Oct 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics second baseman Eric Sogard (28) throws the ball to first base against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Face of the MLB Contest Is Not a Joke

Eric Sogard of the Oakland Athletics has been catapulted into the national spotlight with his incredible run in the Face of MLB Contest. He has beaten players from the Cubs, Rockies, and most impressively, the Giants. That’s right, Eric Sogard of the Oakland Athletics has defeated Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. This has led many baseball fans everywhere to call this competition a joke. Looking on twitter and in the comments of articles everywhere, there are people complaining about how this contest is a joke. I am here to tell you all why it isn’t. I am here to defend Eric Sogard.

A lot of people are making the argument that this whole thing is a joke because people like Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw, and even the captain himself Derek Jeter have all been eliminated. So the argument made is that because amazing star players that have big names are eliminated, the contest isn’t credible. Here is my argument against that statement. Shouldn’t the Face of the MLB have enough fan support to win? If a player can’t move his fan support enough to win a contest for them, should they really be the Face of the MLB? I don’t think so. I believe the Face the MLB should be someone who has a connection with the very foundation that keeps baseball alive, the fans. If it weren’t for the fans, then the MLB wouldn’t be what it is. The MLB is in the entertainment business. They would be out of business without us. So if the MLB is heavily dependent on the fans, shouldn’t the face of it be also?

The contest isn’t called most impressive player or MVP or biggest all star, it’s called the Face of the MLB. Nowhere does it say anything about having to be the best player in the league to represent it. People automatically associate a player that is an all star with someone who should represent the MLB, but the MLB is more than just the best player. The MLB is all about the game of baseball, and baseball isn’t about being the best. Baseball is about having a good time playing a game that you love, it’s about spending quality time with your family, whether it’s your dad or your son or your wife or mom. Baseball is about playing with your pals. It’s about going to the ballpark and having the time of your life, it’s about cheering for your favorite team whether you’re at the ballpark or on the couch. Baseball isn’t about being the best player in the major leagues, it means so much more than that. It’s called Major League Baseball, not the Elite Baseball Players Association.

When you tune into a Major League Baseball game, do you watch it because of the huge all star on your team? Are you an Angels fan only because of Mike Trout? Are you a Tigers fan only because of Miguel Cabrera? Are you a Yankees fan only because of Derek Jeter? The answer should be no. You don’t love your team because of one guy, you don’t love the game because of one guy, and you don’t support your team because of one guy. The point here is that the Face of the MLB shouldn’t get the title for being the best, the Face of the MLB should win because he represents baseball as a whole. And Eric Sogard qualifies.

Sogard has gotten as far as he has because the Oakland A’s have some of the most passionate fans. Because the fans, myself included, love baseball and love our team for all the right reasons, not because of one star player. Eric Sogard wasn’t nominated as a joke, he was nominated as the face of the A’s because he is the perfect representation of what the A’s are all about. Being under the radar but being very efficient. He has gotten this far because the A’s have been successful in rallying the fan base. They tap into the power that keeps the MLB running, the fans. So why should Clayton Kershaw win if he and the Dodgers weren’t able to tap into their fan base enough to win? I’m not just picking on Kershaw here, he is an amazing player. This is just an example. The Face of the MLB should be someone who represents the MLB, and MLB relies on the fans. If a player can’t get enough fan support, then he shouldn’t be the face an organization that needs to do that very thing to survive. That is why Eric Sogard is a worthy candidate. Because he has successfully gotten an entire fan base to dedicate an entire day to voting and staying up all night to secure a victory. He is getting the fans involved. The team is getting the fans involved.

So you can say all you want that this contest is a joke, and the fans deciding is a joke, but you’ll be wrong. How is it a joke to leave the decision of who represents the MLB to the people that keep it alive? Keep on hating on this contest and Eric Sogard, keep on having anger towards him because he is a not so well known player who has gotten further than the huge stars that are much more famous. But it won’t change the fact the Eric Sogard is better than most players at one thing, getting fans involved. The very essence of the MLB. Sogard is a worthy contestant, and deserves to have made it this far. This contest isn’t a joke, and neither is Sogard or the Oakland A’s. We will continue to tap into the Nerd Power of Sogard to keep him in this thing. In the end, Sogard deserves this and nothing anyone says can take away from that.

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