Saturday, June 30, 2012
Off Base: All-Star voting attack ads looming
By Jim Caple
Voting for the All-Star Game blends America's two greatest attributes -- democracy and baseball. Of course, if the All-Star fan vote was a little more like the presidential campaign, Fox and CNN pundits would have anointed Carl Crawford the 2012 All-Star front-runner based on a straw poll of general managers at the 2010 winter meetings.
There is one other area the All-Star vote differs from the presidential campaign. Despite having so much at stake -- not only selection to the team but the contract bonuses that go with it -- we haven't seen any attack ads. At least not yet.
Not only did Prince Fielder flip-flop on his league of choice, but he bobbled this ball! Is this really who you want as the American League's first baseman?
With the rise of the Super PACs and the proliferation of outside financial interests, you know it's just a matter of time until we see ones like these:
Attack Ad No. 1
We see video and still images of a smiling Prince Fielder in a Detroit Tigers uniform while cheerful music plays in the background. But the music shifts to a haunting melody, and the video changes to darkened images of Fielder in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform as we hear this ominous voice-over.
"Prince Fielder fans want the first baseman to start for the American League in this summer's All-Star Game. But Prince Fielder played the first seven years of his career in the National League. He even played for the National League in three All-Star Games. He only now says he is an American Leaguer after accepting $214 million from a team in a troubled city that is cutting funding for education. Fielder says he is an American Leaguer but he is not a true American Leaguer. Do you really want your league represented by a proven flip-flopper who changes his league allegiances when it is financially lucrative and politically expedient?"