Getting Ian Desmond voted into the All-Star Game is already an uphill battle. We don’t need MLB.com to advertise for Yasiel Puig.
The front page of Major League Baseball’s official website features no fewer than SIX instances of Puig’s name or image in the context of MLB’s “Final Vote”, including an editorial expressly advocating for Puig to be selected (twice posted). The lead news story on the page says “Yasiel Puig joins nine vets in the final vote”. Elsewhere, the Final Vote is advertised as “Phenom Crashes Final Vote”.
Ian Desmond’s name is nowhere to be found on the page.
Major League Baseball clearly wants Yasiel Puig in the All-Star Game. I don’t really blame them. Puig is an exciting player and he plays in a major media market. By rigging the “Final Vote” in his favor, they not only generate public enthusiasm for his selection as an all-star, they avoid they backlash from veteran players who don’t think Puig has paid his dues.
But Ian Desmond has had a better overall first half of the season. He has more hits, home runs, RBI, total bases, and a higher WAR. He plays a premium position and he might be the best shortstop in the National League.
I’m not saying Ian Desmond is a better player than Puig. I’m saying it deserves to be a fair fight.