The MLB All-Star Game is just over two weeks away, and that means it’s time for one thing: complaining about the All-Star rosters. Major League Baseball has done something slightly different this year and announced “finalists” for the All-Star roster vote. Instead of players simply tallying millions of votes, with most starters determined weeks in advance, there will be a “final vote” between three finalists at each position in both leagues.
Naturally, people are upset about which players are involved. The most prominent examples seem to be from the New York Yankees and their fans, who have managed to get third baseman Gio Urshela — a solid injury replacement, but no Matt Chapman — and Aaron Judge into the vote. Judge is the more egregious decision of the two, in my opinion, as he had played in just 20 games before the finalists were announced.
Either way, the All-Star starters will be determined by fan voting, as they have for a number of years now. MLB managers and players decide the pitching staff and bench players, with another fan vote for the final roster spot.
Can baseball do better on this front, though? That’s our Question of the Day.
How should MLB All-Star Game rosters be determined?
My answer: Now that the All-Star Game doesn’t decide home field advantage in the World Series — those were some dark days, friends — I’m fine with how All-Star rosters are determined. I have never been all that bothered by fan votes, no matter how ridiculous, and other than a few Tigers being snubbed here and there, haven’t worried too much about whether the most deserving players have made it onto the roster. Sure, instances like Omar Infante making the roster way back when were weird, but it’s an exhibition, in the end.
If anything, I wouldn’t mind expanding fan voting a bit. We have criticized Major League Baseball for a long time for doing a poor job of marketing its stars, but the All-Star fan vote is one of the few parts they have done correctly. Taking the fan vote away because of a few weird picks would be a big step in the wrong direction for a game that still needs to figure out how to connect with younger viewers.
But if Matthew Boyd doesn’t make it in? Burn it all down.