Leave the All-Star Game Alone
Every year people complain that a player was snubbed from the MLB All-Star Game and of course they’re right. Sometimes players who do have weaker stats get voted to start in the mid-summer classic, but what most fans and some media often forget is that the game was designed to be a popularity contest. The whole point of the game since its inception was to allow fans to see their favorite players go head-to-head, not to see who was having the best first half of a baseball season.
To illustrate my argument, I would like to point to some older players who near the end of their careers’ did not have the best stats, but started in the All-Star Game. Cal Ripken Jr. was hardly the best shortstop in the game when he was elected to his final all-star start. Neither were Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett and Nolan Ryan the best at their respective positions during their last appearances, but that is what makes MLB All-Star Game the embodiment of the American spirit. It is a democracy. Fans can vote in who they want to see play regardless of how they are performing or not performing. One safe bet to start this year’s All-Star Game is New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter, who has spent the majority of the year on the disabled list. Due to his injury, Jeter doesn’t have the stats to compete with other shortstops in the American League, but he is who fans want to see play during the break.
I know some people think this is unfair and that other players should fill that spot, but that is the beauty of the All-Star Game. If you truly feel it should go to the player with best stats, then you have the opportunity to vote in the player of your choice. If enough people agree with you, then that player will start. If not, then that is why managers are given the option to choose the backup players and pitchers. What people need to remember is the heart of the All-Star Game is not a contest of best, but a spectacle for the fans.