MLB – ROYALS WORLD SERIES WIN MAKES THE 2015 ALL STAR BALLOT LEGIT
Back on July 6 of this year, there seemed to be a collective sigh of relief across MLB when the 2015 All Star Game starting players were announced: Only 4 Kansas City Royals had made the American League starting team.
Just weeks earlier in June, a ballot update revealed that 8 Royals had the most fan votes at the time. That meant KC would have had 8 out of 9 players starting the All Star Game.
This one team domination by fans votes had never happened before… and it caused quite the stir.
At the time, the majority of MLB experts, bloggers, and players were openly criticizing the voting process because they felt other “more deserved” players were being snubbed and that it just “wasn’t fair” and “not good” for baseball.
Essentially, the majority of the baseball community was arguing that the best players for each position weren’t going to be represented at the game (statistically speaking) and it was bad for baseball.
Some went farther by saying the idea of so many Royals in the lineup would be “a mess” like ESPN’s Jayson Stark. In his column on June 23, he wrote that we wouldn’t see the Royals fans vote domination “as a heartwarming revival of baseball spirit in a long-slumbering market.”
Stark also predicted that we would all focus on the fact that those votes were somehow “rigged” since 2015 was the first year that voting was done entirely online. Namely, 620 million votes were cast, far surpassing the record of 391 million votes in 2012.
Well, Mr. Stark & all you other naysayers: Who’s got the last laugh now?
By winning the 2015 World Series, the Royals proved they are the best team in all of baseball, their players the best in all of baseball, and it legitimizes the All Star Ballot voting process in 2015.
To me, I never cared that so many Royals fans came out in droves & voted enthusiastically for their team. I thought it was a great story for baseball.
Prior to 2015, only 7 Royals total had ever started in an All Star Game. That’s 7 in 81 years.
In 2015 alone, there were 4 Royals starters and 3 in “reserves”.
The Royals fans were also coming out in droves to the ball park all year long. In June, Eric Hosmer, the Royals first baseman, said that he & the other players were sensing something special was going on. The players couldn’t even go out in KC anymore and they were getting mobbed outside the stadium. Hosmer said they saw an overwhelming “sense of pride” because the fans “didn’t have any reason to [watch us before].”
This incredible fan support for the Royals players actually helped the team rise up and vault them to success.
How on earth could anyone see this as bad for baseball?
The question left now after the dust clears is: How will the baseball community approach next year’s All Star Game ballot voting process now that the Royals have won the World Series?
I say let the fans keep voting for their favorite, most popular players.
They seem to be doing a great job.
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