Kenley Jansen isn’t here to win fans’ hearts.

Speaking with the media after Sunday’s loss to San Diego, Jansen made it clear how he felt about Justin Turner and Corey Seager losing out on starting spots in All-Star voting.

It’s the fans’ fault.

Jansen’s argument holds weight. The system is a popularity contest. There isn’t much more to it. So, while it can be debated if Jansen should’ve said anything on record, his point rings true: Dodger fans didn’t vote enough.

There’s a multitude of reasons the Dodgers don’t get much All-Star support annually. Not to beat a dead horse, but you know the oft-repeated factors: fair weather fans, east coast bias, better things to do in L.A., the games aren’t broadcast locally, etc.

But it’s 2017, the age of accessibility. L.A. is the second biggest market in MLB, and the Dodgers have one of the largest fan bases in sports. Chicago fans loaded the All-Star Game with Cubs a year ago, with the small market Kansas City fans doing similar in 2014.

This process falls on fan responsibility. That gives fair credence to Jansen’s comments.

Zack Cozart beat out Seager for the starting shortstop gig. Cozart isn’t exactly a household name and plays for the sub-.500 Cincinnati Reds. Cincy is an outstanding baseball town, but in the midst of a rebuild, how motivated would fans be to vote for a veteran who’s likely to be traded in a month?

Apparently more so than the Dodger fans were to support their 23-year-old MVP candidate.

Turner didn’t make the team, which even with the NL’s infield depth seems absurd. He lost out to Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant in voting (Bryant didn’t make the team either). Now Turner relies on the fan vote in the final five. Perhaps that’s an opportunity for Dodger supporters to right what Jansen considers a wrong.

The Dodgers are the best team in the NL, winners of 20 of 24. Yet they’re represented by only four All-Stars and no starters. Even Dave Roberts said he anticipated six participants, but Turner’s and Alex Wood’s unexpected absences changed that.

In a system that rewards ballot stuffing, Jansen can justifiably criticize fans – whether they like it or not.

It’s a flawed system, but one must play the cards he or she is dealt, and Jansen’s feelings are that Dodger fans failed to do so. Those are powerful remarks coming from a man who, just after re-signing last offseason, wouldn’t stop gushing over bringing L.A. fans a championship.

Alex Wood, snubbed from the All-Star roster, is having a historic season

About The Author

News Desk

Gabe Burns is an award-winning journalist. He serves as a reporter and editor at the DodgersNation news desk. He additionally works as editor-in-chief of The Spectator, Valdosta State University's student paper. Gabe's work has been featured on a number of platforms, including Draft Breakdown and Pro Football Spot. His byline has been cited in media such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Aside from covering Dodgers baseball, Gabe enjoys watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning. He can be followed on Twitter at @GabeBurns_DN.

15 Responses

  1. Omar

    I do agree with Jansen, but we can also blame the horrible Time Warner/Dodger TV deal. I haven’t seen a game all year, I only check scores and highlights.

    Reply
  2. Doug Nicholson

    As a life-long Dodger fan, I have no choice but to agree with Kenley. The only way the fans in LA and elsewhere can do a tiny bit to make up for their laziness is to vote for Justin Turner for the “Final Vote”. To do so, text N5 to 89269. You can vote 35 times (it took me 3 minutes) on each device.

    Reply
    • Jim Emmons

      Rather than blame the fans, how about calling out the Barnum and Bailey system they call All Star voting. Fans, voting for their favorite players, most likely on their favorite team who may be having an All Star quality year or may not. And to ensure they get the point home, let them vote as many times as they want. Some fans are knowledgeable about players across the league, but most are not and to those who aren’t it’s just about popularity. Kenley Jansen is as wrong as those fans. Put the vote into the players hands, voting for their peers

      Reply
    • Eric

      While it’s true the fans are responsible for voting, it’s the Team’s ownership’s failure to generate enough fan support by allowing them to view the games than me than just Time Warner/Spectrum. There was talk themat the fan base will degenerate as people cannot see the Dodgers play. This is just one result, a lack of a big enough base for All Star voting.

      Reply
    • Jim Rankin

      On the MLB website you seem to be able to vote unlimited times on a computer.

      I voted about 100 times today for JT and plan to do the same tomorrow and as many days as it seems to work.

      Reply
    • bd Pollock

      A Dodger fan since they came to Los Angeles, I’m always happy for the Dodger players that are voted in to the All Star game. However, the fan voting is a sham, and the players should be voted in by their peers. Stuffing the ballot box is a joke. Kenley should take into account that 70% or so of us don’t get to see the games on TV and for most of us, that’s where we get to see the players and the cost of going to the games and getting a decent seat is absurd.

      Reply
  3. Anthony Morales

    While I agree with Kenkey Jansen, not all Dodger fans are responsible. I voted the maximum number of times for our players. The symptom lies within the TV issue. If you think getting Dodger fans to vote for the all-stars today is a problem, the TV issue is potentially cutting out a generation of fans in the future. As a Dodger fan since 1974, I implore the Dodgers to use their financial power, and any other resources available, to negotiate a TV deal asap!

    Reply
  4. Lee

    I am a huge Dodger fan, I voted. The problem is jealousy from other teams fans. Our dream team is just better right now. The players should vote the starters and the fan for popular back ups. JM9

    Reply
  5. True and Correct

    Seager’s been meh. Turner should have been selected; but so should have Andrus.

    Reply
  6. Pat

    I’m a life long Dodger fan, but I’m also an overall baseball fan. When I vote, I don’t just vote for 8 players from my favorite team. I vote for players I believe represent the best in each league at their positions. Yes I voted for Corey but I also voted for Molina from the Cards, Harper from the Nats and Votto from the Reds. I respect the All Star game for what it is supposed to be and I am never going to turn in a ballot with nothing but Dodger names on it.

    Reply
  7. Sergio Gutierrez

    Part true, part not… the true blame comes from the dodgers front office and time Warner and spectrum… you guys took the dodgers away from us.. so not all the blame goes to dodger fans

    Reply
  8. Santiago Santini

    I’m a fan of the Dodgers. I am Argentine and live in Argentina, more than 6000 miles from Dodgers Stadium and 4 hours earlier. During the season I go to sleep at 2:30 or 3:00 AM every night that the Dodgers play at Dodgers Stadium. And the next day, at 7:00 AM, I wake up to go to work and take my daughters to school.
    Yesterday I saw with amazement that Turner did not obtain the necessary votes for the All Star Game. I am also sorry about Alex Wood who is having an extraordinary season.
    Reading Kenley Jansen blaming the fans, I thought the vote to ASG does not depend only on the fans of a club. Usually you vote for all players on your team. But some people do not. And these people depend on Marketing and TV, rather than player´s stats. Arenado e is a great player but this years Turner deserved to be the 3B of the ASG. But Arenado has more marketing.
    But, let’s remember how underrated Kenley Jansen was last year. The press and non-Dodgers fans, just realized that he existed in the postseason.
    And there I think there is a schedule problem. The Dodgers games begin at 11:00 PM Argentina, 10:00 PM NY. When you dawn, the Atlantic coast (all) are having lunch. And the fan of NY, Florida or North Carolina, in the third inning of the Dodgers games, are already sleeping. You only have a little more than 20-30% of the US population, most of them fans of teams that are opposing the Dodgers.
    I think the Dodgers should do a little more Marketing outside of Los Angeles.
    Best regards,
    Santiago

    Reply
  9. Ken

    I disagree. While the main cause may be the fans and lack of motivation or interest to vote I believe it is the huge TV contract that the Dodgers signed with Time Warner that has caused disinterest. Most LA families are not able to watch Dodger games on TV. Who listens to radio broadcasts anymore unless your in your car. We can’t go to games on a regular basis in person anymore because it’s too expensive.

    Both parties had to have given diligent accounting and financial reviews of the potential subscriber base revenue before signing. They knew the potential subscriber base using all the potential provider stats. They all knew what the cost to potential individual subscribers would be and the Dodgers took the greedy option of a financial windfall that was way over estimated as to what subscribers were willing to pay for a 365 day network coverage of just Dodgers content. The number crunchers, decision makers, and lawyers that put this above market contract in place should all be fired for their error.

    I have heard potential mandatory costs of $5 a month for every subscriber if DirecTV or Dish adds the Dodger Sports Network. That would make it mandatory RSN for subscribers whether they like the Dodgers or baseball or not. TWC/now Spectrum and the Dodgers knew this before agreeing to the contract. They gambled that regular satellite and cable subscribers were willing to accept this new record setting sports monthly charge for one teams yearly coverage. They totally ignored the other carriage subscribers that do not care about the Dodgers, baseball, and/or Sports coverage in general. They lost the gamble and now the Dodgers are losing the new generations of fans.

    I still remember watching many Dodger games with my Dad and we were both interested in anything the Dodgers did. Of course that was over the air antenna free games and later on the LA Prime Aports Network. Neither of us minded paying the much smaller RSN sports fee in our cable or satellite package. Plus there was other sports coverage outside of the 6 month baseball season.

    Pretty easy to blame the fans but how about looking at reasons why the fans haven’t been voting. Could it be that the Dodgers fan base is shrinking and motivation to vote for All Stars is low because the Dodgers took away the fans everyday Dodger experience in favor of huge TV revenue increases. Re-negotiate the contract downward in favor of a more subscriber friendly cost to each of us and I believe the viewers will be back on a daily basis. Turn the younger generations back into fans. Get the kids interested again and even Little League participation will grow….future American draft choices in the system to boot.

    Reply
  10. Brad Machado

    When you draw the most fans year after year after year, it would seem the Dodger “fans” would stuff the ballot box and make sure J.T. makes it .

    Reply

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