Before starting, I would like to preface this with the recognition that acts like this are why the fan vote will inevitably be taken away. While James Madison may have seen the ruthlessness of particular factions, a.k.a the Royals’ fanbase, the rest of the country seems to have been surprised, even though this exact same thing happened last year. Thus, as national frustration continues to rise in regard to the Royal commitment to arbitrary ASG voting, the clock ticks down on democracy in baseball.
Yet who designated voting as a god-given right for baseball fans everywhere? Obviously the MLB took at least one page from the Federalist Papers, and realized the potential incompetency of the masses to select the best players in the history of the game to be enshrined in Cooperstown. That was given to BBWA instead, ensuring an oligarchical structure that protects the Hall of Fame from uneducated, impulsive decisions. Had the Hall of Fame vote been by an online open ballot, I would have to imagine that Mark Teahen or Kevin Appier would already have their own shrines.
Although a further empowerment of the BBWA is not necessary, a change in the current voting method is clearly necessary. Whether the responsibility does indeed go to the BBWA, or it goes to a player vote, a change is something that truly needs to happen. However, as it is well known, if the fuel to a fire disappears, then the fire will extinguish. In order to keep the fire of frustration alive to motivate further change to the voting, the Royals fanbase must keep doing what they are so good at. By further pushing those that do not deserve into the position of those who deserve, the fanbase can inspire change that ensures that the best players will get to play in the ASG years into the future.
Thus, in order to light the fire to motivate change, I present 3 somewhat realistic voting goals.
Goal 1: Omar Infante defeats Jose Altuve
Although the vote is already getting out of hand for Omar Infante, watching him botch a simple ground ball in front of millions of enraged fans would be priceless. However, he must overcome one other main obstacle, which is that his play has gotten so bad that Royals fans do not even have the conscious to vote for him. However, if miraculously he overcomes these two obstacles, then hopefully he will be able to display his sheer baseball talent in front of all of America. Considering he was somehow able to be the Opening Day 2B the year after he was objectively the worst player in the Majors, I would consider no obstacle to be too large for Omar Infante.
Goal 2: Paulo Orlando to flirts with an Outfield position
With a name more fit to be a Rio dance club owner rather than a baseball player,
Paulo Orlando represents a small niche in the MLB. He is one of very few Brazilian born players, he is beating perennial All-Star Adam Jones in voting, and he is trying to climb those voting ranks to be considered one of the three best outfielders in the league, despite being the fourth best outfielder on his team. In doing so, the ridiculousness of the entire process will be exposed, prompting further reform to even further limit a certain fanbases’ sway in the voting. Even if you don’t want to see the voting format change, I imagine you would still like to see Paulo Orlando bring his Brazilian Club walk-up music to the ASG.
Goal 3: Get a guy with a torn ACL to beat the reigning AL MVP
Although this may have ulterior motives, such as the desire to watch a said despised player be shunned by an entire fan base, watching a player with a crippling injury defeat the AL MVP in voting would be laudable. Because both Moustakas and Donaldson trail Machado by too large of a margin, this vote presents itself as symbolic, one that could allow for another punch to the face of a rather dramatic Blue Jay. Whether you are a Ranger or a Royal fan and you have desired for revenge against the acts the Blue Jays have committed against you, this is your opportunity.
I recognize that many open letters end atrociously and are in bad taste, (such as https://www.theodysseyonline.com/open-letter-royals-fans-from-st-louis-native or http://www.wsj.com/articles/st-louis-to-america-dont-be-jealous-1412273454), and from an ambiguously named blogger, you probably expected something along those lines. Depending on how you read this, it may have been in bad taste! However, whether you want a change in the system, or you are just a fan of general jackassery, here lies an opportunity to make your mark. A usually worthless vote, this year’s vote allows you to either try to make a change in the somewhat-ridiculous voting method or to mindlessly push Royals players. As a spectator who is already popping their popcorn, I encourage you to vote, as I will be ready to happily watch this spectacle unfold, whichever way it does.
Seth Wingerter is a private writer at his own blog Platinum Sombrero. Go check it out, it's pretty groovy. Also, go check out the twitter @platsombro
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