Schlossberg: All-Star selections prove to be a crapshoot

From SABR member Dan Schlossberg at USA Today on July 12, 2013, with mention of SABR member David Vincent:

Fans did not always pick the starting lineups for the All-Star Game.

In the 80 years since the initial “Game of the Century” was played in Chicago, various electoral methods have been tried. Most led to controversy, and complaints have always been common.

Today’s complicated system, with its combination of fan vote at ballparks and online, player vote and manager vote, also has its detractors. Fans pick the starting lineups, players pick position backups and eight pitchers and All-Star managers pick eight position players plus five starting pitchers and three relievers. Fans then select the “Final Vote” player for each league from among five choices. Pitchers who started on the Sunday before the Tuesday All-Star Game are replaced so that fresh arms are available.

Historian David Vincent, co-author of the book The Midsummer Classic: The Complete History of Baseball’s All-Star Game, isn’t sure what voting system works best.

“Fans want to see good players,” says Vincent, a longtime Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) member and author. “They don’t want to see somebody hitting .110.

“When it comes down to it, the All-Star Game is an exhibition played to entertain the fans. In the final analysis, I don’t have a problem with fan voting, because it’s always been a game for the fans.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 12, 2013. Last Updated: July 12, 2013.