Apr 6, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view of the MLB All Star Game banner prior to the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
So looking at all of this, what’s the best course of action for the All-Star Game and determining starters? I vote to leave the fan voting as is. They’ve shown that while they may make a “bad” pick here or there, for the most part they get the picks “right,” or at least as right as the players/managers do. And besides, even if the fans pick a player that isn’t the most deserving (like Salvador Perez this year), there’s no reason a manager can’t remove that player after 3 innings and put in a better player (like Vogt or Martin). The reserves can end up playing more of the game than the starters under the current system. So while I understand Kipnis’s frustration with the fan voting, he very well may play more of the game than Altuve.
And lastly, I strongly feel the one change that needs to be made with the All-Star Game is taking away the home-field advantage aspect of the game. It hasn’t improved the game for the fans, if anything it’s hurt the product on the field. Now fans are forced to watch middle reliever after middle reliever come into games instead of guys like Scott Kazmir, Clay Buchholz, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, and Johnny Cueto. So while Kipnis is right that the best players aren’t getting in, it’s not the fans he should be upset with, but rather with Major League Baseball for what they’ve turned the All-Star Game into.