The enemy is lurking everywhere. In the fountains at Kauffman Stadium. Eating a beef on bun at Gate’s BBQ. Polishing that Priest Holmes bobblehead.
The enemy is plotting a massive takeover on July 14 in Cincinnati. At that time the mission will be complete, and we will all be subject to the coup. We will be forced to adapt to their culture, and live in their world. We will be forced to… (gasp)… watch Omar Infante play second.
It’s amazing the rhetoric we are hearing about these morally corrupt Royals fans poisoning the sanctity of the All-Star Game. How dare they turn the (already corrupted) Mid-Summer Classic into their own little American Royal tailgate.
But if you’re angry because your guy is getting snubbed and the system is being exploited, you’re in the wrong parking lot. You should actually be jealous. Because it just means Royals fans are doing it better than your fans are.
The procedure has been prostituted before. In 1957, it was Cincinnati (ironically) who voted in 7 Reds players with help from the hometown newspaper. The Enquirer printed pre-marked ballots. 60 years later Kansas City is creating multiple email addresses. Royals fans are merely taking something from the ’50s, and modernizing it. Like Jurassic World with 3-D glasses, or a digital ant farm.
Kansas City is the third-smallest market in all of MLB, and yet it’s overwhelmingly casting the most votes? News bulletin: Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox fans could manipulate the numbers with far greater ease than this every year if they got their acts together. Where’s everyone in NYC or Chicago spending hours registering OneDirectionFan78@gmail.com to vote 35 times for Stephen Drew or Chris Coghlan?
Don’t blame Royals fans. They’ve just mobilized more efficiently than anyone else. Every other fan base is apparently too apathetic to do what they’re collectively doing. There’s no ethics clause when you vote. Before you hit send it doesn’t make you agree to some tedious iTunes agreement: “I swear I have voted honestly for those players who are most deserving, and not because I think Eric Hosmer’s hot.”
You’re allowed to vote for whoever you want, for whatever reasons you want. And Royals fans are voting for Infante and Alex Rios partially because they wear powder blue, and partially because it’s fun to tweak the system.
All we ever do is gripe about low voter turnout and lack of activism among Americans. Only 54% of the country voted in the last Presidential election. Last year, the midterm elections had a lower turnout than any time since 1942 – when plenty of adults couldn’t find a voting booth on their battleship in the South Pacific. Been frustrated recently because your candidate lost when the party couldn’t mobilize? Tip your cap to Royals fans. It’s harder than ever to motivate people to act in unison. Yet we’re painting the Royals fans as the bad guys.
The All-Star Game winner shouldn’t decide where Game 7 of the World Series is played. Infante shouldn’t even be on the ballot. Miguel Cabrera shouldn’t be stiffed. But then again, is this more egregious than all those years crummy Royals like Ken Harvey or Mike MacDougal were All-Stars out of necessity?
Smart people do business as business is done. Royals fans are, and until you change the rules of engagement, they’re just playing the game best right now.
D.A. hosts 6-10pm ET on the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has hosted The D.A. Show (aka “The Mothership”) in Boston, Miami, Kansas City and Ft. Myers, FL. You can often catch him on the NFL Network’s series “Top 10.” D.A. graduated from Syracuse University in ’01, and began looking for ways to make a sports radio show into a quirky 1970’s sci-fi television series. Follow D.A. on Twitter and check out the show’s Facebook page. D.A. lives in NYC, and is a native of Warwick, NY.