Several baseball pundits have written about how to change the MLB All Star voting process, so I thought I would contribute my “two-cents worth”. My idea follows the lines of having something like an election night, which is how we select our politicians. That way, there would be no margin for error and voters would not be able to “stuff the ballot box” and have someone like Omar Infante (.235 average, 0 homers and 24 RBI as of July 7) “accidentally” make the All Star team.
My first step would be to have a “voter registration” period where fans would go online and register to vote…just like people do in elections. After providing information, the person would receive a voter registration number that they would have to use on election day. This can be done from June 1 through 30, so voters have plenty of time to register. After the registration period ends, no one else can register. There would be minimum guidelines, such as being at least 12 years old and answer three baseball-related questions.
Secondly, a date would be set for casting ballots. A good date would be two Sundays prior to the game (July 3, 2016, if the game is going to be played on July 12). There would be a specific voting time (3:00 to 6:00 p.m., EDT…noon to 3:00 PDT). Voters would be limited to five (5) per player (how many votes does a player need to get to be selected?) At the specified time, the polls would be closed.
Third, under my plan, voters would have fewer candidates to choose from. On July 1, MLB would select three candidates for each position. The candidates would be selected based on a point system. The leader in each category (batting average, home runs, RBI, and on-base percentage) would get 10 points, the runner-up 9 points, etc. Based on the stats from July 8, the much-ballyhooed position of shortstop would have Xander Bogaerts, Jose Inglesias and Alcides Escobar on the new ballot. If there was a tie for the third and final spot, MLB could use another stat, such as fielding percentage.
After the voting ends, the starting lineups would be announced the following Monday. The All Star managers and players can vote on Sunday as well…whoever finishes second would get to be on the team and then the manager could choose among the others to fill out his roster. The Final All Stat vote would then be held Tuesday and Wednesday (you don’t need 5 days to determine who the final player would be). Again, only registered voters would be allowed to vote for the final player…only once!
By the way, let’s get the roster limits up to 35…that way, MLB can select a player deserving to be at the festivities but was “snubbed”.
There you have it…a nice, easy and painless way to vote for the All Stars. I hope the Commissioner (who is he, again?) will take a serious look at my plan.