Daily Distractions: What does it mean if Yasiel Puig loses the “Final Vote”?

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is second to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in the “Final Vote” for the MLB All-Star Game. (Andy Holzman/Staff photographer)

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig remained second to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in the “Final Vote” tally announced Wednesday morning by MLB. A spokesperson for the league told me that there will be no announcements about exact vote totals or margin of separation during the voting period, other than what MLB chooses to release through MLB.com. So that’s all the data we have: Freeman first, Puig second.

As I pointed out in yesterday’s live chat, it’s in the league’s interest that fans feel like they’re a part of the All-Star selection process, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the product. MLB believes it’s found the right balance. Some, particularly those who feel the game shouldn’t count for home-field advantage in the World Series, will disagree.

Regardless, the winner of the “Final Vote” probably won’t play much in the game if he plays at all. That’s particularly true for Freeman, who must take a number behind three first basemen already selected to the National League roster. So what does it mean if – gasp! – Puig ultimately loses the vote to Freeman?

Does it mean a plurality of baseball fans agree with NL manager Bruce Bochy and others who believe that Puig isn’t experienced enough to be an All-Star?

Does it mean the Braves’ social media team is doing a better job convincing the world to vote for Freeman than the Dodgers are for Puig?

Is it a conspiracy?

We’ll probably never know.

Some bullet points for a Nikola Tesla Day:

Ryan Braun isn’t answering Biogenesis questions from MLB investigators, Alex Rodriguez is about to do the same, and both are among “up to 20 players” about to be suspended after the All-Star Game, according to ESPN. The next Dodgers player I hear mentioned among the 20 will be the first.

• “Baseball is going to have to be exhaustive and vigilant about every phone record or receipt provided by [Anthony] Bosch if he isn’t going to go down in history with Roger Clemens accuser Brian McNamee as just another shadowy figure with an agenda,” writes Jerry Crasnick.

• “Executives, managers, players and fans across the majors must brace for the possibility of (a) bombshell suspensions, (b) lengthy appeals, or (c) some combination thereof,” writes Jon Paul Morosi.

• Shameless self-promotion, Part I: If you haven’t downloaded our Dodgers iPad app, do so now. We’re working on the second edition right now.

• Obscure stat of the day: Clayton Kershaw‘s changeup has more vertical movement than anybody else’s.

• The Rockies scratched Juan Nicasio from his scheduled start in Triple-A today and he will pitch Friday against the Dodgers, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Nicasio is 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in three career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Justin Sellers hit a 430-foot home run, two doubles, and drove in six runs yesterday for Triple-A Albuquerque.

• Shameless self-promotion, Part II: If you’re a print subscriber and you are coming to our “Dodgers Town Hall” event with Dodgers president Stan Kasten tonight at the Sports Museum of Los Angeles, come say hi. (Only after you say hi to the man Zack Greinke once described as the “smartest guy I’ve ever talked to,” of course.)

• Turn down the lights, hold someone’s hand and lip-sync “Without You” by Empire of the Sun. You won’t regret it: