a problem though. It looks like the game is going to be the top National League players vs. The Kansas City Royals. Of the 9 starting spots on the American league All-Star roster, currently 8 are being held by players on the Royals. Some of these players have no business being there. How did this happen? It’s the fans.
Royals fans are flooding the voting, putting their players millions of votes ahead of deserving players from other teams. The MLB allows fans to vote for players at the 9 different positions to determine the starters for the all-star game. It’s supposed to be fun and a way to involve fans and allow them have an actual impact. The issue this year involving the Royals exposes the problem of giving the fans such a high degree of control. Letting fans pick the players is supposed to be a positive marketing play, a way for everyone to be part of this special event. Instead this is isolating fans and affecting the integrity of the sport. Sure, the game would be a blast to watch if you’re a Royals fan, but what about all the other markets? All-Star games are supposed to represent teams and players from across the sport, not just a single team. It’s disheartening and boring as a fan of any other team to tune into the game and see an entire roster comprised of players all from one team. This is supposed to be a chance for fans to see a dream team. A lineup made of the very best players that you would never normally see anywhere else. It also just sucks as a fan when a player that you love from your team is deserving of a spot that is being taken by a Royals player. Currently Omar Infante is the leading vote getter for the position of second base despite the fact that a player like Jose Altuve has consistently and significantly been the better player. Like in any sport fans play a critical role; they’re the heart and soul. Fans should have a voice because their pride and passion helps drive tv ratings, attendance, season ticket sales, and sponsorship dollars. In the case of the All-Star game the balance has been tipped with fans having way too much influence and sway. Think about it, every city across North America has a unique fan base, idolizing their favourite players. In the spirit of the truest dream team there must be fair representation of the most deserving players across the MLB. As controversial as it may be, voting rights should be taken away or very minimized from a fan perspective. All fans should have a reason to watch and see their star represent their team, not just Royals fans. – Josh