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Omar Infante
Oh so now the All-Star Game is a joke?
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Chris Ruddick - MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The latest American League All-Star ballots were released on Monday and there were eight Kansas City Royals in the starting lineup.

Cue up the outrage.

Instead of blaming the dopey fans who chose to give their votes to Omar Infante and his borderline .200 average, how about we mock the fact that the game still "counts."

Is it any more ridiculous that Infante might start opposed to some last-place team placing a middle reliever on the roster because it fills a quota? At least Infante may actually benefit from home-field advantage in the World Series.

The All-Star Game was always one of the few things MLB does right. In relation to the other major sports, the Mid-Summer Classic is the game that actually resembles a real contest.

But then came the 2002 game at Miller Park and everything changed. Of course, commissioner Bud Selig called that game a tie after 11 innings because both teams had run out of substitute players.

Still, all these years later, it's amazing that actually happened.

And in effort to save face and wipe the egg off of Selig's face, the whole "make it count" thing started.

That was 13 years ago. It's mind-boggling that home-field advantage for the World Series is still in play and no other changes have been made. At the very least the silly rule that every team needs to be represented needed to go.

It will be interesting to see what happens here if things stay the way they are.

It's not like something like this hasn't happened before. A similar incident took place in 1957 that saw the Cincinnati Redlegs have all but one position player elected to the game.

After an investigation showed that Cincinnati fans were indeed stuffing the ballot, Commissioner Ford Frick intervened and removed two of the players from the starting lineup. He even went one step further and took the vote out of the fans' hands.

Would Rob Manfred do the same?

I'm going to say no. Something tells me that it all gets worked out by next week. Somehow, someway either Detroit's Miguel Cabrera will overtake Eric Hosmer, or Nelson Cruz of Seattle will pass Kendrys Morales.

Actually I hope Infante starts just to show how silly all this is. Like Kansas City manager Ned Yost, who by the way will be the AL's manager in Cincinnati on July 14, said over the weekend, "if you don't like it, vote more."

Next year, though, don't be surprised if we some sort of three-tier system ala the NFL Pro Bowl that includes fans, players, coaches and maybe even the precious Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Manfred may have other fish to fry, however. In case you haven't heard the St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated by the F.B.I. and Justice Department for hacking into the internal networks of the Houston Astros.

That is certainly a problem Frick never had to deal with.

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