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Reactions to the Royals All-Star ballot-stuffing

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have eight players leading their respective position in All-Star balloting and the baseball world is not happy about it. Here are some of the reactions.

Jon Heyman thinks something needs to be done about the online voting.

MLB has looked into the sitution and found nothing untoward. The hope is that Royals fans are just outworking everyone else, and that may be the case. The belief for now is that a bunch of dummy emails or certainly something else more complex that isn't behind this.

The next question becomes: Can anything be done about it? Well, there seems to be no movement for commissioner Rob Manfred to rewrite the lineup, as then-commissioner Ford Frick did in 1957, when over-enthusiastic Reds fans stuffed All-Star ballot boxes (in those days, they did it the hard way, actually stuffing real boxes with paper ballots).

The best remedy at the moment may be to encourage Astros fans to get out and vote for Altuve, who still have a chance to beat out Infante, Mariners fans to get out and vote for DH Nelson Cruz and Tigers fans to get out and vote for Cabrera, so Trout isn't the only non-Royal in the starting lineup. The other positions look fairly hopeless for non-Royals at this point.

Barry Svluga at the Washington Post points out the Royals have just been better at galvanizing online support.

"Other teams were very good with engaging fans to get out the vote on paper ballots," said Toby Cook, a Royals vice president and spokesman. "We weren’t particularly good at it. And frankly, we weren’t used to having more than one player either in contention or in the game. We could just work and work and work to promote the paper ballot, and it wouldn’t move the needle.

"The online comes along, and the crazy, wonderful fan base in Kansas City jumped on it. People kind of said, ‘I remember the Royals. That was a fun thing last year.’ It just really took off for us. We focused on saying, ‘This is really easy. You don’t have to come out to the ballpark. Go online and vote – and then vote again and vote again and vote again."

Tigers fan Dan Holmes is outraged that Major League Baseball is all about money!

Currently a fan can vote up to 35 times (per email address) online. The voting at the ballpark, with the punch-ballots, has been eliminated, which irritates many fans. Most fans are outraged that each "email address" can vote 35 times. But if you think MLB will alter that possibility, you’re fooling yourself. MLB Advanced Media, the money-grubbers who run the MLB digital world, have never met a promotion or sales opportunity they didn’t like. The 35 times rule is set up precisely because it lures fans to the website for a long time. If they happen to buy something while they’re there, all the better. MLBAM cares about one thing only – the bottom line.

Joe Posnanski says Royals fans are ballot-stuffing, and that's kind of the point of the All-Star Game.

For a long time now, I’ve had a pretty straightforward view of the All-Star Game: It’s the fans’ game and fans should be able to see whoever they want. Sure, I used to get all riled up by who got jobbed, who coasted in on an expired reputation, who can’t get noticed no matter how well they play … and, sure, I sometimes can still get riled up by all that. But in the end, I believe that the All-Star Game is supposed to feature the players that most fans want to see. In other words, I believe that the fans can make baffling or illogical or unfair choices but they cannot get it wrong. Because it’s their game.

And right now, simply put, Kansas City fans want their players in the All-Star Game more than anybody else. They want it more, sir.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander takes issue with the Royals fan voting.

"I know that every fan likes their own team and you can't ask them to be impartial, but as a true baseball fan, you should vote correctly and not just vote for just your team," Verlander said. "There are some players starting right now that it's very easy to look at and say they should not be."

Ned Yost says if people don't like it, they should get out and vote.

"There's nothing wrong," Yost told USA Today Sports. "Vote! The votes are the votes. If you don't like it, go out there and vote. Our fans have gotten out and voted. Does seven starters surprise you? Yeah. But once you sit back and think about it, it's really not that surprising."

He later added:

"It would be hard if I wasn’t a Kansas City Royal or a Kansas City Royals fan," Yost said before his team began a two-game series Monday against the Brewers. "But our fans have gone out and they’ve voted. How can you take away from that?" He added, "Everybody’s free to vote. It’s not like, ‘Oh, nobody else can vote but the Royals fans. You can’t vote.’ It’s not like that."

Alex Gordon agrees.

But added:

Deadspin says "screw it", just vote for all Royals.

In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy this and advocate for more homerism. Get Alex Rios, who has 66 at-bats, to somehow surpass Trout. Keep stuffing the ballot for Omar Infante, he of the .213 OBP. Write in Jarrod Dyson. Vote for every Royal. Then vote again. As big fans of dumb things that make people angry, Deadspin fully endorses an all-Royal AL All-Star lineup.

Jeremy Koo of Athletics Nation agrees. Let the world burn.

Whoever starts the All-Star Game does not matter. Really. If you care about home field advantage in the World Series, the reserves will come in after each has had their turn at bat against the National League's best pitcher that did not start the Sunday before, and so the American League's actual best hitters will get their chances against the National League's lesser (but still All-Star) pitchers. Any one major league baseball game is a slightly unfair coin flip, and really all we want is a coin flip to resolve the consequence of having to play an odd number of games in the World Series.

So let the world burn. #VoteOmar. #VoteAlex.

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