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Atlanta Braves Fans Stuffing Ballot Box Endangers Los Angeles Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig's All-Star Hopes

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Atlanta Braves' Fans Stuffing Ballot Box Endangers Los Angeles Dodgers' of Yasiel Puig's All-Star Hopes
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Yasiel Puig might not win the Final Vote because of Atlanta Braves' fans.

COMMENTARY | OK, Atlanta Braves fans, you're cute. You never fail to vote. Yes, Chipper Jones was a great player and deserved to start those All-Star games. But it's time to put down the computer, phone and/or tablet and let the rightful player -- Yasiel Puig -- take his place among the best and brightest in the game.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' rookie outfielder is second to the Braves' Freddie Freeman in the Final Vote for the Major League Baseball All-Star game with two days to go. It isn't known what the margin is, but Puig trails the first baseman.

This isn't meant to take anything away from Freeman, who's having a solid season as the Atlanta first baseman. Puig, however, is having an historic season and deserves to be rewarded as such.

Here's a slight comparison of the two:

Hits

Freeman: 89

Puig: 54

Home runs

Freeman: nine

Puig: eight

Total bases

Freeman: 134

Puig: 88

Runs

Freeman: 47

Puig: 26

The spreads are substantial in every category except home runs, which doesn't mean a lot. What does mean a lot is Puig has accomplished his numbers in 43 fewer games. So there's that.

Tim Hudson had some strong words about the process. Let's break this down.

"'I think it's B.S. … I mean, it's pretty obvious what players certain media outlets want to have plugged in. It's pretty obvious. You have young, exciting players -- and they are that. I'm not saying they don't deserve to have the opportunity to be in there, but these guys that are competing with them to get these last couple of spots, they're just as deserving. It's not fair.'"

Apparently, Hudson is alluding to ESPN as the media outlet. It doesn't make sense because FOX has the All-Star game, not ESPN. ESPN has the Home Run Derby, but Puig was not chosen to participate in that.

"'The whole fan vote thing, I think is obnoxious.'"

I agree, Tim.

"'I mean, the starting players in the All-Star game are determined by fans who can plug any players they want in there, and it determines home-field advantage for the World Series. The World Series!

'It's not fair. At all.'"

I'm hearing it isn't fair, is that correct? I mean, if the Braves had a guy up for this final vote the media -- specifically ESPN -- had been fawning over the entire season (Evan Gattis), Hudson would be doing everything in his power to get him in the game. It's a funny double-standard. Of course, Hudson would have the power of the Atlanta Brave electorate behind him in his push for Gattis to win the vote.

It's easy to vote for the All-Stars, which is why Braves' fans do it almost more than anyone else. It's also easy to sell out a stadium for a playoff game. Well, it is unless you're in Atlanta. And I acknowledge -- like every fanbase in every sport -- there are Braves' fans who don't live in Atlanta or even the state of Georgia.

The Braves, ever since their dominance that started in the early 1990s, gradually declined to what would resemble a midseason game against a last-place team. It's embarrassing, Atlanta. Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres fans would kill to have playoff baseball, yet the Braves' fans can't even fill up Turner Field when the calendar turns to October. But keep on voting for the players you apparently care so much about to play in an exhibition game and continue not attending playoff games.

Puig should win the final vote. He's the better player and provides more value to the NL squad than Freeman would.

Dustin Nosler has followed the Dodgers from Northern California all his life. He's the founder of Feelin' Kinda Blue, a Dodger blog. He also co-hosts "Dugout Blues," a weekly Dodger podcast. Find him on Twitter @FeelinKindaBlue.

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