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The All-Star Treatment

by Nick Vitrano

Anyone else eagerly awaiting Monday's release of the updated MLB All-Star voting standings? Okay, to say "anyone else" implies that there is first an anyone. But it is funny to me how many folks take this process so seriously. I guarantee, come Monday, there will be a great deal of misdirected rage.

Unlike many who are freaking out over the injustice of guys like Adrian Gonzalez leading the NL at first base, I don't have a problem with it. Such is the consequence of the system. As the old saying goes: dont hate the player, hate the game.

Major League Baseball's intentions are good, but we've betrayed its trust. We're the issue. But that's as old as time. When I was a kid, and the usher came down the aisle with his stack of ballots in hand, one per person, I punched out countless undeserving Milwaukee Brewers.

As long as you and I serve on the selection committee, injustice is gonna happen. As Peter Griffin once said:

The All-Star game is a gathering of the day's most popular figures. It always has been. Sure the game's most productive participants deserve to be honored with an All-Star appointment...most of them are...but every year we fill out the All-Star rosters with the fashionable players of the past and the headline generators of the present.

The underlying issue is that we're dealing with two, directly opposed camps of treatment. On the one hand, we want to see who we want to see. As much as the MLB All-Star game "counts," it's a television show. It's an event. On the other, when it comes time to debate a man's relevance, his place in history, even his worthiness as a Hall Of Fame candidate, we use All'Star appearances as one of our barometers of excellence. It's a bit problematic on both sides of the debate.

If the Midsummer selection is going to be treated with the praise and reverence that it deserves, then the fans needs to be cut out of the process. But that's not only suicide...it's just plain old silly. I don't want to see that happen. It shouldn't happen.