“Cheesy Garlic All Stars”

Here’s what I can tell you about American voters.

We’re the country that brought you Warren G. Harding and Taylor Hicks. We’re the country that decided that Cheesy Garlic Bread is a better potato chip flavor than Sriracha. I kid you not, Sriracha lost. What is wrong with people?

cheesy garlic

So, voting aptitude is probably not our strongest suit as a nation.

(Really, America, you chose BREAD as a potato chip flavor!)

On Friday I posted my belief that a baseball All-Star should be based on something more than just numbers and on-field statistics.

Because, you can lead every single offensive category … every single one … you can be on pace to hit 200 home runs, steal 100 bases and, when necessary, play all nine positions in a single game, while nursing a stress fracture in your leg … but if you failed baseball’s drug test, publicly talk smack about your teammates, or for some strange reason believe that bread is an acceptable potato chip flavor … there is no way … NO WAY … you will ever earn my All-Star vote.

stevie votes

Has there been a year when someone didn’t complain about the All-Star roster?

No. Every single year someone, somewhere complains.

I have no basis for that statement.

But, I stand by it anyway, because … well, hey, prove me wrong.

Fans began voting for the starting lineups of the All-Star game in 1947. It didn’t take long for energetic fans to get to stuffing. It came to a head in 1957 when Cincinnatians – with the help of their local newspapers, Kroger Grocery stores, and neighborhood taverns – accounted for half of all the votes cast that year.

The result – Reds won seven of the eight starting positions for the National League. Only the Cardinals’ Stan Musial squeaked through the “Red Curtain.” Commissioner Ford Frick ultimately pushed two Reds starters aside to make way for Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. (The American League won 6-5, despite a valiant 9th-inning rally that began with an RBI triple by Mays, who then scored on a wild pitch.)

57 all star program

And, Frick took away the fan vote.

Fans elbowed their way back into voting in 1970. And, back to stuffing.

** In 1975, the Milwaukee Brewers (owned at the time by current Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig) were said to have encouraged a single fan who was determined to vote Robin Yount and/or George Scott into the starting lineup. The fan was aided, he said, by the Brewers front office which provided him with some 30,000 paper ballots. The fan used a power drill to punch his ballots at a rate of 4,000 an hour. (All that drilling led to naught, although Scott went as a reserve and the American League won 6-3.)

** In 1999, in the early years of online voting, Boston Red Sox fan Chris Nandor cooked up a computer program that allowed him to vote nearly 40,000 times for his favorite Red Sox, including Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. His stuffing worked and Garciaparra started. (Derek Jeter went as a Reserve, but probably hasn’t lost much sleep over it.)

** In 2012, the San Francisco Giants took heat for encouraging their fans to vote and vote and vote. Angry non-Giant fans suggested the computer geniuses of Silicon Valley were all Giants fans and were shamelessly hijacking the online voting system. Others pointed out that Giants’ AT&T Park offers free Wi-Fi, making online voting at the game way too easy.

And, who was the unfit All-Star starter in 2012? Giants Third Baseman Pablo “Panda Bear” Sandoval.  How’d it work out? Panda Bear was one of the stars of the game that night; his three-RBI triple helped lead the National League to an 8-0 victory.

No, I don’t like cheaters. But, I don’t see why teams shouldn’t encourage their fans to support their favorite players.

I’m confident that the All-Star game will include the best that baseball has to offer – based on statistical achievement, as well as intangible “nice guy” criteria that I think is the difference between a great player and an All-Star.

Because, really, I mean, what’s worse? Buster Posey starting at Catcher for the National League next month or the fact that only 57 percent of eligible voters voted in last year’s presidential election?

Can’t decide? Let me help you out. The presidential voting thing is worse.

But, the Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chip vote is pretty bad, too.


UPDATE!! The potato chip debate is not over. In August, I got the chips … and here’s my post on the taste test. Click here.

And, here’s more from me on All Star Game voting: From “Half Star to All Star”

Wondering what to do during your All-Star break? I’ve got you covered: Free Baseball: “I Hate The All Star Game” Edition


49 thoughts on ““Cheesy Garlic All Stars”

  1. Pingback: Free Baseball: Dekes & Dogs Edition | Baseball, Yoga, Life … (and me)

  2. I love this blog post, it’s so fitting I read it again for the upcoming All-Star Game! Now I am certainly biased being a Dodgers fan and all, but you HAVE to go vote for Yasiel Puig to get the final All Star Spot. It might not last, but he’s currently the most exciting player out there. Love the history you write about here in this blog. Great job!

    • As I looked at the final rosters, I felt 2 extremes — first, that the Orioles’ Nick Markakis was overlooked, despite a long, All-Star caliber career and season. But, he’s so unflashy, he gets lost. That said, I agree with you that Yasiel Puig deserves a spot. But, for the exact opposite reason: his firecracker month earned him a spot. I’ll miss seeing Markakis there for the AL, but, you win … I’ll vote Puig!

      And, I absolutely love your blog. Your recent post on the meaning of failure has been something that has stayed with me. You’re so good at making me think. I hope people will check out your blog!

    • Yes … chicken & waffles was the crazy third option, which continues to baffle me. I’m thinking French Fry Flavored Potato Chips should have been one of the choices! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading!

    • Players and managers do choose the vast majority of the All Stars, including all of the pitchers. We fans only vote in the starting lineup – a mere 26 percent of the 68 players who will make the trip. I think it’s a nice way to keep the fans interested and involved — after all, if it weren’t for us, there would be no one to watch the game!

  3. I honestly can’t believe how badly Markakis gets overlooked every year. I must admit, I did stuff the ballot box with Orange; smartly, MLB limits the online voting to 25 votes. If you vote 25 times, you get a bonus 10 more votes. Of course, that’s per email address. If you have multiple email addresses you can just go to town!

    • I agree completely! It was like yesterday against the Yankees. It was Markakis who challenged Mariano Rivera and threw him off his game. Had it not been for Nick Markakis’ at bat, Adam Jones would never have gotten the 2-seamer that he walloped into the seats. I’m a big fan of great players who don’t play flashy — I just wish Nick could get the trip to the ASG that he deserves. Thanks so much for reading … Go O’s! :)

      • If there was a healthy Markakis for all of 2012, the O’s win at least 1 or 2 more games and probably win the AL East last year. I blame Sabathia for breaking his wrist. It makes me grumpy. Hrumph.

        • I think you’re right! The only silver lining in any of that is that Markakis’ injuries last year may have helped Chris Davis get some extended everyday playing time which helped turn him into this season’s Chris Davis. But, still … I think non-Oriole fans have no idea how important Nick Markakis is to the O’s and how good he is, day in/day out.

  4. Loved the post as I am into baseball. You are quite right. The All Star Game participants is fan based with bias not based on actual ability to play. But all elections are swayed by emotions and not real substance. The reference to Harding perked my curiosity. Just as a side bar, I believe he was the only president who may have been secretly murdered. Look up the incidences leading up to his death and you will note some interesting facts. As for being one of the worst presidents ever, well you got me. He made sure his cronies came out on top.

    • Warren Harding is an interesting figure, that’s for certain! The murder thing has been out there for awhile, although I tend to believe he really did get ill because of accidental food poisoning and actually died because he was mistreated by doctors (just like President Garfield, who died because of his doctors).

      Harding’s wife Florence was shrouded in the murder scandal … there’s a great book about her “Florence Harding: The First Lady, The Jazz Age, & The Death of America’s Most Scandalous President” which is a wonderful read. That book was so well researched, it sort of closed the book on the murder rumor for me.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comments! I know that many folks feel like the All-Star Game is a waste of time and suffers because of fan voting. But, the vast majority of the players will be chosen by the players and the managers (74%) … I think it’s fun for fans to have a small say-so in the choosing, while the players/managers are there to “fix” any omissions!

      • Thanks for the information. I will look this book and hope it answers my questions I believe there was a child out of wedlock, a quick cremation, and the fact that Mrs. Harding soon remarried and that husband also suspiciously died.

        • Florence was definitely the power-hungry one in the Harding household. She pushed Warren into nearly every political endeavor and was a generally horrible person. I don’t think I would let her into my house without counting the silver after she left, but I don’t think she murdered anyone. Still … she was pretty sly, so who knows?

    • It will be fun to see 4 Orioles at the game! I thought this would be J.J. Hardy’s first trip to the ASG, but I saw an interview yesterday where he mentioned he went when he was with the Brewers. Sure wish we could have snuck Nick into the lineup, too …

      Thanks so much for reading … and for taking time to comment. Go O’s!!

  5. I didn’t see where anybody said if any of these chip flavors were actually any good. I didn’t try or vote on these (I like the traditional BBQ) but what did they taste like? Good, bad or just weird. Maybe the garlic bread was the better weird choice.

    • Weird is probably a good guess. I didn’t know a thing about the tasting/voting until after everything was over with. The third flavor under consideration was “chicken & waffles” and I was so baffled as to how they would make a chip taste like that I didn’t even mention it in the post … it made my brain hurt just thinking about it. It’s like the Willy Wonka gum that can taste like a complete meal. Ahh, the marvels of 21st century chemicals and artificial flavors!

      Thanks for reading and taking time to comment!

  6. Pingback: Freshly Riffed 40: Pretty Sure I Won’t Be Coming In Today | A VERY STRANGE PLACE

    • I think I would have given them a pass had they just called them Garlic-Parm Chips or something, but that they called them “bread” flavored is what made me laugh. But, again … probably a better choice than “chicken & waffles,” which was option #3. (How are they going to get the chicken to sit still in the bag of chips?)

      Thanks for reading and for your comment!

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