Let Fans Pick Their Own All Star

In an effort to make the All Star voting more enticing and draw interest to the game, Major League Baseball has changed the voting for this year. Essentially up until June 21, the fans get to vote like they always did. After that, there will be a “Starters Election.” The Staters Election has the fans vote for the starters from the now reduced list over a 28 hour window.

This is a change for its own sake, and it gets it partially right (more on that in a moment). Really, if Major League Baseball wants to get fans interested in the game, let the fans pick their own All Star. In this instance, their own All Star means the player they want to represent their favorite team.

Take the Marlins for example. Are any of their players really All Star worthy? Maybe Brian Anderson who has a 1.8 WAR this season. The problem there is Anderson is 10th among NL third baseman in WAR meaning if he’s selected a worthy player is going to be left off in his stead.

Now, that’s the way it is and will always be so long as every team is represented. If this is going to continue to be a fan spectacle, you do want to see every team represented. After all, even a team like the Marlins, who draw worse than some Triple-A teams, has fans, and you want them to tune in to watch. You want to see Anderson, or whoever their representative is play in the game.

But if you’re going to want to entice the Marlins fans to watch, why not let them pick who they want to watch. For them, it could be Anderson, Miguel Rojas, Caleb Smith, or whomever else it might be. If you boil it down, if you are keeping a representative for every team to keep fans engaged, let them pick their representative.

By doing so, you not only keep them engaged, but you also prevent them from seeing a player they don’t want to see in the game. For example, Mets fans saw Bobby Bonilla as their lone All-Star in 1993 and 1995 despite the fans likely wanting to see players like Dwight Gooden, Rico Brogna, or John Franco in the game. Remember, if you are trying to entice fans, you should entice them with players they want to see play.

That includes being able to vote for pitchers. There are logistical issues with pitchers being available to pitch in the game. However, that should not prevent fans from having their favorite players on the roster even if they cannot participate in the game.

Remember that this would create a pool of just 15 players on a 34 man roster. That’s just seven additional players. Certainly, you could accommodate this by adding six more roster spots if deemed necessary. After all, September rosters are 40. If a manager can handle 40 players in September, there’s no reason he cannot handle that in an exhibition game where managers try go get everyone into the game.

Really, when looking at it that way, there’s no real reason why fans couldn’t or even shouldn’t pick their own team’s representative. Let the Marlins pick their one guy. Mets fans seem to want to push for Pete Alonso. Let them see him in the game. Let Yankees fans send CC Sabathia for one last All Star appearance before his possible Hall of Fame career ends. Again, let fans see who they want to see who they want.

You can do a results show on MLB Network announcing those players. You can then do another show announcing the pool of elected players. Then, you can do the Staters Election Major League Baseball has implemented. Only this time, fans are picking from the actual All-Stars. Then, you can hold the results until the game.

You get fans tuning in a little earlier to find out exactly who the starters are because they won’t know until player introductions. If all done properly, you get more interest because fans are seeing who they actually want to see, and you get more people tuning in earlier in order to see the results. Ultimately, this is the best way to handle every team represented and creating the highest possible level of fan interest in the game.


8 thoughts on “Let Fans Pick Their Own All Star”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Look…you can not lean on compative WAR within fractions of a point for 70 games and think you are being analytic. Anderson is tenth in ….wait he is fifth in WAR in NL third basemen….he is 10th in MLB third baseman, which would be of little relevance to an All Star vote, so I assume you looked at the wrong screen.

    Then again, maybe it changed since yesterday.

    At any rate, WAR is not meant for the small sample use you cite. If he were .7 higher he would be second instead of fifth in the NL. That is like an error judgement called in the field and at bat here or there.

    Just look at the history of WAR revisions and the competing camps.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Didn’t you previously try to invoke total bases as a basis to say Conforto shouldn’t be an All Star?

    2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      In good company it’s understood that WAR is useful shorthand, not a substitute for more comprehensive judgment.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        WAR is a stat which should always be utilized as part of an analysis.

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          Not in a fraction of a season, and ignoring the very large MOE. Read what the architects say, ferchrisakes. BWAR and fWAR have guys flipped in standings all the time.

          Sure, mention it in a package, but it is the only number you cite with Anderson. There are at least ten stats more meaningful than WAR over a three month stretch, for instance, total bases. WAR was created to talk about HoF careers. It got walked backward a little to seasons, to the disconcern of its founders. It’s subjectivity and margin od error make solely citing fractions of a point in dozens of games….moronic.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            It’s beyond bizarre you criticize using WAR and again cite total bases.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    My own preference is to allot one vote to each person. That’s all you get. I don’t care about the Marlins fanbase being small any more than I think North Dakota deserves 3 electoral votes in presidential elections. It doesn’t. May the most popular players win.

    If MLB then wants to make charity picks for teams with bad players in small markets, let them. But quit screwin’ with the vox populi.

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