by Alex Poletti
In order to make the voting for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game a more fan-driven experience, the league has announced that it will adopt an electoral college akin to the one in place at the federal level of the US government.
“Baseball is truly America’s game,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says, “so we want the sport to reflect the best parts of our country. Clearly, right now that’s the electoral college.”
Starting with this year’s game, the process will work similarly to the Presidential Election, with voters selecting delegates who then vote for All-Star candidates in the primary election. The primary will be followed by a three-player run-off for each position after the players give speeches at their respective conventions. At this point, the population will select their electors, who in turn will vote the players into the All-Star Game.
“We wanted to increase fan participation,” Manfred continues. “That’s why we added all of these bureaucratic elements and groups of people removed from the needs and ideologies of the masses. It really enhances the fan experience.”
This system is set to replace the previous method of the popular vote, where players were selected in a month-long election based on who received the most votes per position. However, this system was criticized because the fans were given too much power, free from the checks and balances of the political machine. The founders of baseball clearly intended for the educated gentry to have a say in All-Star eligibility, so the system was changed to reflect that.
The electors and delegates consist of groups of generally unknown people with vague connections to the league and players. Some are longtime season ticket holders, others are relatives of players or managers, and some are Larry Sanders, brother of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“I do think there is a place for delegates and electors in the All-Star voting,” Larry Sanders says, gesticulating wildly. “Because the general population may be swayed by stats like batting average and home runs, but the delegates are more familiar with advanced SABERmetrics and statcast stats like WAR and exit velocity.”
The electors do have the ability to go against the popular will, but they generally follow the decision of their districts.
In order to further streamline the process, the National League has established a superdelegate system, so unelected bureaucrats can have their say.
While the superdelegates are put in place so the league can have greater sway over who gets elected to the game, it also does its part in convincing voters that their preferred candidates have a chance at an All-Star berth, when they really don’t.
“Dexter Fowler totally can pull it together and make the team,” delusional Cardinals fan John Erikson says of the St. Louis center-fielder, who is currently batting .262 with 4 home runs. “I mean, he’s definitely behind Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich in the polls, but if you look at the superdelegates, there’s a chance he could still pull it off. We just need the superdelegates support and then we’re golden.”
While the elections system seems set for now, Manfred and other league officials have teased an updated Super PAC rule that will allow major corporations their fair voice in the process as well.