Just did a Baltimore radio show via phone to talk about All-Star voting as time ticks down to tonight’s midnight deadline. The host is appalled at the fact it is predominantly Yankees and Red Sox, couldn’t believe that Big Papi is leading because "he has fallen off this year," and asked me why this is happening. For one thing, the Yanks and Sox have finished 1-2 in the AL East every year since 1998, they have horses, so although it’s not my job to endorse them one way or the other, I would not call it an abomination in sports. Every time I see Ortiz he is winning a game in the last inning, just as every time I see Mauer swing a bat he is reaching base. But more to the point, yes, many fans around baseball have this reaction. It’s been that way ever since the first weekly voting update was released here. So here was my point when the host asked me if this is a popularity contest:
I have heard the cliche words "popularity contest" since I was a kid. This is 2006. It’s a TECHNOLOGY CONTEST. More ballots are cast online than at the ballpark, and add them together and you have a massive, unmatched ASG campaign. Let’s face it. Baltimore: You want Tejada in the starting lineup at PNC instead of Jeter? Go to MLB.com now. Click All-Star ballot. Check boxes. Submit. Do it again 24 times. And that’s just one email registration. Are there more Yankee and Red Sox fans? Maybe there are. There sure are if you look at the MLBlogs population here. It’s the players doing their job on the field, but it’s also technology, and right now it’s definitely technology. Making up 400,000 votes on the last day is doable if everyone in a market makes smoke come out of our website today…just as getting a Jeter to Top Vote-Getter is possible on the last day. It’s either time for a correction or time for a blowout. Depends on who uses the mouse.
Don’t complain about a popularity contest. That’s so 1970s. It’s a technology contest, and there were more than 2.3 million ballots cast on the final day last year. So go vote if you think something needs to be corrected. That’s why we raised the total votes allowed from one to a ******** 25. And that’s why the guy sitting next to my desk here came up with the idea to have a Final Vote five years ago. No more he-was-snubbed. Vote. Vote often. Everyone can get to a computer, even if it’s going to the local library. You want to make a difference? Vote now!
There are now less than six hours left.
And memo to Baltimore: One could definitely imagine a Ramon Hernandez winding up among your five Final Vote choices on Sunday night. Who knows. That will be up to Ozzie.
THOUGHTS, my fellow MLBloggers and All-Star voters?