Freeman received a record 19.7 million of the votes himself, almost 25% of all votes cast. Official reports have not been released about how many votes Puig got, but officials have said that Puig finished in second place.
Puig’s loss is a surprise to Dodgers fans who truly believed the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder deserved to be in the All-Star game. In all honesty, both players deserved a spot on the team, but only one of the five finalists could make it to this year’s All-Star Game in New York.
Many will question who is to blame for Freeman’s success over Puig, but they certainly should not try to blame the Dodgers organization or their PR department. During the days of voting, the Dodgers did their best to promote Puig and to get baseball fans to vote for the outfielder by making commercials, sending countless tweets and offering deals and giveaways in return for votes. In the six-hour span leading to the end of voting where votes on twitter were also counted, the Dodgers tweeted countless offers like the one below:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 11, 2013
I believe the blame ought to fall on the baseball traditionalists. The only people who were saying anything against Puig’s amazing numbers were those who claimed that Puig’s 35 games this season were not enough of a sample to prove that he is truly an All-Star. They claimed that players like Freeman had playing all season and had consistently performed at a high enough level to earn a spot on the All-Star squad. Let it be known that Freeman has played 78 of the Braves’ 91 games this season.
What these traditionalists miss is what it truly means to be an All-Star. An MLB All-Star is a player who has performed at such a level that his performance ranks him near the top of the major statistical categories. But this is not the only criterion. A star is a player who dazzles crowds on a nightly basis, who makes plays that others cannot and who makes people want to see how he performs every game.
Yasiel Puig is that kind of player and he ought to have been an All-Star this year. To the traditionalists who could not get past their statistical legalism to see his true-star quality, you all ruined the chance for baseball fans to see one of the most electrifying players in baseball. Bravo!