Major League Baseball may have just found out how easy it is to game an electronic, online election after its All-Star Game voting erupted with tens of millions of ballots for players for the Kansas City Royals. Now the league is canceling up to 65 million of those votes.
By Friday morning members of the Royals had filled eight of the nine starting spots in the voting despite the fact that at least one of those players has a record one might not feel makes him deserving of an “all-star” slot.
Royals player Omar Infante was ranked in as the third most vote-getter despite that he has a .228 batting average so far this year and is “the worst offensive player in baseball,” at least according to the Washington Post.
The league is not outright saying that there is a hack going on or that Royals fans are cheating. But they’ve dumped millions of votes nonetheless.
“I’m not saying we bat 1.000,” MLB chief executive Advanced Media Bob Bowman told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. “But it’s between 60 and 65 million votes that have been canceled. We don’t really trumpet it because if someone thinks they’re getting away with it, they’ll try to again.”
The Royals insist that their players lead the voting legitimately and that the elimination of millions of votes shouldn’t affect the players’ standing at the polls.
“We have no indication that it’s going to affect any of the ballot release that has been put out over the past couple of weeks,” Royals Vice President-Community Affairs & Publicity Toby Cook said in a statement. “My guess is that we’re going to have several different Royals in the All-Star Game when this is all said and done,” Cook added.
Individual fans are allowed to vote up to 35 times according to MLB rules.
Despite this week’s purge, the league says that this is just part of an o going process and this particular purge wasn’t solely a result of higher than likely vote totals for the Royals. All votes deemed fraudulent are canceled, MLB claims.
The past record number of votes was for the 2012 games. In that season 391 million votes were cast. But with over 300 million already cast for the 2015 season, the 2012 record seems destined to be broken.
Voting ends on July 2 and the All-Star Game will be played on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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