By now we all know the snubbery that's going on around Major League Baseball. Snubs are getting snubbed left and right, some more times than others. We know it happened to Jered Weaver, twice. But there's also guys like Joey Votto, Mat Latos, Miguel Olivo... guys who are having outstanding years but fell victim to either a popularity contest, the "everybody's represented" rule, or just downright stupidity (Omar Infante is an All-Star... really?).
Here's how I feel baseball can fix that:
#1.) First, get rid of the "each team gets represented rule." If you’re deserving, you’re in. If you’re the best player on a bad team and you don’t meet the qualifications for an All-Star bid, too bad. Some form of equal representation will not unfairly help you get in over someone else whose team already has somebody into the All-Star Game.
Case in point: if you’re good enough, you’re in. Doesn’t matter if you already have a player from your team on the roster or not, if your season’s numbers should earn you an All-Star appearance, you’ll be rewarded for your performance fairly. Novel concept right?
#2.) Second, to select All-Star starters, you take a little bit of both in regards to the current system. What I mean by this is that you effectively combine how All-Star starters are selected (fan voting) and how reserve All-Stars can be appointed (All-Star manager’s selection). What you do is you allow fan voting to take place, but once voting ends, you take the top-3 vote-getters at each position, and the manager will choose the most deserving of those 3 to be the starter at that particular position.
So let's just say that the top-3 vote getters to be the National League's starting catcher are: Yadier Molina (#1), Brian McCann (#2), and Miguel Olivo(#3). The manager then has the ability to choose from that pool of 3 players, who he feels is the most deserving player to start based on his season statistics. It doesn't matter who has the most votes, that won't automatically get you in, but it will give you a darn good chance of getting your favorite player in there.
For outfield, it would be different than any other position, considering there are 3 outfield positions. So, instead of doing 3, we would triple the pool to select from to 9. So the top 9 outfield vote-getters would be thrown into a pool for the manager to choose his 3 starting outfielders from. Let's hypothetically, let's say this is how it looked for the National League: Ryan Braun (#1), Carlos Beltran (#2), Jason Heyward (#3), Andre Ethier (#4), Corey Hart (#5), Chris Young (#6), Matt Holliday (#7), Jayson Werth (#8), and Carlos Gonzalez (#9), the National League's manager would then select any 3 guys from there. Also, if this were the result of current fan voting, the fans would have voted in 1 deserving starter (Braun), 1 guy who hasn't played a game yet this year (Beltran), and 1 guy who is just the product of ridiculous hype and could be replaced by a guy having a better season (Heyward).
By doing this, you still allow fans to have a say in who could start in the All-Star Game, and with the manager’s approval, you just about eliminate the chance that an oft-injured fan-favorite who has spent most of the season on the DL will start in the All-Star Game, leading to at least 1 fewer snub if that were the case.
Case in point: who the All-Star team’s manager views as the best player of the fan-voted top-3 at each position (top-9 for outfielders) will be appointed a starting job in the All-Star game. It keeps the fan in a position of power without completely stripping them of their individual vote’s significance, and by the manager selecting 1 of the top-3 vote-getting players at each position, I feel that this could be a reasonable and realistic solution for the All-Star Game and its rosters to be almost as right as they could possibly be. Enough of the All-Star Game being like voting for the high school prom king, enough of the popularity contest, let's see the guys who have earned it, be rewarded.