Thursday, June 2, 2011

All All-Star Voting Eyes on Bautista


By
Image courtesy of Daylife via AP
We all knew Jose Bautista was pretty popular in Toronto and throughout Canada. But who knew he was so popular around the Major Leagues?

That's why I was so stunned to hear when Jose Bautista was leading all of baseball in All-Star Game votes when the first batch of results were released. Really ... our quiet demeanor but loud with the stick Joey Bats?

Not since Carlos Delgado has a Toronto Blue Jay been elected into the All-Star Game, and Jose Bautista is definitely well on his way to not only capturing one out the starting outfielder jobs, but the title of most overall votes as well.

These results are very refreshing because I think it signals a change in the way folks vote for the All-Star Game. Rather than voting on reputation, voters should be casting their ballot based on who is performing the best.

I was fully expecting a perennial candidate like Derek Jeter to snag a million votes easily, but he's not too far behind with 931,410 votes. Ask anyone outside of New York and they'll say Derek Jeter doesn't deserve a vote, yet somehow he gets in there most years as the starting shortstop.

The increased media coverage has certainly helped garner Jose Bautista a lot more attention south of the border. People who thought he might be a flash in the pan with an outlier 54 home run season are taking notice that Bautista is the real deal.

Jose Bautista is the best player in the major leagues right now, and over 1.2  million All-Star votes prove that fans everywhere see it as well. He's not getting onto the ballot because of his reputation or what he's done in the past, Bautista is getting votes because he is simply the best.

When the Ballots for Bautista campaign was launched last year, it was to help create awareness for a player that was going unheralded and needed to be rewarded for his phenomenal first half of 2010. I just wanted to help drum up some more ballots for Jose Bautista.

I never could have fathomed that just one year later, Jose Bautista would be poised to take over one of the starting outfielder spots in the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix. It just goes to show you not only how far Jose Bautista has come in such a short fan, but how quickly he has become the polarizing player he is.

To make things even sweeter, it wasn't a Yankee or Red Sox player that was at the top of the All-Star voting results, it was a Blue Jay ... a Toronto Blue Jay.

And who says you need to play in one of baseball's "big markets" to get media coverage?

4 comments:

  1. i think that someone should give Chris Bosh a call and fill him in on these results. Turns out all you need to do is be REALLY good to get media exposure both...

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  2. Alan, Jose Bautista has demonstrated you don't need to be from New York, Boston or Los Angeles to get tons of votes.

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  3. To be fair though, you do need to be unquestionably and absolutely amazing to get similar attention to a Yankee. Jeter didn't deserve to be on the bench last year or this year, but he'll keep trotting out there as a starter, and better players are getting overlooked for starting spots at other positions.
    So it can be done, but the bar is set awfully high - as you pointed out Ian, Bautista's numbers are Ruthian at this point in the season, and that may be what it takes.

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  4. QJays, absolutely - I don't dispute that one bit. But I think these results are showing a shift in the All-Star Game voting. Now people appear to be voting for the BEST players, not the most recognizable names on the ballot.

    And even if Bautista wasn't the top vote getter and say Joey Votto or Curtis Granderson was, I'd say the exact same thing.

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