ARLINGTON, Texas -- In today's internet age, fans can "stuff" the MLB All-Star ballot box a lot easier than they could years ago. Instead of punching holes -- and risking hanging chads -- with paper ballots and putting them in boxes at the ballpark, fans can now vote up to 25 times per email address at MLB.com or their favorite team's website.
And Ranger fans are certainly doing that. ESPN.com's David Schoenfield talks about it in his latest Sweet Spot blog. Schoenfield notes, rightly so, that Robinson Cano's numbers are more deserving than Ian Kinsler's to start the game and that until a week ago it was Kinsler who was in the lead.
But unless you change how the entire voting system works (and I've got some ideas, but that's for another discussion), fans vote for the starters and they have the ability to stuff the ballot box. Starting spots have always been popularity contests with fans. That's why players get to vote for reserves and managers have the say on the final few spots, too. So if your fan base does a better job than others or if your club does a better job getting the word out, you get the advantage.
That's just my thought. Besides, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre deserve to start in the game. I could make a strong argument for Elvis Andrus getting the start over Derek Jeter, but no stuffing of any box will make that happen. Should Mike Napoli get the start over Joe Mauer? No, but he had a huge end of the 2011 season, and who doesn't want to hear "NAP-O-LI" chants at the All-Star Game if enough Rangers fans can make the trip to Kansas City.
The bottom line is that with or without stuffing the box, some players who don't deserve to start will get the nod. That's the way this system works. So if you want to see your players in the game, vote. That's all Rangers fans are doing.