The MLB All-Star Game voting has been a popularity contest for years. Everyone knows that. We've all seen players with weak numbers get voted in by the fans merely on name recognition. For that reason, the MLB powers-that-be began allowing the managers to hand pick players they believed were worthy of inclusion.
And now with the 2009 installment of the midsummer's night classic looming the Los Angeles Dodger's Manny Ramirez has become the poster child for all that is warped about fan voting. As of last Tuesday, he was fourth amongst National League outfielders.
Ramirez will be reinstated to playing status on July 3, (a personal Independence Day of sorts for him), after having served a fifty game suspension for steroid use. He will have sat out nearly one-third of the season.
Before the voting ends at midnight on July 2, Ramirez will have been eligible to play in only twenty-nine regular season games. In 92 at-bats this season he is hitting .348 with twenty RBI's and six HR's.
Numbers unworthy of All-Star consideration when compared with all of the other outfielder candidates.
Consequently, anyone who is voting for Ramirez is doing so for only these three reasons:
A.) Name recognition;
B.) To spite and/or embarrass Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB; and/or
C.) Blind adoration, a.k.a., "Mannylove".