KC Royals: If Fans Say So, Omar Infante Should Start


Omar Infante is having an awful season for the KC Royals.

Both in terms of old school stats (.216 batting average, 17 RBI), and new school numbers (.301 slugging, .526 OPS), he’s only been slightly better than everyone reading this article — assuming Mike Trout hasn’t seen it yet.

Here is how those numbers rank among current qualified second baseman:

Batting average: 10/11

RBI: 12/31

Slugging: 10/11

OPS: 11/11

And for good measure, his .985 fielding percentage is ranked just seventh out of 10.

Yet, if Royals fans continue to stuff the all-star ballot boxes at their current pace, Infante could very well find himself starting at second base for the American League in the 2015 All-Star game.

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If that happens, he deserves it.

He doesn’t deserve it because he’s played well, but he deserves it because, as the kids say, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

It doesn’t matter that when MLB set up the system to allow fans to vote-in position-playing starters it didn’t predict a fan base, which waited 29 years between playoff berths, would be so juiced the next season it would elect its entire team.

But that is what’s happening.

The latest voting results show seven of the nine starting spots (eight positions and designated hitter) occupied by KC Royals.

The two not starting?

Infante, who trails only Houston’s Jose Altuve, and Alex Rios, who is fourth on the outfielder list that includes three starters, regardless of outfield position.

Now that the story is starting to gain some national attention, one of two things will happen.

Either the rest of the country is going to be so mad that all the other fan bases will do whatever they can to rid the game of Royals, or KC fans will come out stronger than ever and make sure Infante and Rios, who has played all of 14 games this season, are penciled in as starters.

Imagine the scene, Seattle’s Feliz Hernandez takes the mound to face off against the National League’s best hitters, with the Majors’ best defense behind him.

It just might work.

Don’t get me wrong, even if you include the leather, only Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon might truly deserve starting spots. But if all nine, or even seven, Royals end up starting, it will be good for baseball.

At this point MLB should take all the help it can get.

During a day and age when youngsters prefer LeBron James and Fantasy Football over three-hour baseball games, MLB just needs the country talking about its sport.

The fans in this town are helping baseball at least get some chatter during a time where most people prefer to be on the beach than in front of their flat screens.

If Infante is voted in, great, let him play the first inning, ground out, and then hit the bench. Altuve will get his turn, as will all the other deserving players.

It’s not like it would be the first time someone who didn’t have the numbers started an All-Star game, — cough, cough —  Derek Jeter.

What would be great is if nine Royals start, and one of them took home MVP honors while earning the AL home field advantage in the World Series (which, by the way, didn’t work too well for KC last season).

If that doesn’t happen, it’s ok, because in reality, does anyone outside of Kansas City or San Francisco even remember, or care, who won last year’s edition?

So let Infante have his 15 minutes if the votes fall in his favor.

Let’s just hope, when he comes up to bat, they forget to put his stats on the video board.

Next: KC Royals Select Ashe Russell In First Round of MLB Draft

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