If you've undertaken casting a player ballot online for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, the powers-that-be have certainly made it easy to vote.
The procedure is now miles and miles and oodles and oodles (your choice) better than ever, unlike when they first started letting the fans vote for the teams again back in 1970 (now I'm dating myself).
Back then, you actually had to go to a major league or minor league game to get the punch-card ballots to fill out and drop in the box before leaving or put a stamp on and mail them in.
I remember punching out a lot of those chads (and yes, a few of them were probably left hanging, even back then) at mostly Cincinnati Reds' games, but others too - Philadelphia, Boston, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Montreal and Atlanta - from the 70's up into the 90's. It was never that fun - I mean you go to a game to relax and enjoy yourself, but then get caught up in trying to punch holes in a piece of flimsy cardboard. And you can still vote that way if you wish.
Anyway, I've gotten way off track here, as for the last four, five, six years, I've voted on-line, which you can do up to 25 times.
But now, MLB provides voters with everything they need to make an intelligent decision, unless you're just on the MLB.com website to stuff the ballot box for either your favorite player or players or all your favorite team's players - and I'd never do anything like that, heh-heh!
Back to the ballot though. First, the names are big enough to read, stretching from side to side on your computer screen. Plus, before you even get started voting, you can see all of a team's All-Star nominees by clicking on its logo to highlight the names. Then at the bottom of each position's list of players, you can pull up pertinent, current stats on all those players to compare them to each other in batting average, runs scored, homers, RBIs and stolen bases.
And even after you select a player, there's a notation next to his name that says, ''Change Pick.'' Click on that and the entire list comes back up, and you can choose another player to replace the one you originally picked.
Of course, you can always write in the name of any player if one or two of your favorite players aren't on the ballot.
So the entire process is pretty simple, and doesn't take that much time at all unless you start agonizing over comparing stats to get the best players so far. And anyway, we're only two months into the season, so you've got almost another month (up through June 28) yet to vote.
By the way, the 83rd MLB All-Star Game will be played at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City on FOX.
Some good teams tried. But in Class AAA, Parkersburg South (25-12) lost to Nitro in the regional semis; in Class AA, Point Pleasant took out both Ritchie County (24-5) and Magnolia (17-12) in the regional semis and finals respectively, and in Class A, Parkersburg Catholic (19-10) edged Gilmer County (25-9) 1-0 in eight innings in the regional semis before falling to Madonna 3-1 in the finals.
Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at firstname.lastname@example.org