With two weeks left until this year’s MLB All-Star Game voting closes, MLB has released its latest update and the Kansas City Royals have continued to dominate the ballot. They now have an MLB record eight players set to start for the American League.
The Royals, who have an AL-best 35-25 record, had seven players leading their respective positions in the previous update, but Omar Infante — who currently has a .204 AVG and a MLB-worst .496 OPS, among qualified batters — surpassed Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in the most recent voting results.
The lone non-Royals player in line to start the All-Star Game for the AL is reigning AL MVP Mike Trout.
Some have criticised the All-Star Game voting method — where fans can vote up to 35 times online. Detroit Tigers Pitcher David Price called the situation “a joke” and an SI reporter encouraged fans to vote for non-Royals players. But Kansas City manager Ned Yost told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale he has no sympathy towards those who are frustrated with the current results:
“There’s nothing wrong. …Vote! The votes are the votes. If you don’t like it, go out there and vote. Our fans have gotten out and voted. Does [eight] starters surprise you? Yeah. But once you sit back and think about it, it’s really not that surprising.”
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who’s currently set to start over two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, said after the previous voting results were released it’s not fair to simply call this ballot-stuffing from Royals fans.
“Look, I could see if it was just Kansas City people filling out random ballots and voting for just us,” Hosmer told USA Today, “but when you’re looking at [three] guys getting 4 million votes, that can’t be just coming from Kansas City.”
As of now, seven Royals players have received more than five million votes, with four surpassing six million.
While Yost and Hosmer defended the current voting results, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon told USA Today if such a large number of Royals players start the All-Star Game it would ruin the contest:
“To be honest with you, I’ve never agreed with the All-Star voting. …I always thought that guys most deserving, and having the best years, should go, especially now that the All-Star Game decide who wins home field advantage. But it’s a popularity thing now, and after getting to the World Series, we got popular. But we get seven guys starting at the All-Star game, they will change the rule. They will have to. It will be like a home game. Nobody wants to see one team playing against the other All-Star team. It kind of ruins the point of an All-Star Game.”
Voting ends July 2.
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