KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- They’re the darlings of baseball this year, and that’s not any more evident than through the number of Royals that fans have voted into the starting All-Star Game lineup so far. Major League Baseball’s decision to toss millions of votes, however, has some Royals fans concerned.
Royals fans are supporting the boys in blue in every way they can. As of Monday, eight of the nine guys starters on the American League All-Star team are Royals players, a record in baseball history if the results hold. But, MLB announced it has tossed millions of votes, and fans in the metro want to make sure there’s no tie to how many votes this city has cast.
“We get behind a team no matter how they’re doing but even more so when they’re being the best they can be,” fan Stephanie Ohl said.
“I voted for Gordon and Perez,” fan Mike Ireland said.
It didn’t take long for FOX 4 to find people who have cast ballots for this year’s MLB All-Star Game.
Major League Baseball announced this week it has tossed between 60 and 65 million votes. Danny Parkins is the host of The Drive on 610 Sports Radio. Parkins said, “I think the first thing people think is there’s a mass conspiracy against Royals fans, but I think that we are a culture of reading headlines and not necessarily clicking on stories.”
He fields calls from fans daily.
“There’s no fan base in the sport that is as engaged and passionate as Royals fans in Kansas City are right now,” Parkins said.
That’s why some are worried their votes might be in the bunch that was tossed out. MLB says that isn’t the case.
“They say that there’s voter irregularities every year and that they always have to scrub about 20 percent of the votes, and that that’s what’s happening here,” Parkins said.
Also, Monday’s standings, with eight of the nine American-Leaguers touting Royals uniforms, came out after MLB says it tossed votes.
“The key to this story that no one seems to be grasping is that they had already scrubbed the votes before Monday’s total was released,” Parkins continued.
“My take is that the 65-million ballots that were tossed have little with nothing to do with the Royals per say, as it does their regular procedures to make sure that the balloting can be as legitimate as it can be,” Kansas City spokesperson Toby Cook said.
Baseball says tossing about 20 percent of votes is consistent with previous seasons. And even with the new totals, the Royals are still leading the lineup.
“Kansas City fans, not just in Kansas City, but all over the country, have just been more, they’ve been more diligent about voting and voting and voting again, all within the rules,” Cook said.
“I think others are probably jealous that we have so many. They need to step up and vote.” Ireland said with a laugh, “Go big or go home. We’re not going home,” Ohl said.
So far, MLB is counting about 300 million votes and expects half a billion votes by the time polls close on July 2. This is the first year voting is offered only online. For information about how to vote, click on this link.