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All-Star Civil Disobedience - an invitation to MLB fans to protest MLB's All Star Game by stuffing the ballot box

Let's blow up the All Star Game.

Why? Should home field advantage in the World Series be given to the team whose league wins an exhibition game? It is absurd on its face. It is not fair to either league. A fuller critique of the ASG is not within the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that if you are reading this, you are probably already the choir and I am the preacher.

How do we throw a monkey wrench into the machine? We work collectively to rig the vote, both at the ballpark and at home when voting on the internet. The details and the explanation of the plan follow after the cut.

First things first:

 

  • The idea is to match a regular NL team against an inferior AL team following a publicized and effective campaign to rig the vote. Even if the game outcome is not an NL win, the unfavorable publicity that will be brought to bear on MLB may spur corrective action addressing the flawed process for the ASG and for the World Series home field advantage.
  • This idea is proposed to spur MLB to take action to fix something wrong with baseball, not just to cause mischief for the sake of mischief. 
  • I do not dislike or disrespect the players I propose for ballot-box stuffing. They are elite, elite players. They have more baseball talent in their knuckle hair than I have in my entire body. The proposed players are not, however, the "best" players in the AL this year at their respective positions. Sorry.
  • I am proposing to stuff only the AL ballot box, since I want the competitive balance in the ASG to be distorted. That distortion must show in order to drive home the point that an exhibition game is a poor way to settle home field advantage in the World Series. 
  • Also, I cheer for a National League team. I want my preferred National League team to have an advantage, so I am focusing on how to maximize my team's chance of winning the ASG by stuffing the ballot box. I intend to vote for an optimal NL lineup (Pujols/Utley/Tulowitzki/Zimmerman/McCann/Ethier/Werth/Braun). Your mileage may vary on the NL, but vote for your subjective favorite for "best" players.
  • The idea resulted from input from several people at thegoodphight.com blog who all dearly love baseball. It is not just "my" idea.
  • The NL voters cannot overwhelm the choices for the AL. For that reason, it is necessary to vote not for the *worst* available player (say, Lou Marson at catcher) but rather for the worst player at a position who is in shouting distance of the top position (say, Carlos Pena at 1b or Teagarden at C). It is doubtful that an overwhelming majority can be made to pass Jeter at SS if you start at the bottom, but if you add to an already heavily voted (but inferior) candidate, you might actually affect the outcome in this "first past the post" election where the highest vote-getter wins.

Based on the latest reported results I could find at press time, the following is our list of candidates with the preferred player listed in caps at the head of each position. The top three OF are listed as well. The selected players must fit the following criteria:

  • within striking distance of the lead
  • be the highest-rated bad player
  • are mired in a slump or otherwise not performing well
  • not injured, so a replacement cannot (in good faith) be sent by MLB (fortunately, "good faith" isn't required by voters....)

1st Base — CARLOS PENA (although keeping a slumping Teixeira would not be a bad bet)
1. Mark Teixeira Yankees 396,034
2. Justin Morneau Twins 258,225
3. Miguel Cabrera Tigers 242,039
4. Carlos Pena Rays 159,452
5. Kevin Youkilis Red Sox 150,702

2nd Base – ORLANDO HUDSON (clear winner)
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Robison Cano Yankees 491,188
2. Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 279,452
3. Ian Kinsler Rangers 229,601
4. Ben Zobrist Rays 137,870
5. Orlando Hudson Twins 128,649

3rd Base – BRANDON INGE or AROD? (Inge, while in the top 5, is not remotely plausible as a winner - vote ARod -- not having a great year and a worse player than Longoria for 2010)
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Evan Longoria Rays 541,253
2. Alex Rodriguez Yankees 411,655
3. Michael Young Rangers 213,528
4. Adrian Beltre Red Sox 93,304
5. Brandon Inge Tigers 81,621

Shortstop – BARTLETT (hard to overcome Jeter, but there's a lot of Yankee hate out there...)
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Derek Jeter Yankees 639,227
2. Elvis Andrus Rangers 239,091
3. Jason Bartlett Rays 154,014
4. J.J. Hardy Twins 134,840
5. Alex Gonzalez Blue Jays 109,793

Catcher – TEAGARDEN (tough to beat Mauer here, but it would be fun to at least get the moral victory of a minor league player getting second in the voting, which is possible)
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Joe Mauer Twins 644,533
2. Jorge Posada Yankees 287,486
3. Victor Martinez Red Sox 119,997
4. Taylor Teagarden Rangers 108,191
5. Dioner Navarro Rays 77,180

Designated Hitter – PAT BURRELL (sentimental from a Phillies fan). KEN GRIFFEY JR. is also deserving of a vote, but we can't dilute things by splitting the ticket.
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Vladimir Guerrero Rangers 374,333
2. Hideki Matsui Angels 298,487
3. Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners 213,658
4. Pat Burrell Rays 130,265
5. David Ortiz Red Sox 108,755

Outfield – SWISHER/UPTON/HUNTER? (this is where we can most-likely make some hay. Unthinking Yankees fans will push Swisher over the likes of Sin Soo Choo and other, better, players). All three options are "good" players, but they are not the best, or they are having off years (Upton). The field is split so much here that a concerted effort could help pick a suboptimal OF for the AL.
RANK PLAYER NAME AL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Ichiro Suzuki Mariners 366,903
2. Carl Crawford Rays 319,953
3. Nelson Cruz Rangers 307,928
4. Josh Hamilton Rangers 265,896
5. Curtis Granderson Yankees 264,572
6. Torii Hunter Angels 230,036
7. Nick Swisher Yankees 229,944
8. Brett Gardner Yankees 224,167
9. B.J. Upton Rays 218,686
10. Bobby Abreu Angels 194,998
11. Vernon Wells Blue Jays 188,728
12. Julio Borbon Rangers 139,029
13. Magglio Ordonez Tigers 133,097
14. Shin-Soo Choo Indians 127,042
15. Johnny Damon Tigers 125,450

It is important to vote the whole ticket. You can vote online and at the park. Print this post to take with you to games so you remember how to vote. Vote online at MLB.com. You can vote up to 25 times per email address...

 

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