David Ortiz

David Ortiz on All-Star voting: 'We need to take this more serious'

Rob Bradford
July 03, 2015 - 7:57 am

David Ortiz has been an American League All-Star nine times, so he'€™s intimately familiar with the selection process and the game itself. That'€™s why he doesn'€™t like what he'€™s witnessed this year. "We need to take this more serious when it comes to picking guys for the All-Star Game," the Red Sox designated hitter said. Like the rest of baseball, Ortiz has witnessed how fan voting (which closed Thursday night) has unfolded, with Royals players either leading, or close to leading, virtually every position on the AL roster. According to the most recent results, second baseman Omar Infante (.231 batting average, .547 OPS) and Alcides Escobar (.273, .664) of the Royals would be starters if the game was played today. Other KC players garnering enough votes to start at last glance are outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, and catcher Salvador Perez. In second place at their positions are DH Kendrys Morales, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas. Ortiz joins the voices saying enough is enough. "I know that MLB always wants to get the fans involved in this because as a fan you want to see your favorite players. But the reality is the way I know All-Star Games are for whomever is playing the best in the first half. Now you see all these things that's happening with Kansas City and their players. I saw that coming. I saw that coming a long time ago. I knew it was going to happen," the DH said. "I think the reality is that they need to go back to the old days and choose the players who are playing the best in the first half. Even us as players are like, 'These guys are making the All-Star Game with these numbers?' It's questionable. I don'€™t think it'€™s fair to some of the players." The "old days" to which Ortiz refers actually occured prior to the 1970 game, when fans didn't have a say in the voting. The way it now works is that fans vote for each league'€™s starters, with eight pitchers and a backup for each position selected by players, coaches and managers. The respective managers of each league'€™s All-Star team will fill out the remaining slots until the roster reaches 33 players. "Remember going to the All-Star Game means a lot to us," said Ortiz, who likely will miss out on making the team this year. "For our history of what we've done in the game. It all matters. I see all the time this guy who played in the '80s, 'He made three All-Star Games.' They say it loud and proud. So it means a lot "The best way to go about this is like the old days. The guys who play their best the first half of the season, two weeks before the All-Star Game they know they're going to be in it. What you see happened this year is going to continue to happen because you're going to see fans from New York or Boston or Los Angeles voting 3 million times." According to Ortiz, first-half performance -- not big names or big fan-base voting turnout -- should define each club'€™s roster. "It shouldn't be Big Papi because of his name he deserves to be in the All-Star Game. No, no, no. Let's pick the best of the best," he said. "All-Star, that's the name of it. You don't pick a guy who is hitting .230 for the All-Star Game. All-Star. That's the name of it. "Let me tell you, I love those kids in Kansas City. Those are my boys. I love them and I wanted them to win badly last year. But the reality is when I got to the All-Star Game I'm planning on going to see the guys who kill the first half of the season. I want to see why Harper is who he is. I want to see why Mike Trout is having a good season. Miggy [Cabrera], Bogie [Xander Bogaerts], [Dustin] Pedroia, having a great season. You want to see why [Mark] Teixeira is having a good season. I want to see why the Kansas City bullpen is so nasty. I want to see King Felix [Hernandez]. You're talking about All-Stars, and that's my All-Stars." So, who would be Ortiz'€™ All-Stars? "Cabrera [first base], Pedroia [second base], Bogaerts [shortstop], [Josh] Donaldson, Trout [OF], Adam Jones [OF], Brett Gardner [OF], Nelson Cruz [DH], Russell Martin [catcher], and Felix," he explained. "King Felix is King Felix, and I think he deserves to start the game, and we can go through the rest of the guys." All-Star starters will be announced Sunday night, with reserves and Final Vote candidates revealed Monday.