Even the casual baseball fan has read so many times over the years just how terrible the fan voting system is to determine who starts the all star team. This year, the proposition of seeing each league start 4-5 players from the same team is truly a nightmare for those not living in Boston or Chicago. This just continues to show the disparity between large and small market franchises, I mean really, I'd like to see the Vegas odds on the next time a Kansas City Royal player will make the team on the fan vote.
There is an issue to be discussed with all-star voting that hardly ever gets discussed. The issue is with players that deserve to be on the ballot that are not even listed. Worse still, there are several players on the ballot that have either lost their jobs (Jayson Nix, Ben Broussard doesn't even play for the Rangers anymore), been injured (Nomar Garciaparra, Howie Kendrick) or my favorite, those playing so poorly that they don't even deserve to be in the Major Leagues(Andruw Jones!!!). I present one potential solutions to the mess that is the All-Star Ballot:
Each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams have to constantly change their rosters to respond to injuries or poor performance, what says that the All-Star ballot can't do the same thing. This plan would essentially cause the paper ballots to stop being produced and have players who have started 10-15 games at a position to be eligible for voting (much like fantasy baseball). In a "green" society this makes perfect sense, I see more ballots stuffed in urinals or in containers formerly holding beer. The MLB would remove the paper cost and this voting system would encourage fans to vote intelligently online as opposed to punching out players from their favorite teams and then whichever name sounds the best in the other league. This option certainly appeals to me as it offers a solution to both the stacking and ballot issues. If paper ballots are an avenue that can be phazed out slowly, every two weeks, MLB could send a box of ballots to teams so that fans who want to use the paper ballots just need to speak with ushers for their section. This could create more fan interaction with the team and the product of baseball. The costs will shoot back up again for All-Star Game preparation if that is the case though.
With all of that discussion I present my choices for the All-Star Game as of June 2nd:
Pos, Player Name (AL Team)/Player Name (NL Team)
C, Joe Mauer (MIN)/Brian McCann (ATL)
1B, Justin Morneau (MIN)/Lance Berkman (HOU)
2B, Ian Kinsler (TEX)/Chase Utley (PHI)
3B, Alex Rodriguez (NYY)/Chipper Jones (ATL)
SS, Derek Jeter (NYY)/Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
OF1, Josh Hamilton (TEX)/Ryan Braun (MIL)
OF2, Carlos Quentin (CHW)/Ryan Ludwick (STL)
OF3, Manny Ramirez (BOS)/Kosuke Fukudome (CHC)
DH, Hideki Matsui (NYY)