(CBS) It’s not unusual for MLB teams in opposing leagues to team up each July in getting their respective final vote candidates publicity and support to nab the last All-Star Game roster spot.
This is a popularity contest, after all.
Still, it’s somewhat perplexing what played out yesterday. Shortly after it was announced that Chris Sale and Anthony Rizzo would be among the final vote candidates in the American League and National League, respectively, the White Sox and Cubs announced partnerships on Twitter to join voting forces with a foe in a respective league — but not each other.
For the Cubs, the deal is that Detroit fans will vote for Rizzo in the NL while Cubs fans will vote Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello for the final AL spot.
Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 07, 2014
The puzzling part? Across town, Sale has registered a spectacular season thus far, going 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and mind-bloggling 0.87 WHIP. Porcello is 11-5 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
For their part, the White Sox aren’t advocating for Rizzo, either. They’re supporting Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon. It too is perplexing — but not quite as wild as taking Porcello over Sale. Rizzo is batting .276 with 17 homers and 45 RBIs, while Rendon is batting .282 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs.
#TargetSale (@whitesox) July 07, 2014
Why wouldn’t the two Chicago teams just team up? Who knows. They’re rivals, of course, but given the rebuilding path each team is taking this season, it would seem like an appropriate time to share some goodwill in the final All-Star Game voting. It’s not like they’re actually going to meet in the World Series, where the home-field advantage can matter.
Plus, Sale and Rizzo are each plenty deserving.
Can’t we just focus on voting for the most deserving player? If everyone had that attitude, these two would probably both get in.