Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 MLB All-Star Game: Bud Selig Calls San Francisco Giants Vote Totals "Part of the Process"

Pablo Sandoval does not deserve to be the starting third baseman for the National League in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, and Freddy Sanchez certainly does not belong in the top-5 in NL voting for second basemen.

The epicenter of baseball fandom has been taken over by San Francisco Giants fans, and this past week  only proves that even more.

The Giants will be sending Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Melky Cabrera and Sandoval to the All-Star Game next week.  Posey, Cabrera and Sandoval will all be starting, and Cain still has the possibility to do the same.

Even Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner still have chances of making the NL team if injuries happen to overwhelm the National League pitchers.

However, Giants fans have been bashed since the revealing of the final voting tallies for the starting players in this year's All-Star Game.  That bashing is based on the "ballot-stuffing" that was performed by San Francisco's fans over the past week in the form of Sandoval starting at third base over David Wright and Freddy Sanchez getting any votes at all.

To note:  Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford also finished second in the voting for first base and shortstop in the National League.

Stan McNeal of The Sporting News is reporting MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Sandoval starting and other surprising vote totals are simply "part of the process."

Giants fans knew the system and used it to their advantage.

We should not be surprised, though.  AT&T Park is sold out every single night and continues to be one of the best experiences sport has to offer.  

The fact is that the Giants have a large fanbase that has seemed to grow ever since their 2010 World Series victory.

We should be least surprised by the voting totals of Sandoval.  His nickname of the "Panda" has become a phenomenon in the Bay Area and beyond.  It is an obvious reason as to why he received so many votes despite a stint on the disabled list and much less of a year than Wright of the Mets.

However, not everything is good about fandom taking over so heavily.

Freddy Sanchez has not played in an MLB game in over a year, yet receives the fourth most votes of any second baseman in the National League.

For that, Giants fans should be embarrassed, but it just goes to show the strength of this fanbase and the team at the moment.  Other ballclubs' fans had the opportunity to do the same, yet San Francisco's fans stand out for caring too much about their team.

That's a ballclub other players want to play for.

It does not sound like the system of voting in the All-Star Game is going to change, with Selig's response to the Giants fans undying support of their team in the ballot box.  However, it could use some tweaking.

Until then, San Francisco will keep stuffing that ballot box.

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