It used to be much simpler. Voting for the Major League Baseball All-Star game in the lo-fi era only took one sentence to explain: Go to a game, get a ballot, pick your players and then return the ballot.
Ah, the paper ballots. They’ve gone of the way of the VHS tape, the compact disc and 8-bit video games. Things these days are more “convenient” — the league would tell you — and more technologically advanced.
But explaining MLB All-Star voting in one sentence these days would take a pretty long sentence. Especially in 2019.
The league rolled out its brand new All-Star voting system Tuesday. It’s a two-tiered approach that was announced before the season, but it’s now active and collecting votes.
It might be more convenient. It might be more technologically advanced. But the jury is out on whether it is actually easier to understand.
You know what makes things easier to understand? Bullet points. So here are some bullet points on how the new system works:
• Starting Tuesday, fans can cast their votes online for the All-Stars at each position except pitchers. This can be done via MLB.com/vote or be using a new Google-assisted platform that’s built into the search engine. MLB is calling this portion “The Primary.”
• You can type “MLB vote” into Google and a new-look ballot pops up. You can make your selections right there. If you Google a player’s name, there’s also an option to vote for them for the All-Star game. Fans can submit five ballots every 24 hours.
• The first round of voting runs until 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21. After that, a second round of voting called “The Starters Election” begins at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 26. It features the top three players at each position in each league. Voting from The Primary doesn’t carry over into the second round.
• There’s a 28-hour window for fans to vote on the finalists, wrapping up at 4 p.m. the following day with results announced at 7 p.m. ET.
• As is customary, the rest of the All-Star rosters will be voted on by players, chosen by MLB and the All-Star managers. That final announcement will happen Sunday, June 30.
See, that’s definitely not one sentence.
The new process is a lot like politics — a wider field narrowed into a smaller group and then ultimately a winner. There are a lot of layers when you compare it to the old way of voting, but it’s also a product of a modern world in which people are used to voting on everything.
In a Google-driven world where we pick music stars on “American Idol” and “The Voice” and algorithms know what we like before we do, it makes sense that this is what All-Star voting has become.
Just hope you can remember it all.
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