This Week in (Dumb) Baseball: Stuffing the ballot box

Have a case of the Mondays? Cheer up, it's time for another edition of This Week in (Dumb) Baseball. As regular readers already know, this feature has the title, sure, but it's mostly for fun-- a fact that eludes the masses but remains the case. If someone freaks out, set them straight and tell them to enjoy life!

For all This Week in (Dumb) Baseball columns, click here.

1. Kansas City, you're embarrassing yourself

The AL All-Star balloting is a complete and utter joke. There's no other way to put it. The All-Star Game determines home field advantage in the World Series and the fan vote has become a ballot-stuffing contest, with the Royals fans making a mockery of everyone else.

Ultimately, this can and should be fixed by commissioner Rob Manfred. Yes, he needs to step in here, because there are some egregious things going on in a game that (incorrectly, sure, but that's not the topic at hand) means something.

Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are worthy All-Stars, but they shouldn't be starting over Russell Martin, Miguel Cabrera and Josh Donaldson, respectively. Kendrys Morales over Nelson Cruz at DH is wrong as well. I'll let Alcides Escobar slide because shortstop in the AL is laughable, but I just rattled off four positions where there's no unbiased justification for the Royals man to be starting.

And then there's the position with zero justification from anyone with a brain.

Omar Infante is hitting .204/.213/.283. Only six players in the majors qualify for the batting title and have a worse batting average. None have a worse on-base percentage. Only one has a worse slugging percentage.

I had the pleasure of being in Wrigley Field Friday and I posed the question to a few Cubs fans:

What if Miguel Montero started the All-Star Game over Buster Posey?

One response I got perfectly sums it up:

"I'd be embarrassed."

Yep. And Montero is having a productive season. Infante might lose his starting job and then start in the All-Star Game. While I'm sure he'd be honored, I'd wager there will be a part of him that feels pretty embarrassed.

Hosmer over Cabrera? Get outta here.
Hosmer over Cabrera? Get outta here. (USATSI)

And yet here we are.

The responses I'll get from Royals fans are going to totally miss the point. Such as ...

- You hate the Royals. Quite the contrary, I loved the Royals run last season. It was an outstanding story and I love the city of Kansas City (except the airport, which objectively sucks). The tailgating around Kauffman Stadium is a must on any bucket list. But this isn't really about the Royals.

- You're still angry about the Royals from earlier. Well, the Royals players seemed a bit angry in the opening few weeks of the season with multiple fights, but nothing has happened in weeks. I'm not one to hold grudges and I credit them for dialing it back. I'm generally more than fine with the team. In fact, they have several of my favorite players to watch (LoCain!). This isn't about the players, specifically, though.

- You're just angry it's a small market team. As laughable an argument as the vote itself. This isn't about the specific team, it's about too many players from the same team. What if there were eight Yankees in the starting lineup? Would you Royals fans be OK with that? Be honest (and remember the reaction Robinson Cano got for not picking Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby in KC). This isn't a market thing. Again: It's a too many players from the same team thing.

- Everyone else is jealous. Nope. Get that chip off your shoulder.

- This is the best team in baseball. Seriously, I heard that last week! The Cardinals are the obvious best team and even they don't deserve more than a handful of starters. And by the way, Royals fans, reality check: Your favorite team has played .500 ball since May 1 and has only won six of its last 17.

- Every other fan base has a chance to vote. This is correct and valid. My guess is most Royals fans are just doing what all other fan bases do but that there's a small segment of losers spending an inordinate amount of time and energy to skew this thing. Those people are making the rest of the Royals fans look bad and messing up the start of the All-Star Game. They should be stopped. The good Royals fans should be on my side here, because they are making you guys -- and there are a lot of you -- look really bad.

Let's all just take a step back and realize that this would be bad for baseball no matter what team it was. Once we're able to do that, we'll stop getting personal and start realizing this vote is a farce.

Or maybe we should just root for the Royals to have every starter, lose the All-Star Game and then lose on the road in Game 7 of the World Series? That would be a bit poetic, wouldn't it?

2. Saving the closer. Yes, still

I've mentioned this before and I'll continue to mention it because it never stops happening. Instead of trying to win a game, some managers consistently manage to the save stat when on the road. The latest example was the Reds warming up Aroldis Chapman several different times Sunday night but never brought him in because Bryan Price was "saving" him for a save situation that never came. They lost the game with Burke Badenhop on the hill and one of MLB's premier relievers sitting in the bullpen.

3. Choo's attitude

Last week, Shin-Soo Choo missed the cutoff man and it ended up contributing to the Rangers allowing the tying run to score in an eventual loss. Rangers manager Jeff Banister asked Choo in the dugout why he missed his mark, and, in turn, Choo got angry. Via the Dallas Morning News:

“I’ll get you a glove, and you play,’’ Choo said in his parting comment on the subject.

Um, no. That's not how it works. He's your boss and you made a mistake. Own it and move on. The two have since cleared the air and moved on, but this kind of stuff makes Choo appear selfish and shouldn't happen.


As we do every week, we wash away the dumb with some fun.

Fun stat of the week

Exit velocity is becoming all the rage and I love it. What's wrong with simply knowing "who hits the ball the hardest?" Nothing. Here's who doesn't:

Non-baseball catch of the week

This is outstanding.

GIF of the week

I don't know who made this, but it is precisely why Internet GIFs were invented.

LEGO photos of the week

As a Star Wars lover, I thought this was pretty cool.

Boss move of the week

This raccoon is a stud.

Negative infinity Internet points if you comment "stick to baseball."

On that note, it's time to put a bow on this thing. Have a great week.

Suggestions (dumb stuff, random videos, baseball cards, pop culture rankings topics, etc.) or hate mail? Feel free to hit me up: matt.snyder@cbs.com or you could always go to Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS). Royals fans, you should follow those directions because I'm not going to read the comments on this one.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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