MLB All Star voting: Kansas City Royals players are dominating the All Star balloting this year -- currently, 8 of the 9 A.L. All Star starters are Royals players. The lone non-Royal is Mike Trout, who is second in the outfield balloting...but even there, the Royals have Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Alex Rios at 1st, 3rd and 4th among outfielders.
Even Nori Aoki, a starter on last year's Royals team who is now a San Francisco Giant, has moved into the top three among N.L. outfielders.
The assumption has been that this is just enthusiasm among Royals fans, but there now appears to be some indication something strange may be going on. Two writers, over the last couple of days, have tweeted that they got emails from MLB thanking them for voting on MLB.com -- however, neither writer voted:
No one is saying Royals fans are doing anything shenanigany. On the other hand, after that article appeared, I received emails from MLB...— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) June 15, 2015
...thanking me for voting for the all-stars. I did not vote. I guess someone used my email address to vote. I'm going to guess for Royals.— Anthony Rieber (@therealarieber) June 15, 2015
Well, this is interesting. I have voted zero times for the All-Star Game. pic.twitter.com/12ZjRWQiQ9— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) June 16, 2015
Also, let's compare the A.L. voting last year, as of June 16:
AL #ASG balloting update: @JoeyBats19 remains overall MLB leader, four-way battle for final outfield spot. pic.twitter.com/kzjr6C5tqm— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 16, 2014
to this years:
Here is the latest AL voting update for the #ASG: pic.twitter.com/9YMYBvIG2a— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 15, 2015
There are dramatically more votes across the board. And who knows, maybe nothing untoward is going on, or Spector and Rieber's addresses were used to vote for some other team's players, or there is some other innocuous explanation.
But the voting trends, together with at least a couple of writers going public about their email addresses being used to vote when they didn't vote, suggests that there might be something improper going on.