Reds Round Table: The All-Star Game and Other Baseball Info

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Well, if you saw my tweet earlier today, you are well aware of a mishap with my laptop…as in I took the liberty of spilling coffee on it this morning. Well, 7 hours later, and with the exception of a number of sticky keys, things are almost back to normal.

Now, we’re at Part II of our Reds Round Table. Today, we’ll cover a couple of issues surrounding the All-Star Game and a coupleof insights about baseball in general.

The panel is almost the same as yesterday. Once again, we have BK and JinAZ from Red Reporter, Ronnie Ginter from Big Red Redemption, Tina Cisneros from Rockin’ Redlegs, and joining us today is Chad Dotson of Redleg Nation. We also have the BRM staff of Alex Apple, Justin Hamilton, Kevin Geary, John Heitz, and Kerry Moss on board as well.

Well, let’s get down to business…

No question that year after year we see at least one ASG starter voted in due to his popularity with the fans. And this year more than ever, we see many players pulling themselves out of the midsummer classic due to various reasons, ala the NFL Pro Bowl. Now, players that have no business playing are now participating. Is the ASG now migrating into a joke like the Pro Bowl? I picked this as the first topic only because of what has transpired more for this season, and to an extent, in seasons past.

Well, I received two responses that were extremely interesting. First up today, Tina from Rockin’ Redlegs:

As Rockin’ Redlegs’ avid readers may know, a friend of mine recently moved to Cincinnati from Pittsburgh and I’m trying hard to turn her into a Reds fan. She’s not really a baseball fan at all, but when All-Star voting was winding down and I was forcing her to vote Reds all day long, she made an excellent point. “Why do the fans get to choose who goes to the All-Star game? Shouldn’t the best players go instead of whoever gets the most votes?” I was shocked at her response, but she was right. I never really gave it much thought until she said that. Do I believe that Ryan Braun is a better Left Fielder than Jonny Gomes? You bet I do, but you won’t catch me voting for Ryan Braun during All-Star voting. (Not that he’ll be playing anyway.)

The All-Star Game, in recent years, has become less about who is actually good enough to be considered an All-Star and more about which team in each league is the most strongly represented. While I think there is a place for this kind of competition, I don’t think it should be at the All-Star Game. The word “All-Star” used to mean something, but now it just means that some teenager stayed up all night drinking Mountain Dew and creating new email addresses to vote for his favorite player a million times.

I was thrilled when I learned that Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips would represent our Redlegs in the ASG, even though they weren’t starting. I was happy for them because they were chosen by their peers, MLB players, which to me means more than being voted in by the fans. I’m not saying that the fans shouldn’t have a hand in selecting who goes to the All-Star Game, but I do think that there should be a new system for deciding who gets the once-coveted title of “All-Star.” If things don’t change soon, the ASG will lose all credibility and being called an “All-Star” will be arbitrary – if this hasn’t already happened.

But here is a bit of a counter to Tina’s response. BRM’s Kevin Geary opines his thoughts about the ASG vote:

I’ve stated on BRM my feelings for organizations organizing events to vote for just the players from their team—whether it be the Reds or Brewers or Yankees or whomever. When this happens, guys like Andrew McCutchen (this year) and Joey Votto (last year) don’t even get voted into the All Star Game even though they’re the most deserving candidates. You should vote for the BEST player, not “your guy.” And for the record, that #VoteRedLunch stuff…GET RID OF IT!!! And then we get to the contract thing where players that receive bonuses for being NAMED to the ASG only want their bonus—they have no care to play in the game. Get rid of these B.S. bonuses.

Wow. Don’t hold back, Kev. Tel us how you really feel.

Personally, I vote for the most deserving player. If it is close, I go the way of my Reds…any day of the week! And as far as the organization of voting parties, all teams do it. Since that is the case, I have no issue with it.

On to the next topic.