Major League Baseball is currently in a holding pattern, with the 2020 season indefinitely delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
If and when play is able to resume down the road, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has already conceded teams won’t be able to play all 162 games this year.
With a goal of making up as many contests as possible, difficult decisions could be necessary, such as eliminating the 2020 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Another option that surfaced is using the exhibition as an Opening Day of sorts.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez revealed he is not in favor of the 2020 season starting with the Midsummer Classic, as was the case in 1981 following a midseason players’ strike that wiped out nearly two months of play.
Expanding on the topic, Gonzalez explained why he believes All-Star Game spots belong to deserving players, regardless of their popularity or how many fan votes they receive, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“I think it should be players who deserve it. There’s always a player who gets left out because they’re not popular or they play for a franchise that is not popular or doesn’t have dollars. Because a lot of times, the last couple years I was in the league, you would hear about these different teams that would hire people to just do online voting. That’s all they would do all day every day.
“That has nothing to do with how the player is doing. It just has to do with that team paying people to vote for their players so they could have their jersey in an All-Star Game. So, I think it should not be a popularity contest. I think it should be deserved, I think it should be something that the players who are doing the best for the first half, deserve to be in it. I think that’s what the All-Star Game should be.
“I’ve always felt that the All-Star Game should be at the end of the season, because you do have people who have a great first half and then they end up doing really bad in the second half. But the way baseball is, it’s a long season and makes it tough.”
MLB changed the All-Star Game voting format for the 2019 season, switching to a system in which ballots were counted over two rounds.
During the “Primary Round,” each team nominated one player per eligible position (three outfielders), who were voted on by fans. That set the table for “Election Day” in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (including the top nine outfielders) were voted on by fans.
The Dodgers were represented by five players in last year’s All-Star Game, which fell just short of the franchise record of six set during the 1941-42 and 1949-52 seasons.
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