Give Chooch the Ultimate Ice Cream Cone in Anaheim

If you’ve been to Citizens Bank Park over the past few weeks, you’ve seen and heard the reminders to vote in your favorite Phillies for the 2010 All Star Game. If you’ve walked around the breezeway, you may have seen a table set up to turn in 75+ filled in ballots for a free t-shirt. After today’s announcement, it seems as though Charlie Manuel will be managing the majority of his players as the starting lineup on July 13 in Anaheim, CA. This is exciting for Phillies fans – another chance to see Ryan hit a homer, Shane have a great against-the-wall catch, an excuse to get a new t-shirt or jersey. But here’s the question – is it fair?

10 years after All Star balloting was first introduced, the Cincinnati Reds had pre-marked ballots printed in a local paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer. The result of this left all of the Reds starting lineup elected to the team – the Commissioner stepped in and replaced two players with some people you may have heard of – Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. After this incident, fan balloting was discontinued until 1970. Another incident in 1982 involved a member of the Richmond Braves – an Atlanta affiliate – he pushed through approximately 20,000 votes for Atlanta – thankfully this was caught early and they didn’t count towards the final lineup. More recently, a Red Sox fan tried to push thousands of votes for Nomar Garciaparra – again, thankfully, this was caught and didn’t count towards the final vote (he made it anyway)

These days, the MLB teams encourage voting online and at the games, offering incentives from a free t-shirt in Philadelphia to a luxury suite for a game in Cleveland. With Citizens Bank Park hitting 1,000,000 fans already this year, that fact definitely contributes to the high votes for the Fightins. I was stunned that Jimmy Rollins who has played 12 games this year is beating Hanley Ramirez. 2009 Golden Glove and Silver Slugger award winner Ryan Zimmerman isn’t even in the top 5 – but Pablo Sandoval is? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

That being said…..
If voting has become more “vote for your team and not for the best” – why not kick it up a notch? I believe if we get the chance to take the NL pennant for the third time in a row, it’d be pretty fantastic have home field advantage for the World Series in Philadelphia. So when you’re voting for AL players – why vote for who is the best, when you could vote for who is the worst and sway the votes to someone who may not be the best man for the position. While you’re at it, Burrell should make the roster – especially since so many of his former teammates will be in the other dugout. It’d be nice for an NL win – not just for Charlie and the Phillies that make the team, but for the Phans too.


One Response

  1. It really is too bad that this process has been so corrupted. I used to love getting that ballot with the punch holes, and deliberate on my decisions. It was like having a kid version of a Hall of Fame ballot. It took some time, and my brothers and I talked about who we were voting for.

    We felt sort of validated when our decisions turned out correct.

    Cheaters are missing out on that fun.

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