We are just five days away from the 2018 All Star Game in Washington D. C. The starting line ups for the National and American League are in place. All thanks to fan voting. The final two vote winners now selected after a huge social media push by fans, players. They are the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar and Seattle’s infielder Jean Segura.
How many times did you vote for this years All Star team? I must confess I only voted once this season for the full lineup at MLB.com. Post ballot casting I questioned the methods behind our madness when choosing the best of the best for the mid season summer classic? How do baseball fans across America choose their favorites? How do you select who’s going to represent the American and National Leagues in the nation’s capital this year?
This is similar to voting at the polls in November. You went through your options top to bottom choosing only players from your favorite team. Say you’re a die-hard Cincinnati Reds fan, selecting an all Reds roster for the National League. When it came time to choose American League players you chose the weakest trying to set up your side for victory. You’re not reaching across the aisle to help the other side. There’s no bipartisan on your part. The American League doesn’t matter. You’re doing to take down all their incumbents with your Big Red Machine.
Voting with Your Heart
This method is for those that tend to vote based on a player’s story, lack of trips to the game or their special circumstances. This year outfielder Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves is one such case. Markakis a 34-year-old Atlanta Brave outfielder has played 13 major league seasons without making an appearance at an All Star Game. This year he’s the starting outfielder for the National League receiving the 2nd most votes. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner and having a solid season. After 13 years it’s nice to see him get his moment of recognition by the fans.
This voter is driven strictly by the numbers. You believe the stats are the way of the future and you love Sabermetrics. When a player hits a home run you immediately ask, what was that exit velocity? Online voting now shows players basic statistics so if you aren’t up to date on their WAR, OBP, or ERA you can check to see if they make your statistical cut. These voters didn’t make their presence felt this year. Blake Snell a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays has the league leading ERA and didn’t get voted in.
The Dart Thrower
You are busy with life, work, kids, etc and haven’t been paying much attention to the season. Catching an MLB game on TV you realize you have yet to vote. Pulling out your phone going with the names you know or players you have remotely heard of. It’s easy to recognize names like Altuve, Harper and Trout. Who’s a great catcher or your third outfielder that’s where you start throwing darts at the wall. Not a lot of form involved in your throws as your arm is rusty. Random guesses at this point. You go with whoever catches your eye at that moment and it could due to his number, team or photo.
Whatever method there was to your All Star voting I hope you enjoyed it. It’s fun to take part in the sport by joining in to cast your ballot. Even if your entire line up isn’t the one on the field on Tuesday night. Tune in to watch the game. Cheer for the player or players that did get your vote. It doesn’t matter how you chose them. They don’t know what your selection process was. They are just grateful for your vote.
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