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Some Braves players think the All-Star voting process is unfair

Jul 8, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT

Yasiel Puig Getty Images

Only one Braves player made the All-Star team and that was because the manager put him on there. As far as fan voting goes? They didn’t do so good.

Dave O’Brien of the AJC talked to a bunch of them yesterday and many voiced their displeasure at fan voting. Both in the main selection process and the “Final Vote” which is putting Freddie Freeman against Yasiel Puig. And they think the media — specifically ESPN — has an agenda to get more media-friendly players selected. Guys like Yasiel Puig.

Tim Hudson pretty much covers it all:

“I think it’s B.S. … I mean, it’s pretty obvious what players certain media outlets want to have plugged in. It’s pretty obvious. You have young, exciting players – and they are that. I’m not saying they don’t deserve to have the opportunity to be in there, but these guys that are competing with them to get these last couple of spots, they’re just as deserving. It’s not fair. The whole fan vote thing, I think is obnoxious. I mean, the starting players in the All-Star game are determined by fans who can plug any players they want in there, and it determines home-field advantage for the World Series. The World Series!

“It’s not fair. At all.”

Seriously, Tim. Tell me if you think it’s fair.

He has a point (which he goes on to explain in greater detail) about how, if the World Series hinges on the All-Star game, there shouldn’t be a fan vote. Problem is, I’m willing to bet $100 that if a Braves player was the media sensation du jour a la Puig — let’s say a pre-injury Evan Gattis — Hudson wouldn’t be complaining too much.

It’s a flawed process, yes, but most of the complaining you hear about it is just tribalism and homerism. Our guy deserves it, theirs doesn’t. If the fans vote for us it’s an honor, if they vote for the other guys it’s illegitimate. Here it’s the Braves doing it. I’ve seen other teams do it every year since I’ve been paying attention.

It stinks that the All-Star Game decides home field advantage. But really, it’s just for fun. I’d rather see some hyped kid like Puig in it over someone else, frankly, because Puig is interesting and the game doesn’t matter otherwise. And if I’m Hudson, I’d be quietly pleased that my teammates were getting three days off to relax and get healthy.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I have no problem with fans voting in players for the All-Star Game. But I don’t like that fans are voting for the actual lineups rather than having the managers pick them out. The “Home field advantage” crap given to the ASG is really stupid as well.

    Seriously, if you’re gonna make it all about the fans, get rid of home field advantage. If you want it to be a serious game, eliminate the fan voting. You can’t have it both ways Bud Selig.

    • alang3131982 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      How is the ASG defining HF advantage in the WS a bad thing? At worst it’s a nonentity. In the past HF advantage was simply decided by switching off each year, which is completely arbitrary. Even if you did best record, considering strength of schedule concerns you probably wouldnt be rewarding the “best team,” for example a 102 win team in the AL west probably didnt play as well as a 100 win team in the AL East.

      So, basically, there’s no way to fairly give HF advantage. if there isnt, who cares if it is done arbitrarily, since it has always been done arbitrarily….

      it’d be nice if the ASG got back to the way it was in the 80s and before, but there’s no way to do that.

      • djpostl - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Have the league who came out on top in Interleague head-to-head record determine it imo. It’s the biggest, most balanced sample size we can come up with.

      • alang3131982 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        yeah but, say the NL has the best interleague record, but the WC, a 92 win team comes out, yet the AL WS entrent is a 110 game winner…..that’s just as arbitrary.

        I guess all I’m really saying is that I dont understand why people hate the “this time it counts” sure it’s a bunch of bull honky, but it was always and will always be bull honky, as there is no legitimate way of making HF advantage “fair,” aside of a balanced schedule, which I’d prefer…

    • smnick - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      Perhaps if Atlanta actually had a Fan Base that gave a crap about their Braves/Falcons/Hawks/Thrashers (R.I.P) instead of sitting around and waiting for the bandwagon to kick them in the ass to actually do something for a team that isn’t a Bulldog or has 4 dozen corporate sponsors tattooed on their chassis’.

      Sorry Craig, but you have to admit Atlanta may be the WORST Pro Sports town in America…

      • bravojawja - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Name one Braves regular (other than, maybe, Freeman) who should be starting the All-Star Game. Perhaps we have the most knowledgeable fanbase that doesn’t just blindly vote for our guys like in other cities unworthy of naming.

        Also: the Falcons have been selling out (or nearly) the Georgia Dome for years now. The Thrashers left town because ownership sucked, not because of the fans. And there is no home team in NASCAR.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    The World Series point is totally valid, and one I wish got tons, tons, tons more attention then it does. Regardless of who votes, who is on the team, etc., the system is ridiculous. The whole thing started after the 2002 fiasco that ended in a tie. MLB was worried about the perception that guys didn’t care about the game – so “This time, it counts!”. Yea…right! Players still go half assed in many spots, all players must get in the game, because apparently Little League rules are more important then winning the game….and lets not forget the little detail that players being traded inter-league afterwards actually benefit from their team losing

    Stepping off soapbox

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      But the old way of simply alternating between the NL and the AL teams having home field advantage wasn’t good either.

      The Twins won two World Series and they only won their games at home in both of those series. They didn’t win a game on the road in either of the World Series.

      And they had the home field advantage because it was the year for the American league to have it.

      It certainly wasn’t their regular season record.

      And until the Cardinals broke the Twins record, the regular season record of the 1987 Twins was the worst regular season record for a World Series winner.

      The Twins were fortunate that they made it to the World Series in years when the American league had home field advantage… as it was a huge reason they won the series in 1987 and 1991.

      Also, the 1987 World Series was the FIRST World Series where both teams won all of their home games. It was the first world series to have games played indoors too which went a long way towards helping the Twins win as it was a tough place for opponents to play, especially for National league teams that didn’t play there during the regular season as there wasn’t interleague play back then.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        But the scenario you point out with the Twins just as easily could happen under the current system. Nothing about alternating each year made that happen.

        And before we get carried away about those W.S.’s, don’t forget that Braves had 12 opportunities in which a single run would have won the series – 12 times!! That is not Home Field Advantage, that is poor play

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        I agree with you and that was my point. No one complains that simply alternating it was unfair. But since the All-star game now determines it, people get all up in arms about it deciding who gets home field advantage for the world series. To me, it’s the same as alternating it. One isn’t better than the other but people only get on their soapboxes to put down having the all star game decide it. Why weren’t they complaining years ago?

  3. ramrene - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    How old is Tim Hudson? Hasn’t his parents ever taught him that life isn’t fair? He should have learned that lesson by now.

    The All-Star game has nothing to do with “deserve” it’s about what the fans want. When will the players understand that? A batting title is deserved. An ERA title is deserved. A gold glove or silver bat is deserved as they are all earned.

    The fans want to see Puig so we’ll vote him in.

    Get it? Got it? Remember it!

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      He’s 38, and that shocked me.

    • timbolio328 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      That comment is ignorance at its best. Being an All-Star is deserved. Read the plaques in the HOF. Most of them praise the player for his All-Star appearances. Puig, although good, doesn’t deserve an All-Star shot yet. He’s not even considered a rookie he’s more like a MLB fetus. Who’s to say that next month he won’t be hitting .138…..will anybody be saying he deserved a shot then? The fact that the All-Star game determines home-field advantage means that it’s not about the fans anymore. Puig may deserve it but at this point we don’t even know if he’ll be a one hit wonder or not. You’re basically saying that the All-Star game’s a popularity contest.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Actually the GG award is given to people who don’t deserve it all the time. Just ask Derek Jeter. No offense to Yankee nation but the dude has less range than I do, and frequently watches balls go by him most SS’s would have snagged or at least tried to snag.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Jeter isn’t even the worst example though. Remember, Palmeiro won a GG in ’99 when he played 152 games. Of those 152 games, only 28 were played in the field (1B) and the rest were at DH.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Damnit 158 games, 28 at 1B

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM


      many good points… however, many gold gloves are simply given/gifted to players because of the dumb voters who vote on them… now the batting titles and era titles are earned but many other awards aren’t really earned each and every time…

  4. jm91rs - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Maybe it’s rare, but what about the players that are playing for one team in the game, then get traded to a contender in the other league? I recall cheering for Aaron Boone in Chicago at the All Star game, later that year he’s playing in the World Series for the Yankees. Granted he had no effect on that All Star game, but it’s just another reason that it’s ridiculous to give the winner of that game any sort of advantage when real baseball starts back up.

    • jdd428 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Yeah, good point. What if, say for example, Jesse Crain was healthy enough to pitch in this ASG. He’s almost certain to get traded; assume he pitches the AL out of a big late-inning jam to win the ASG and earn home-field for the AL champs.

      Then a week later, the White Sox trade him to, lets say, Cincinnati and the Reds go on to win the NL pennant. Now a guy who helped the AL win the game is on the wrong side of an advantage that he himself aided. It’s stupid.

      • jm91rs - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        In my example above, Aaron Boone lines out for the national league in the 8th inning of a 1 run game. The AL wins by one, gets home field advantage. The Reds trade Boone to the Yankees and he has home field advantage in the World Series (the Marlins won that one though). I’m all for fan votes, as I do love watching this game with my kids and it just feels like a fan-friendly event, I just think it’s illogical to give home field to the winning team when most of the players that will play in the game won’t be in the WS.

  5. yahmule - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Must hurt when one team’s fan base stuffs the ballot box more successfully than your fan base.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Maybe I am missing something here, but I thought that the “final vote” player wasn’t supposed to play in the ASG at all, only supposed to sit on the bench and look pretty and only plays in the case of a 17 inning emergency. Wasn’t that a knee jerk reaction to the one year that they ran out of players after the managers pulled their typical everyone MUST play or we’ll hurt their feelings, so let’s substitute with reckless abandon schtick! If that’s the case, I’m left not really caring who gets the “final vote”, as they aren’t really part of the team anyways.

    Ugh, there’s so much wrong with the All-Star game, I really wish they would just blow up the entire idea, forget the game, and just give the players a stupid honorary award and three day vacation. The game stinks, the home run derby stinks, the vote system stinks, the managers decisions stink, the fact that the game determines home field advantage stinks, the insane player roster stinks and the two months of complaining stinks.

  7. psuorioles - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    As an O’s fan, I just went and voted for Freeman as many times as I could… I want the AL to have the best chance at Home Field Advantange and not having Puig on the NL team does just that….

  8. paperlions - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I’m not sure what Braves players are bitching about. Recognizing that fWAR isn’t perfect but is a decent indicator, there is 1 Braves position player in the top 30 in the NL and 0 Braves pitchers in the top 15 in the NL. They just don’t have any guys having outstanding seasons that are being snubbed or any perenial AS types either. They got 1 guy, which is what they should get.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Just looking at the hitters, adjusting for 250 PA they only have 4 players over 100 wRC+ (Freeman, Johnson, Justin Upton and Uggla). Goldschmidt + Votto > Freeman, Upton isn’t as good as the rest of the OF crowd this year, and Wright and Carpenter are having better years than Johnson.

      As Colin Wyers mentioned on twitter the other day. If you think players are being snubbed, tell us who you would replace them with.

      • paperlions - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        I think the NL roster is pretty solid, from a selection stand point, there are a few guys that probably have better arguments than guys currently on the team, but those are nit-picking and mostly are the result of the every team has to have at least 1 guy thing. The AL roster has some weird choices…not finding room for one of the 10 best players in baseball (Longoria) is weird….but the player vote kind of screwed that roster up not the fans.

      • wonkypenguin - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        This is entirely what I thought, too. Who would you put in there besides Freeman? It’s a first place team made up of some very interesting and streaky great hitters but not an “automatic” All-Star at all, in my opinion.

    • s0krat3s - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Braves have the 2nd best ERA in baseball, yet only one pitcher (and its only a guy who pitches one inning every other day).
      Braves have the 4th most runs scored in the NL, yet no hitters.
      They have the second best run differential in the NL, yet only one all-star?

      I’m not petitioning for any Braves player here, but if you play for the Braves and you know all this of course you are going to have a gripe.

      And after seeing the Giants in the AS game last year, try and tell a team in the race the AS doesn’t matter.

    • timbolio328 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      And yet they’re in first place in their division. Sometimes having a group of decent players is better than having only one or two great players. Frankly I’m a Braves’ fan and I’m glad that only Kimbrel’s in the game. The Braves could use the three day rest.

      • paperlions - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Yes, it was not a condemnation of the team as a group…but they haven’t really had any outstanding performances at the plate or on the mound this season….just a lot of good ones and not many bad ones.

        I’m not sure why players would bitch. If they were paying attention, they would notice that the player vote is often far worse than the fan vote…and never as good as the fan vote.

  9. biasedhomer - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    ” if a Braves player was the media sensation du jour a la Puig — let’s say a pre-injury Evan Gattis ”

    Really now? Gattis was no where near as hyped up or on such a tear as Puig. It was mainly you pumping him up.

    • paperlions - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Really, it was mainly Craig? That is why Gattis won Rookie of the Month in both April and May? Because of the Calcaterra Hype Machine?

      If Gattis wasn’t hurt, he’d probably be on the final vote list.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Potheads across America love Evan Gattis. And we are a voting base. Naturally, it’d help to get a coupon to 31 Flavors per ballot, but whatever.

  10. voteforno6 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Yeah, the fan voting process is unfair, like when Dan Uggla was voted into the game last year.

    • jm91rs - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Thank you. I couldn’t remember who it was, but I kept trying to remember what Braves player made it last year that made me laugh. You’ve saved me some internet searching later.

  11. 13arod - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I wish the fans cant vote because they vote for favorites insted of the best player at each postion

    • cohnjusack - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Yeah, but they’ve gotten waaaaaay better over the years.

  12. theinconvienenttruth - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    AL Lineup

    SP Scherzer

    NL Lineup
    Goldschmidt (DH)

    SP Harvey

    • spudchukar - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Molina better hit before Phillips, or there might be another incident.

      • theinconvienenttruth - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        NL Lineup was tough for me

  13. bobwh11 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Hudson is correct. What should happen is the managers pick the starters and five pitchers and it is made public. Then the fans vote on the reserves. That gives the fans a voice and lets the managers pick a winning team. Or, in case you think managers might not play fair, either, then come up with a stat package and have the qualifying players with the best stat package at each position start at their positions and fill up the first five starters spots, and the fans vote on the rest–very objective and let MLB put together the stat package.

    • albertmn - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Managers can’t be objective. They would just pick their own guys in every situation that was close. Didn’t Torre used to pick about half Yankees with his picks, including 1 or 2 a year that really weren’t the most deserving?

  14. nfloyd52 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Craig you my friend are an idiot. Puig does not deserve to be in the all star game. He hasn’t been in the show long enough. I don’t care if he hit a home run every day. The only players that deserve it are the ones that have been there all year.

  15. s0krat3s - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Try and tell anyone from the Giants that the AS game is meaningless. Hudson has one goal in mind: win the WS. Step one, win the all-star game. When you have a dominant, legit WS contender and outside forces are threatening your odds of accomplishing that goal you have a right to be upset.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Home field advantage shouldn’t matter to a World Series champion.

  16. timbolio328 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    The All-Star game voting needs to be changed. In baseball when it comes down to awards like the MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc the players win those titles because they deserved them. Two players per year win those awards from each league. You want to let the fans vote then let them vote for those two players. Each year one player from the NL and one for the AL will be picked by the fans as their honorary choice for the All-Star game. After that the managers choose the rest of the players such as the starters and reserves. If Bochy feels Puig deserves a shot then it’s his choice…..not mine, not yours, not anybody’s but the manager’s. Being voted into the All-Star game is no longer an honor. The All-Star game’s a popularity contest plain and simple.

  17. scatterbrian - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I’m confused. The fans voted for the starters, and did a pretty good job…a few questionable starters, but nothing truly out of hand. Then, the managers select five players for the Final Vote, and the fans pick one of those. So why is he bitching about the fans involvement in this?

  18. s0krat3s - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Miguel Cabrera is starting in the AS game for the FIRST time in his career. You don’t need to go any further than that to realize the voting process IS unfair.

  19. cohnjusack - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Well…how many Braves actually deserve to make it? Kimbrel obviously (and he did). Freeman’s good, but Goldschmidt and Votto have been better, and he’s about equal with Craig. McCann’s been hurt, they’re best pitcher has been Mike Minor who is 8-4 with a 3.15 ERA…very good, but not exactly a huge snub or anything.

    The fact is, the Braves have a team filled with a lot of pretty good players, but few great ones. That type of team will win you a lot of ballgames and net you few all-stars. I’d rather have that than two superstars and a sub-500 record.

    • albertmn - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      I couldn’t agree more. Why do we have people complaining the Braves were snubbed because their record is so good, but they aren’t singling out a single player as being snubbed? It is the All-Star Game, not the Pick Random Guys from the Teams with the Best Records Game. If you can’t make a compelling case for which Brave was snubbed, then none of them were.

    • s0krat3s - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      I won’t argue that the Braves have been a TEAM effort this season, but you have to realize that if you were a player on a team that has held first place for 97 games you would expect more than one all-star vote. And if it was just players/managers voting that is likely the case.

  20. spudchukar - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I probably lean against having Puig in the AS game. Not sure a player who isn’t on the original ballot deserves to be considered. Puig’s numbers are special, but I would bet that a number of hitters have posted similar numbers over a hot stretch this season. Certainly Upton could make a similar comparison with his April.

    If I am incorrect and nobody has posted similar numbers over a similar number of games then perhaps Puig’s inclusion is more viable.

    • scatterbrian - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      Steve Garvey was a write-in All-Star in 1974. He ended up being the MVP of the game, and then the MVP of the NL that year.

  21. pjmitch - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    WAIT A MINUTE….you mean allowing the average schmuck to vote as many times as he possibly can for his favorite player isn’t the fair way to do it?

    Possibly why I have not cast even one all-star vote since 1972.

  22. jayscarpa - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    “The whole fan vote thing, I think is obnoxious”
    Go complain to Selig & the owners. Complaining in the media just makes them look like whiners.

  23. roverboy1949 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Saying ” I’d rather see some hyped kid like Puig in it over someone else, frankly, because Puig is interesting and the game doesn’t matter otherwise.” is like saying the coin toss doesn’t matter otherwise in football. If only psychologically, home field is huge in any sport. If the game is for fun and the fans, get rid of the home field or else rule. why can you vote 25 times anyways? ballot stuffing at it’s best, or worst!

  24. summeroftony - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:49 PM


  25. timbolio328 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    In the end it won’t matter who wins the All-Star game because only a small number of players on the rosters will benefit from the home-field advantage aspect. If the NL wins the AS game and the Braves make the WS then the only player thus far that will benefit from that AS game is Kimbrel. Using the AS game to determine home-field advantage is stupid. Take this for an example. Bottom ninth, two out, score’s 2-1 AL up. One on first. Evereth Cabrera of the Padres gets up and hits a two-run homerun to win the game for the NL. The Padres are in last place in their division. They’ve lost nine straight. Cabrera most likely won’t even see the postseason let alone the WS but his contribution won the game and home-field advantage for one of his competitors. Now is that fair?

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