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Love The Home Run Derby Fan Poll (Even Though It’s A Joke)

Filled out some All-Star ballots online x25 this past weekend. Today’s the last full day left to vote before selections are announced on Sunday on TBS, so I had to get my ballot for the best in fantasy baseball in each league at each position submitted. In case you missed my picks, they were posted to the site over the weekend.

I was somewhat stoked to see for another year that my favorite All-Star weekend event had a fan vote, too. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Home Run Derby has really become the crown jewel of the MLB All-Star weekend. And letting the fans worldwide give their input on who they want to see in the Derby will hopefully prevent players like Brett Boone, Brandon Inge, or John Jaha from stepping inside the batter’s box for the event.

The State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll is a really cool idea for MLB. Casting votes for the players fans want to see is a great thing for baseball, and rare for an “All-Star Weekend” skills competition in professional sports.

Find out who I recommend everyone cast a vote for, plus learn why the whole vote is a joke AFTER the jump… 

The FBD Suggested 2012 Home Run Derby Fan Poll Ballot

  • Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
  • David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
  • Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

And in a way too early 2012 home run derby prediction, Hamilton defeats Big Papi to take the crown.

Anyway, after filling out my HR Derby ballot, I noticed some fine print at the bottom of the page that makes the whole point of the vote VERY misleading. From the fan poll page

Poll results will in no way determine the actual participants of the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby, since player participation is solely at the discretion of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and is subject to player availability.

Wait… what?!

If the fan vote has no bearing on who will actually compete in the Derby, then why even have a fan vote in the first place? While All-Star Game ratings continue to drop, the Home Run Derby continues to grow in ratings. MLB already allows fan votes to select who gets to start in the All-Star Game. You would think MLB would want to put players in the Derby that fans would actually want to see compete, too. The fan vote obviously provides a platform for that, and should help continue to grow the popularity of the best All-Star event in professional sports.

The fact that the vote actually has no bearing whatsoever on who actually gets selected for the contest kind of makes it worthless, doesn’t it? If I hadn’t already filled out my fan poll ballot before noticing the fine print, I’m pretty sure I would have saved my time.

At least we now know how much MLB actually values fan input on their most fan driven event of the year. Hopefully next year, or at least in the near future, MLB can find a way to place some actual value on this poll.

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