Friday, June 02, 2006

The "democracy" of baseball

After years of having virtually players from only three or four teams voted into the All-Star game every year, I say enough with the fan voting. Or enough with big market dominance over the little guys.

The Fox corporation decides what we want to see, what we should see, and what players we should like. The Reds, with young players like Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, as well as hall of famer Junior Griffey, will be seen by the nation all of two times on Saturday baseball, with a possibility for a third game if the Tigers, a hot first place team not otherwise scheduled for the season, don't take the TBD slot at the end of July. The Reds make it at all most likely on the strength of having Griffey on the team. In addition to the Tigers, the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rockies, Brewers, Twins, Pirates, Royals, and Rays never make an appearance.

The lineup is a bit more balanced than in past years, when it should have been called Fox Yankees Baseball. This year the hated Yankees still get nine games, more than any other team. The Red Sox, Cardinals, Braves, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Angels, and Giants each get eight games. Guess which teams have the most players with high numbers of votes for the All-Star game? Coincidence? I think not.

Sure, those teams, with the exception of the Cubs, are all good teams. So are this year's Tigers, who get possibly only one game, perhaps none. Where are the votes for Magglio Ordonez (.318/.363/.551) or Carlos Guillen (.305/.379/.497)? So are this year's Rangers. Where the heck is Michael Texiera (.284/.375/.452) or Hank Blalock (.310/.383/.492) in the voting? So are this year's Blue Jays. Why aren't people voting for Alex Rios (.361/.396/.645)? And how about players who play on bad teams, like Jason Bay (.296/.415/.592), Prince Fielder (.313/.364/.532), or Miguel Cabrera (.354/.444/.619)?

You say, "who wants to watch the Devil Rays?" Well, they aren't my first preference, but I wouldn't mind seeing some of those younger players. No doubt a few of them will grow up to be solid, perhaps even good big league players. How about sticking them against the Red Sox, if they are going to have so many games broadcast?

I'm tired of the same old, same old. I'm tired of Fox and ESPN and MLB dictating to us who we are allowed to be fans of. GO REDS! I don't care how small of a market you are, I will ALWAYS root for you. And until there is a more level playing field in MLB, I will continue to hate the Yankees.

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