The 2017 MLB All-Star ballots are out, which typically gives Royals fans the chance to exercise their voting fingers. Royals fans have been notorious for stuffing the ballot in past seasons, but with the team off to a terrible start, the bloom may be off the rose a bit. The enthusiasm for Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Brandon Moss, and Alcides Escobar may not be there with their averages near the Mendoza Line.
So what if we focus our efforts on one player? It could be Salvador Perez - he seems like a decent bet to be voted back to the All-Star Game in Miami this year. It could be Mike Moustakas, who has been the Royals’ best hitter but faces stacked competition at third base in the American League. It could be Lorenzo Cain, who is drawing walks like crazy but just cracked his first home run of the year.
Or we could make a mess of things again and vote for Whit Merrifield. Why Whit?
Because he is gritty
Whit Merrifield is on the All-Star ballot for the first time, not bad considering he wasn’t even in the Major Leagues until two weeks into the season. How did he force his way into the ballot, an honor typically reserved for the Travis Jankowskis and Oswaldo Arcias of the world? GRIT.
Don’t believe me? Check the stats, nerd.
Under the “Gamer Rating Index Tally”, Merrifield leads all American League second basemen over the last two seasons. This is a real stat, and totally not something I made up.
Because he is not bad
I think to have an effective farcical All-Star campaign, we need a player that is not good enough to merit serious consideration for the All-Star Game, but not bad enough that he generates actual scorn from the fanbase. The #VoteOmar campaign was funny, but it was difficult for many fans to punch the ticket for Infante considering they didn’t even want him in the Royals starting lineup.
But while Whit Merrifield is one of the lightest-hitting second basemen in baseball, he’s at least a positive WAR player, and one of the best options the Royals have to start at second. He’s fun to watch, he hustles, he does the little things, he is everything you want in a baseball player aside from really good offensive numbers that help you win games.
Because he is handsome
Who wouldn’t want to see this in Miami?
But seriously, he is a pretty likable guy
Look, we all know Merrifield is not the greatest hitter in the world. But he busts his butt, seems thrilled to be in the big leagues, and genuinely seems to care out there. It is not a surprise he is a fan favorite. It would be neat to see him rewarded for his efforts, even if the reward is a bit farcical.
Because Bill Merrifield will drive his Subaru to Miami
Can you imagine Whit Merrifield’s adorable grandfather Bill driving cross country to Miami to watch Whit in the All-Star Game? Bill Merrifield became a bit of sensation in Kansas City for driving his Subaru from city to city to watch his beloved grandson in his rookie season. He even got his own fan mail. Bill Merrifield deserves his a trip to Miami. MLB Network should film his road trip. Have Salvy ride shotgun. It would be the buddy comedy film of the summer.
Because the All-Star Game is silly
I can already here the haters in other American League cities say “how can you vote for a second baseman with a career 92 OPS+ over guys like Jose Altuve, Brian Dozier, Robinson Cano, and Jason Kipnis?” BECAUSE I CAN.
Voting for whoever you want to the All-Star Game is a right granted to us by Major League Baseball and its wonderful corporate partner Esurance, which you can use to get a free quote online for a rate on your homeowners insurance or car insurance in seconds. Sometimes fans use that vote to make ridiculous selections, like Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1991, Kosuke Fukudome in 2008, or Alcides Escobar in 2015 (what are you looking at?)
“But the integrity of this exhibition game is at stake! Home field advantage for the World Series is on the line!” Not my problem, brah! Have you seen where the Royals are in the standings? The chances of the Royals making the World Series are about as good as the odds of.....well, Whit Merrifield going to the All-Star Game. Ah yes, the All-Star Game no longer determines home field advantage. Even more reason to make it a WhitFest!
The All-Star Game is a meaningless exhibition game for the fans. I am fan. I want more Whit. Make it so. Vote Whit today. Vote 35 times a day, as is your right. Stuff the ballot. Send Whit to Miami.