For Pete's Sake

Major League Baseball says 60 million All-Star votes were disallowed before last totals released

Omar Infante’s lead in the All-Star Game voting at second base has infuriated many baseball fans.
Omar Infante’s lead in the All-Star Game voting at second base has infuriated many baseball fans. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

A little over a week ago, Bob Bowman, Major League Baseball’s president of business and media, told The Kansas City Star there has been no evidence of foul play or irregularities in the All-Star Game balloting.

Instead, it was just enthusiasm by Royals fans.

A story Thursday by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports caused a bit of a stir, however, because Bowman said “the league disallowed (votes) because of concerns over fake or improper voting.”

“I’m not saying we bat 1.000,” Bowman said in the article. “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.”

On Friday, The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff tweeted this, which confirmed that:

In the Yahoo story, Bowman said there was surprise in the league office over the Royals’ early vote tallies. But a week ago, he admitted that it was just hard work on the part of Royals’ fans.

This is the first year that the All-Star Game voting is entirely online as paper ballots have been discarded. Fans can vote up to 35 times, and there had been concerns about Royals fans manipulating the system.

But Bowman told The Star there were no concerns about that.

“The Royals fan base, principally in Kansas City, but really all over the country, is energized and hungry and they’re doing this the old-fashioned way with sweat and toil,” Bowman told Kerkhoff last week.

Nevertheless, people were furious when Omar Infante overtook the lead at second base in All-Star voting.

The balloting ends at 10:59 p.m. on July 2.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.

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