All-Star Game Voting: A Flawed System

Hello baseball fans! We’re less than a week away from the All-Star game and the representatives for each league were announced yesterday. With this years selections, it again showcases a flawed system in which more deserving players don’t get to start when their numbers say otherwise.

Possibly the most glaring mistake made by fans is Cubs’ Addison Russell starting over Dodgers’ Corey Seager at SS for the National League. It just takes a quick glance at the numbers to see the wrong doing here. Seager’s hitting .304, with 17 HRs,41 RBIs with a NL SS leading 101 hits while Russell is hitting just .242, with 11 HRs, 49 RBIs, and only 66 hits. It is very clear who should be the starting SS for the NL next Tuesday but due to a system that relies on extremely biased fans, Seager will miss out on the starting job. Unfortunately for the rest of the NL this isn’t the only position that Cubs’ fans botched. They also made a mistake at second base by voting in Ben Zobrist to play second base. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Zobrist should make the ASG, but Daniel Murphy should have ended up getting the starting job rather than the reserve role. Again, if people would have looked to the numbers during voting they would have seen that Murphy leads the NL in batting average at .349, has 14 HRs, along with 56 RBIs (leads all NL 2B). Zobrist falls short of Murphy in all those categories with a . 291 BA, 12 HRs, and 44 RBIs.

There was clearly a mistake made here and it comes down to uneducated or just ignorant fans. The Cubs have the best team that they’ve had in years and they actually have a realistic chance of making the World Series. With this in mind, they should have tried their best to lock up home field advantage by voting in the most deserving players to give the NL the best chance to win. With the last 4 out of 5 World Series titles going to the team with home field advantage, fans should take the voting much more serious if they really want to give their team the best chance to win a title.

As always I’d love to hear some feedback from you readers. You can reach me at fivepointfivehole@yahoo.com with questions, comments, or concerns. I’m always up for a baseball debate. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back soon to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

Somewhere in the Middle

Hello baseball fans!

We’re in the middle of spring training now and it has been pretty eventful thus far as we have seen some rule changes (notably the “Utley Rule”), some late FA signings (Ian Desmond and Pedro Alvarez), and even a lifetime ban of, now Ex-Mets pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. However, we have seen some interesting news break just today, in the form of two different ESPN articles. One, an article of the uniqueness of superstar Bryce Harper, who is trying to change what he calls “a tired game”. With the other being a crazed rant by HOF great Goose Gossage, highlighted by the two lines “Bautista is a f—ing disgrace to the game” and “A bunch of f—ing nerds running the game.”

Although my opinion will be about as heard as a pin dropping in a war zone. I know I cannot be the only person and fan that finds themselves torn between “new school” and “old school” so here is my two cents on the subject.

As for Harper calling baseball “A tired game” I think that part is a bit of a stretch. Baseball is moving in the right direction and is pouring multiple resources into getting the youth of America excited about baseball again. In the article, Harper also talked about celebrating and showing emotion on the field, something I absolutely have no problem with. From tee-ball on, kids are told that the most important thing to do in baseball is to have fun. Now what message are we sending to baseball’s youth if they see a player bat flip a home run in a clutch situation and then they watch that same player get thrown at and hit in the next at bat? It shows them that when you have fun you get shamed and potentially hurt. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying there is never a time to throw at a batter, because there is, but it’s not every time someone shows emotion. Emotion is good for the game. It creates better and more vivid memories. Just look at the now famous Bautista bat flip, that apparently Gossage lost his mind over, there isn’t a single die hard Blue Jays fan that was watching that game that will forget that moment. An entire team and fan base showed it’s relevance again with one flip of the bat. That was pure raw emotion and there was nothing wrong with that.

As I said before, I’m not saying there’s never a time to throw at or hit a player but, it needs to be saved for the moments that are done with the direct intention to humiliate or disgrace a player. Let’s say for example a team is winning 5-0 in the regular season and a player hits and pimps a home run. That is vastly different than pimping a home run in a close playoff game. It’s cases like that and ones similar to it that should lead to retaliation. Gossage was WAY off base and out of line with the remarks he made and has really made himself sound like the cranky old man yelling at kids for having fun. As a fan of both the Padres, who Gossage helped take to the World Series in 1984, and of baseball I’m very disappointed with his remarks and know that I am not alone.     

Baseball is a game and games are meant to be fun. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back in to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole.