Poor Nolan Arenado. What does a guy have to do?

The most recent National League Player of the Week, Arenado hit .391, belted an MLB-best seven home runs and 14 RBI, scored 10 runs and tallied 31 total bases. His slugging percentage was through the roof at 1.348. And while he wasn’t at the plate, he was busy holding down the title of “game’s best-fielding third baseman.”

Arenado has scored in 12 consecutive games, amassing 17 runs, eight homers and 17 RBI over those dozen contests. The third-year Rockie is on pace to finish with 53 homers, 105 runs scored and 147 RBI while batting .293.

Yet, he’s fourth in All-Star voting for NL third basemen.

The fellow who leads, and currently holds the starting job at third for the Midsummer Classic, is Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals. Arenado bests Carpenter in every category that matters. Batting Average? Arenado .293, Carpenter .279. RBI? Arenado wins again with a league-leading 68 to 37. Homers? Twenty-four to eight. Total bases? 177 to 119.

The only category where Carpenter wins in a landslide is strikeouts, fanning 60 times compared to Arenado’s 41.

Baseball “purists” (see guys who like players and teams from traditional markets) will point to Coors Field when dismissing Arenado’s lofty numbers. Funny thing is, however, he’s been even better away from home this year. His 1.028 OPS on the road is considerably better than than at Coors Field (.890) and his 15 road home runs are tops in the majors.

In his last seven games Carpenter went 3-26 (.115) from the plate, hit no home runs and struck out eight times. Arenado’s last seven games look like this: 11-27 (.407) from the plate, eight home runs, 15 RBI.

Entering the seven game stretch, Arenado trailed Carpenter by 3.124 million All-Star votes. And yesterday, when Arenado was named NL Player of the Week, he still trailed, but by an even larger margin – 3.288 million votes.


Apparently fans aren’t really qualified to make All-Star decisions. Apparently all that #VoteRox nonsense has fallen on deaf ears here in Colorado.

But we already knew that. What a player does on the field has little to do with whether or not they start in an All-Star game. That’s all determined by the teams with the most ravenous fans with super-speed Internet connections and too much time on their hands. The Rockies have a lot of fans, but most would not be classified as “ravenous.” We’re a fairly passive group, regularly arriving in the bottom of the second and departing sometime around the eighth. Just a hunch, but I’d bet everyone isn’t bolting toward the doors so they can get home and complete their 35 votes from one IP address.

The Cardinals, who unquestionably have some of – if not the – best fans in baseball, draw an average 43,307 fans per game, second in the majors and second in the NL. The Rockies bring in 30,898 (pre-rain delay number, mind you), which is good for 14th in the majors and 8th in the NL. At the moment, St. Louis has three All-Star starters and two players who are second in voting at their position. Colorado has no starters; right now Troy Tulowitzki is the third-place shortstop and Arenado holds an inexplicable fourth place slot for third basemen.

Cardinals fans are currently the NL version of Royals fans.

As has been widely reported, the Royals are fielding practically the entire AL All-Star starting lineup. At one point during the voting process, they were on pace to land eight starters. Right now they have five, with three more in second place. Kansas City ranks 10th in MLB attendance (5th in the AL).

Again, this system is stupid. But hey, it’s sports – it’s certainly not life or death.

But since we do take things pretty seriously, and because I’ve just written more than 600 words on how stupid it is, a better idea might be to suggest a solution.

The “old way” – those punch cards that vendors passed out in the stadium – actually worked pretty well. It would limit the vote to those who actually attended games or cared enough to somehow get their hands on one or maybe four or five. When I was a kid, I myself blindly voted for Kansas City Royals (Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni got a lot of undeserved endorsement from yours truly). But I only voted once or twice a summer, always inside Kauffman Stadium. I had to use my dad’s car key to fully punch all those hanging chads, so I’m sure I lost interest after a card or two.

While effective, and probably more “fair,” that way will never work these days. Too much paper (says the guy who prints warehouses of Mile High Sports Magazine each month). The internet ruined a lot of things and voting is one of them.

So here’s the only way: Regardless of where you’re from or which players you like, from now until July 2, 11:59 p.m. (EST) when voting ends, vote for every Royal on the board. Heck, vote for every Cardinal, too. Make the 2015 MLB All-Star Game a total joke (it’s mostly one already, but let’s just go all the way).

Almost 30 years after the original, make this year’s All-Star game the “I-70 Series Part II.” Nolan Arenado can spell a Cardinal – maybe two! – in the seventh.

Baseball as an entity is not smart. It gets in its own way whenever common sense or advancement comes into play. It will take – literally – an All-Star game that looks like a red team versus a blue team to force change amidst baseball’s decision makers.

In the grand scheme of things, who plays in the All-Star game is unimportant. But since they’re going to have one anyway, and especially since it actually decides who hosts the World Series, why not get it right?