Oh, boy. How do I start?
When MLB announced the latest update in the American League All-Star voting race, I was shocked. As were many others.
Of the nine starting spots in the AL (DH included), eight are currently being led by Royals. Kansas City fans were nice enough to allow Mike Trout to lead in a starting spot, but other than that, it's all Royals, including those of which that are not deserving.
Not a single Royals player leads his position in fWAR, and none of their outfielders in is the top three. How can the American League be fielding an All-Star starting lineup when their best players are all on the bench?
It's good that Royals fans are showing their support for their team. Major League Baseball can't be unhappy about that. But when fans are taking something this important into their own hands and are not voting for the most deserving players, there becomes an issue.
I love voting for the All-Star team. I've been doing it for the past few years, always writing about my selections on here. But something I don't want to see happen is the fans lose the privilege of voting for the All-Star Game when it just turns into a popularity contest.
What threw me over the edge was the second base race. Jose Altuve and Jason Kipnis are by far the best second basemen in the American League. Altuve is more inclined defensively and speed-wise, while Kipnis is more offensive-minded.
Not Kipnis nor Altuve lead the AL second-base vote. Neither do Brian Dozier, Dustin Pedroia, or Ian Kinsler.
It's Omar Infante, who is in fact the worst second baseman in the American League by fWAR, that leads the AL second base All-Star voting. Jokes were made that Infante will likely lose his starting job in Kansas City and still get the "honor" of starting the Midsummer Classic.
Infante is hitting a measly .204/.213/.283. His wRC+ is 30. His fWAR is -0.7. He is actually costing the Royals victories. Yet, as of right now, he is going to be voted on to the All-Star Game.
At this point, the All-Star voting is turning into pure bogus. All the voting is legitimate, but it's all coming from the Kansas City fanbase. But when Omar Infante leads the All-Star voting, there is obviously an issue with this system. Even though I really don't want to see a change in the system, it may just not be the best route for MLB.