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Voter Problems In Every Major Sport

by Robbie Gillies

There was no controversy in the Presidential election this year but there’s been plenty of voting issues recently in sports. Voter problems are infiltrating the big four sports. I just covered the travesty of the possibility of Yi Jianlian getting voted a starter in the NBA All-Star game, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In hockey, Montreal fans are making a mockery of the All-Star game.

Forwards Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay, defencemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek and goalie Carey Price are not merely leading every other player in their Eastern Conference categories. They are ahead by ridiculous margins, their monstrous numbers fueled by computer-vote programs written to carpet-bomb, around the clock, for all six at once. As of Sunday early afternoon, four days into balloting, Kovalev, Koivu and Tanguay had vote totals in the 190,000 range. The next closest forward, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, was approaching 84,000.
Hey, vote early vote often right? Well, that's Redskins fans thinking, too. The Redskins Blog notes that four of the top-10 highest vote totals for the Pro Bowl belong to Redskins players. Clinton Portis is understandable, but Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, and Jason Campbell are not. Apparently, it can be blamed on a Skins’ ad campaign urging their fans to Vote the Redskins Ticket.

And finally we turn to baseball, where the Baseball Writers Association of America just announced the MVPs. Dusin Pedroia won the A.L. award by a decent margin. No one voted him less than fourth place on their ballots, but one writer left him off his ballot completely. That writer is Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and I assume once he saw the results he realized what a huge mistake he had made. He even wrote a bit of an apology:

Let me first say this to the Red Sox nation: In retrospect, it was a mistake. My opinion on this one was obviously wrong...The last place on my ballot came down to Pedroia or Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena. I didn't have a Ray on my ballot, and they won 97 games. I was going to vote to make sure Pena got recognized.
So instead of voting for the best player, he voted for someone to recognize the Rays surprising season. Maybe it's just me, but while all of these voting problems are awful, Grant is the worst offender. The other cases involve fans with blind allegiances but Grant gets paid to write about baseball and is supposed to be an expert. At least he wasn't also one of the three writers that voted a non-rookie Rookie of the Year.