MLB All-Star Shame

Ben ShetleyCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2008

All-Star Game voting should not be in the hands of the fans and maybe not even the players. Jason Varitek and Kosuke Fukudome? Seriously? Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, and Ryan Dempster?  No, No, No.

The BBWAA (Baseball Writer's Association of America) should be responsible for selecting players for the All-Star Game. The BBWAA is the most knowledgeable group of baseball insiders on the planet.

They vote and decide on baseball's highest awards annually:  MVP, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year. Above all the BBWAA members vote on the Hall of Fame, baseball's most elite career recognition award.

When deliberating over voting yearly on the HOF I would be shocked if they take into account how many All-Star Game appearances a certain candidate had over another. Why?  

Being an All-Star in baseball no longer carries any legitimacy. I am a huge fan of baseball but even when I vote for the All-Star Game, I favor my hometown St. Louis Cardinals. I am part of the problem myself. Here's a solution.

·    BBWAA selects the starters for each league and half of the pitching staff.

·    BBWAA then breaks down each position for both leagues and selects a pool of elite players per position who have had exceptional first halves.

·    Fans get to vote on each position and choose from the pool of players mention above (much like the "Final Vote" is structured currently but by position).

·    Fans get one vote for any player in the league on a write-in basis and the highest vote getter makes the team.

·    MLB Players and Coaches will also have votes to fill the remaining roster spots.

If baseball fans and Major League Baseball wants a midsummer classic that truly reflects the best players of the first half of the season, they should follow the formula I have laid out.

And lastly, for the love of all that is holy in baseball, end the ludicrous rule that the winning team of the All-Star Game gains home-field advantage for their league in the World Series. This change in an attempt to make the All-Star Game "count" is the worst thing to happen to baseball aside from steroids and the designated hitter.

It isn't supposed to count! It is an exhibition that is supposed to celebrate and honor the best players of the season and serve as bragging rights for of league over the other. Just don't let it end in a tie.

It is great for the fans because they get to see two loaded teams play each other with all of the best players on the same field at one time.

It seems backwards but to give the game back to the fans and restore legitimacy, MLB must take away their vote.