Though the Los Angeles Dodgers are first in attendance, their fans came up a bit short in All-Star voting, with both Corey Seager and Justin Turner failing to win at their positions. And All-Star closer Kenley Jansen had a lot to say.
We enjoyed for the rawness of his honesty. However, we think the fans did an overall excellent job once again with the starters, and even slightly better than the players did overall with the extra players and pitchers.
While Jansen took a few candid shots at Dodger fans for being out-voted by fans in smaller cities, he later reaffirmed his love of Dodgers fans in this interview with Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Either way, the fans did great with their All-Star votes, agreeing with me 100 percent in the AL and for the most part in the NL, as well (and where we differed, I see the case for their picks).
Meanwhile, the players and leagues combined to do slightly less well (the players had a harder job since they voted about two weeks before the teams were picked). The players agreed with the fans at most spots, but I’d say the fans got it right with Justin Smoak at first base and Jose Ramirez at third base (again, while the fans could vote almost up until the time of the announcement, player votes were already in).
No offense to D.J. LeMahieu, Francisco Lindor and fairly Dellin Betances (he had the most walks per nine innings of any pitcher with 20-plus innings, even before Wednesday’s disaster) and even Luis Severino, but there were probably a few better picks this year that got snubbed (Betances was a more obvious choice with two weeks to go but blew up twice afterward).
There isn’t as much room this year due to the odd decision to reduce rosters to 32 after managers complained about having a hard time finding time for everyone, but Alex Wood, Gio Gonzalez, Anthony Rendon, Chris Devenski, Andrelton Simmons, Felipe Rivero, Justin Turner and Marwin Gonzalez were all needlessly snubbed. (He’s a story from FanRag’s John Perrotto detailing his All-Snub picks).
Some of this will be rectified thanks to injury replacements. Yet, it’s a reasonable question to wonder why the oft-criticized fans continue to outdo the players and the league. It’s possible the timing of player ballots may have hurt them (Lindor certainly looked like an All-Star earlier). It’s also possible the league handicapped itself by committing to go along with the players’ second choices even at positions where only one player was deserving. Whatever, the case, the results still weren’t close to perfect.