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Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The ESPN Conspiracy - #VoteFreddie

#VoteFreddie.

Here are four names that you may not see on ESPN.com…unless you dig really deep:

Freddie Freeman.  2 years, 33 games of major league service time.  2nd in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2009 (to Craig Kimbrel).

Adrian Gonzalez.  1st base.  7 years, 108 games of major league service time.  4-time All-Star.

Hunter Pence.  Rightfielder.  5 years, 156 games of major league service time.  2-time All-Star.  3rd in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2007 (Braun/Tulo).

Ian Desmond.  Shortstop.  3 year, 27 games of major league service time.  2012 All-Star.

 

Here’s one name that ESPN will throw into your face immediately:

Yasiel Puig.  Rightfielder.  Major league service time?  32 games.  Less than 100 games as a professional ballplayer at all levels.  No awards.

 

There is a phenomenon that Major League Baseball hit upon a few years ago for the All-Star game:  the ‘Final Vote’.  In this, fans are encouraged to choose one of five candidates to fill the final roster spot on the All-Star teams for each league.  The names you see above are the five finalists for the National League this year.

ESPN would like you to know that there’s only one choice – and they even made it incredibly easy for you to vote for this player over the weekend when the ballot was set.  If you venture onto their baseball page and then click on ‘All-Star lineups’, you will find the following front page photo:

Please note the circled links.  This actually represents their EDITED version of the page… the one that someone decided was more acceptable.  Here’s what it originally had in that space on Saturday (this captured from a tweet sent by @FauxFrankWren; note the official-looking ‘MLB – Major League Baseball’ title across the top as well):

Yes!  ESPN is positively giddy that Cuban defector Yasiel Puig is in the Final Vote – and they even provided you with a quick way to vote for him!!

Now, I understand that ESPN is allowed to have opinions.  They express those opinions in shows all the time – Pardon the Interruption, and a host of other network shows.  The website has been largely different, though:  unless you’re intentionally picking on a columnist’s writings, you expect to see news about sports… it’s a reporting outlet, and not an opinion outlet.  But this action went way across that line, then turned ’round and moved the line out further.  Obviously, they knew that they had erred:  the page was changed... but only to make it somewhat more evident that they had an opinion.

In that first link “Puig in Final Vote” (which I refuse to link here), there is a “story” about his inclusion that fails to mention the other four players in competition with him until the next-to-last paragraph of the piece.  In the other link “He belongs,” Puig’s fellow ballot members are buried in the middle… with no actual comparisons made to justify the title of the op-ed article.

Here on Tomahawk Take, we will be happy to make the case for Freddie Freeman with follow-up articles to this one.  Please stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile:  yes – we ARE biased…and proudly so.  We are an Atlanta Braves blog site.  We are here expressly to support you, the fans of the Atlanta Braves.  And yes, we do want you to rebel against ESPN – and unite in a vote for Freddie FreemanHere’s how you can do that:

  • Go to mlb.com through this link and click on Freddie’s picture.  Note the check marks at the bottom of the page.  Voting is open right now.
  • Via Text Message (caution:  this could cost money depending on your phone plan).  Text “N2″ to 89269 for Freddie.
  • On twitter. All tweets made this Thursday between 10am/4pm EDT that use the hashtag #VoteFreddie will count for him.  The subject of the tweet does not matter.  One vote max per tweet; multiple tweets encouraged.

This is not a ‘one person, one vote’ situation, either.  Please stuff the ballot box!  Remember, you have all of Los Angeles, plus the entire ESPN readership against us!!

Am I over-reacting?  Is this making too much about nothing?  Well, Chipper Jones appears to share the opinion – check out these tweets from him:

Chipper Jones@RealCJ10 7 Jul@ajcbraves It surprise you that espn oversteps their boundaries? That’s why I don’t watch it anymore.

Chipper Jones@RealCJ10 1h@MLB@YasielPuig Ok, we get it! MLB and ESPN want Puig to make the all star team! Just let him in and stop dragging it out!

(Forgive me for quoting a Phillie) Even Jonathan Papelbon called the notion of Puig being an All-Star an “absolute joke” in an interview last week.

(Forgive me for quoting a National)  Bryce Harper did a really classy thing last year – which set the bar for this year’s Final Vote.  As a rookie, he yielded to the veteran, saying that if he had a vote, his would go to Chipper Jones.  Awesome – and the right thing to do.

Funny – I searched, and could not find ESPN sticking its neck out like this last year… probably because Harper (a voted-in All-Star this year) popped their balloon early.

#VoteFreddie.  Early and often – do it because the National League All-Star team needs him… hopefully to help bring a home-field advantage to Atlanta for the World Series.

 

Tags: #VoteFreddie All Star Game All-Star Conspiracy ESPN Final Vote Freddie Freeman Yasiel Puig

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