Only problem with MLB All-Star Game resides in fan voting

I absolutely love the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. For me, everything about it is pretty much perfect.

Think about it: you start the festivities by seeing a collection of the best home run hitters in all of baseball blast pitches into orbit. Especially in the post-PED era, the Home Run Derby will once again let us truly appreciate guys like Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard.

Then we move on to the Mid-Summer Classic itself. Unlike the NBA, where it’s all about highlights, and the NFL, where the best players don’t even show up, the MLB All-Star game actually shows off some good, quality baseball that will appeal to almost any fan.

There’s just one problem that I do have: fan voting.

Fan voting started in the ‘70s as a way to get fans interested in the game after a down period, and it worked. Fans could pick which players they really wanted to see play, and all was good in baseball. But then came the Internet, the Evil Empire and Red Sox Nation.

Now, fan voting has turned into a sham. The American League is dominated by Yankees and Red Sox players that clearly don’t deserve to be on the team in most cases, let alone the starter at their position. The National League has a similar problem with Phillies and Cardinals players, but to a lesser extent.

Don’t believe me? Let’s do a little blind comparison with two American League shortstops.

After Sunday’s games, Player A was hitting .259 with just two home runs, 20 RBIs and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage, or OPS, of just .648.

Player B was hitting .302 with 12 home runs, 42 RBIs and an OPS of .873. And yet, in the most recently released fan voting results, Player A leads Player B by nearly 300,000 votes.

That’s because Player A is Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, while Player B is little-known Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians. Clearly Cabrera should get the starting nod, but the power of the giant Yankees fan base means that, once again, Jeter will get to trot out to begin the game for the American League All-Stars.

Now, I don’t mean to sound like I’m jealous. I think it’s great that the AL East teams have fans that are dedicated enough to make sure they get their players into the game. But ever since the winner of the game secured home field advantage for the World Series, the importance of the best players playing became much, much more important.

You would think fans of teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, who are annually World Series contenders, would realize they should do whatever it takes to make sure they can play at home should they make it into October.

I have no problem with fans voting for the final player on each team, as they have done in recent years. The fans definitely deserve to interact with this great summer tradition. But I’m tired of seeing the same team’s players dominate the starting lineups undeservedly.

Unfortunately, commissioner Bud Selig obviously doesn’t feel the same way.

_Joe is a senior in Media. Follow him on Twitter @joesouligne._