To whom it may concern in the MLB front office,
I’ve noticed a shocking and absolutely absurd omission from this year’s All-Star ballot. Although I am not one of them, I believe I speak for all Red Sox nation (or maybe not) when I write this; I am utterly offended that you have managed to leave Kevin Youkilis off the ballot. He has been the starting first baseman for the entirety of the young season, having arguably one of the better seasons at the position of any player in the AL. The fact that a player of such caliber is left only to be voted in as a write-in is completely out of line. In his place, you have a man who has started in less games at that position over the last three years in David Ortiz. Tell me, what is your reasoning? How do you rationalize that?
David Ortiz is on the team no matter what. If he doesn’t get voted in, he’s chosen by the coaches as a reserve. That’s a given. Now, what about Mr. Youkilis, what happens to him? He, at best, gets thrown into that 25th man vote, where it becomes a toss up, especially if he’s up against someone like Alex Rios and most likely a random Yankee that’s on there as a novelty pick.
Let’s throw this out there, let’s say that only ACTUAL 1st basemen are on the ballot. That, by rule, elminates David Ortiz and Travis Hafner of the Indians (Where Ben Brussard isn’t playing too shabby either at 1st either), meaning there are now. That means, as of the last tally, there would have been 606,309 votes available to other, more deserving *1st Basemen*. Of those, 451,431 were for Ortiz. You know that probably a good 200,000 of those votes are from die hard Red Sox fans, meaning they would probably vote for Kevin. I’ll estimate that maybe 20 to 30,000 votes from Hafner would go to Yook. With stats alone, another 50,000 votes might have swung his way. That’s 280,000 votes. Putting him, second behind Giambi, making him on pace to be a reserve. Done.
But no, baseballs concern for marketability and name recognition has hindered the ability for him to earn a fair shot at winning the job outright. I know what you’re going to tell me, write him in. You know how many people write in? Ballots, All star, political office, school office, are base on name recognition. You either go in voting (or writing-in) a pre-chosen candidate, or you screen across the choices looking for the most recognizable or desirable name. Rarely ever does someone ask "Where’s so and so?" It just doesn’t happen. Besides, when people get to the write-in portion of the ballot, they usually have already voted for a player in the said position, which, therefore, by voting rules, invalidates the write selection. So your "write him in" argument becomes invalid due to the psychological dismissal of the write-in option.
But unfortunately David Ortiz is more marketable. Tell me, if Papi is still DHing for the twins, is he on the ballot as the Twins first baseman? If Pujols played in the AL on his team, is Papi on the ballot as a first baseman? The answer to that is no, and no. So any argument baseball has aside from the
"He’s on the Red Sox, he’s a marketable name" option is wrong. I personally intend to write in Kevin when I vote, because he, by definition, SHOULD be the first baseman on the ballot for the Red Sox.