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I had the opportunity to go to the Twins game against the Kansas City Royals last night, and even had the chance to sit in some of the “Pretty People” seats with access to some special areas within the park.

More on my thoughts on Target Field later.

One thing that really caught my attention was when the Twins distributed All-Star ballots for voting mid-game.

I always enjoy looking at the ballots to see what ridiculous mistakes they’ve made as far as including players who have been benched, are at different positions, and other things that MLB should be able to fix on the fly with their printing vendors, given their clout.

But I got last night’s ballot, and was shocked to find out that the Twins had taken the liberty of punching out the holes for all of the Twins players on the ballot for me.

My wife initially thought that maybe we had gotten a recycled ballot–one someone had punched, not submitted, and an usher might have grabbed and put back in the box–but looking around, everyone’s ballots were punched.

Now I’m a home town fan, and I would definitely vote for Joe Mauer, and probably Justin Morneau (even though Miguel Cabrera probably deserves the start), and maybe even Delmon Young just to irritate the locals that don’t like him.

But no way on earth would I ever vote for Nick Punto to play 3rd base in an All-Star game.  I’m not sure I would even vote for him to be the 3rd string hot dog vendor for the outfield upper deck sections at an All-Star game.

In fact, I’d rather vote for someone like Evan Longoria, just to make sure that Alex Rodriguez doesn’t get the starting nod.

I know the Twins have been pushing hard on All-Star voting–emails, radio commercials, in stadium stuff–but is pre-filling out ballots ethical?  Do other teams do this?

[NOTE: I did find some non-pre-punched ballots at a booth later in the game–so not all ballots are given out this way. And I don’t think the ballot I got at a game a couple weeks back were either.]

If this is common around all stadiums, it’s just further confirmation that MLB needs to kill off fan voting having anything to do with All-Star game rosters–especially if they’re going to continue with the asinine idea that the winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage in the World Series.

Curious to hear your thoughts on this in the comments…

Oh, and by the way, Punto is currently 5th in voting for 3rd base. Orlando Hudson is 4th at 2B, JJ Hardy is 3rd at SS, Jason Kubel 5th at DH, and Denard Span and Michael Cuddyer are both in the top 15–meaning the only Twin on the ballot not showing up in the results is Delmon Young…

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2 Responses to Twins Issuing Pre-Filled All Star Ballots

  • B'don says:

    Ha, great entry here Tony. I really enjoyed the shot at Punto, what really makes it stick is you actually wrote this before our little 4th inning text against the Rockies while at Target Field. I would agree that Punto should not make the all-star game. And I would agree with everyone else in the world who did not vote for Delmon Young. An “All-Star” should be able to play offense, Punto cannot. An “All-Star” should be able to play defense, Delmon cannot. When Kubel gets injured and Thome dies of old age, maybe Delmon can DH, then we can safely say the only trash in the outfield, is your hotdog wrapper.

  • B'don says:

    While I do not spend the time to vote on those ballots I do open them up for the same reasons as you. In the cheap seats I haven’t seen any of them punched out. They must do it for the pretty people so their fingers don’t get sore while they hold their tea cups! Were your ballots punched when you sat in the outfield???

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