MLB Debuts New All-Star Game Voting System To Much Praise
MLB's new All-Star Game voting system "did what it was intended to do," as it "effectively neutralized the straight-ticket voting that has come to dominate the All-Star voting in years past," according to Jesse Yomtov of USA TODAY. While MLB could "probably stand to expand the final voting window to 48 hours, the inaugural year with the Starters Election has to be considered an all-out success" (USATODAY.com, 6/28). YAHOO SPORTS' Mark Townsend wrote the new format was an "undeniable hit when it came to creating buzz among fans." It "significantly increased engagement with fans on the league social media platforms, and especially so on Twitter." MLB "cited increased social media participation and creativity from all 30 teams as they campaigned for their finalists during the 28-hour final election process." This year, the "campaigning served to make the process feel meaningful." On Twitter, mentions of "All-Star Game" were up 10%, while mentions of "ASG" were up 46% (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/28). But in Boston, Peter Abraham wrote All-Star team voting, which MLB and the MLBPA "worked on together, turned into a convoluted mess." Ultimately, "who is on the All-Star team isn't a big deal," but there "has to be a better way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/30).
HOT MIC: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt noted during Fox' broadcast of Pirates-Brewers on Saturday, Brewers RF Christian Yelich "agreed to wear a microphone so the announcing crew could 'spy' on his conversations." At one point, Yelich and Pirates 1B Josh Bell talked about competing in the Home Run Derby, and considering no names had "been announced by MLB" for the event, this was "something of a scoop." Yelich leads MLB with 29 home runs this season, but said that he "received no pressure from MLB to participate" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/30).