Marcus Semien Will Likely be Left Off Roster Because of the All-Star Game's Move To Denver
Major League Baseball was intending to win smiles from minorities, using the Midsummer Classic as a form of boycott. Many baseball officials and players were upset that Georgia legislated more restrictive voting laws, allegedly aimed at limiting suffrage rigts of minority groups.
In order to show opposition to these new voting laws, Commissioner Rob Manfred and his front office colleagues decided to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Losing the annual celebration of America's pastime would certainly result in a financial setback for the Peach State, which voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential election.
“We want to make our voice heard loud and clear in our opposition of the recent Georgia legislation that not only disproportionately disenfranchises the Black community, but also paves the way for other states to pass similarly harmful laws based largely on widespread falsehoods and disinformation” said the Players Alliance in an April 2 statement in support of Manfred's decision.
After weeks of deliberation, Manfred announced the new site for the All-Star game would be Denver, even though major newspapers like the New York Post immediately claimed that Colorado has more restrictive voting laws than those just passed by Georgia.
Aside from the issue of voting rights, the move to Denver will likely be rued by the sport's powers that be. Because the game has been moved from Atlanta to Denver, fans are likely to see fewer minorities make the rosters.
The home crowd had the site stayed in Atlanta would have plenty of home team starters to cheer for, for it is highly likely that Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna will be top vote getters at first base and in the outfield. Such is not the case in Denver, where the Rockies are not going to have any of their players elected by the fans.
In order to build home town excitement, manager Dave Roberts will be expected to add Colorado flavor to the National League roster. His selections are bound to deny opportunities for young minority stars, an outcome that seems to go against the original purpose of moving the game from Atlanta.
Trevor Story will have to be included as a shortstop, thereby bumping either Javier Baez or Fernando Tatis, Jr. from selection. Likewise former Rockies teammate Nolan Arenado, who was traded to St. Louis over the winter, will likely be named to the team as well.
Assuming he does not win the fan vote, Arenado will be named as the backup at third base. Ahead of him will be the top vote-getter, probably either Chicago's Kris Bryant or Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Again, this logjam created by the game being in Denver, results in a deserving minority not making the squad. Eduardo Escobar is tied for third in home runs, and therefore the most worthy Arizona Diamondback to be an All-Star. He will undoubtedly get bumped by Arenado, simply because of the latter's brilliant career with Colorado.
Similar selections will happen with the American League roster as well, as manager Kevin Cash will feel the pressure to choose at least one player with strong Colorado ties. D. J. Lamehieu, who spent all but the past two years as a regular infielder for the Rockies, will certainly be taken for the A. L. squad.
Because of this crowd-pleasing move, deserving minority shortstops such as Marcus Semien and Jose Altuve will have to be excluded. Denver as the new host, therefore, adds at least three white players to the All-Star game at the expense of at least three minorities.
Let this irony serve as a message for all sport leagues, but most importantly for baseball. Whenever you try to meddle in politics, your product is bound to start sinking like the batting averages of most players today.