Baseball is trashing the paper All-Star ballot

53 Comments

I’m sure someone, somewhere is lamenting this, with said lament being nothing more than an exercise in nostalgia, but good for baseball for joining the 21st century: Major League Baseball is getting rid of the punch card paper All-Star Game ballots.

As the story notes, a memo was sent out to team presidents to this effect. All balloting will now be online. Which is fine given that over 80 percent of all All-Star votes were submitted online already and tens of millions of printed ballots went unused. Getting rid of the ballots saves paper. It also saves the labor of the poor stadium workers who had to toss all of those discarded and unused ballots which littered ballpark aisles and concourses after every game between April and June. Really, we’re all disgusting pigs who treat ballparks like they’re our own personal trash cans. It’s good that some of our slop is being taken away.

I’m guessing some of you, in addition to the nostalgia stuff, will lament the loss of paper ballots by arguing  that the online ballots have made a mockery of All-Star voting. To which I’ll say (a) paper ballots lend themselves to ballot box stuffing too, even if it’s a slightly more quaint version of it; and (b) the continuing insistence of Major League Baseball to tie home field advantage in the World Series to the results of the All-Star Game does far more to make a mockery of baseball than some hacker in Pacific Northwest creating a program to shoot 50,000 votes to, like, Dustin Ackley ever will.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

Getty Images
6 Comments

The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?