Even if the game “means something” (home field advantage in the World Series), it’s important to remember that the All-Star Game is a fan-driven exhibition game. Some years, that means really good players won’t be voted in as starters or won’t make the team, and other years that means the team will be overloaded with players from your favorite team:
Close races at SS, 2B, 3B and C highlight latest NL All-Star balloting update. pic.twitter.com/urH6Wf1xr5
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 22, 2016
One thing I’m not looking forward to, though – see the responses to that tweet on Twitter for a preview – is the backlash against any Cubs player who is voted in but is not necessarily worth of a starting spot. The most notable example among the five-some there is Addison Russell, who is still a wizard in the field, but hasn’t taken that next step with his bat (he’s 22!). If and when he’s voted in as the starter over a really strong group of shortstops this year, he’s probably going to be the face of a lot of other teams’ fans’ hostility and jabs. That would be rather unfair to Russell, and you don’t want a young guy to be made to feel like he took the spot of other players when he didn’t really do anything at all except play baseball as well as he could for a popular team.
Also, unrelatedly: Javier Baez for starting super utility player.