Baltimore Orioles: Let the skippers pick the all-stars

Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles and his counterparts should get the nod in terms of who should choose all-stars.

The Baltimore Orioles and Buck Showalter will tonight find themselves on the west coast in San Diego – the second of three west coast trips for the O’s. Several Orioles will potentially be back in San Diego in a couple of weeks when the mid-summer classic is held there. One Oriole I specifically hope to see there is Adam Jones, who not only deserves to go, but also because San Diego is his hometown.

Every year however we go through the charade of who should and shouldn’t be on each roster, along with arguing over the voting process itself. Maybe I’ve said this before, however here’s my take: fans shouldn’t be voting. I recognize that even with home field advantage in the World Series on the line, this game is still mainly an exhibition for the fans. So the adverse argument of course is why shouldn’t the fans decide who plays?

And my response to that is because it’s a popularity contest. First off, some teams have bigger fan bases than others. So if all of their fans vote the allotted number of times, it’s obvious who’s players will be on the roster – whether they deserve it or not. At one point last year there were eight Kansas City Royals that were in line to start in the all-star game. Kansas City is a great team and many of those players had an argument for being in the game. But not eight of them.

In that particular case allegedly someone hacked into the computer system and allowed for fans to vote as many times as they wanted – the modern version of stuffing the ballot box. And this isn’t a conviction of Kansas City fans, because there is some legitimacy to the point that if you don’t get out and vote don’t blame the people who do. But that’s all why I think the process should be taken out of the hands of the “unwashed masses.”

If the managers all voted for the all-star game, at the very least you’d have baseball people making the choice. A true professional isn’t going to choose player A over player B simply because he plays for his team. He’s going to vote for a player at each position who truly deserves to be there – because that’s what professionals do.

If people are really worried about guys stacking the team with their players and so forth, perhaps have the opposing league choose the team. So that would mean that National League managers would get to vote on the American League roster, and vice-versa. Home field advantage or not, this is still an exhibition. Let’s not make the selection process overly controversial or byzantine.

What I described above isn’t happening anytime soon. However it’s just a thought. At the very least we wouldn’t have to hear about how one fanbase is stacking the box and so forth. It would be fair all-around.