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Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez: All-Stars?

Andrew GodfreyCorrespondent IMay 30, 2009

LOS ANGELES - MAY 7:  A fan wearing a Manny Ramirez tee shirt for takes a picture during pregame before the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals on May 7, 2009 at Dodger Stadiium in Los Angeles, California.    (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The voting for the All-Star baseball game has turned into a popularity contest. There is no reason that Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Ramirez should be fourth in voting in their respective leagues.

Griffey is fourth in voting among AL outfielders with over 305,000 votes and only a little more than 1,000 votes behind third-place Ichiro Suzuki. Griffey has five homers and 13 RBI and is hitting .213.

Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 22 games yesterday and is hitting .344. He has had at least one hit in 37 of the 41 games he has played this season. The vote is so close that Griffey could be the starter while Suzuki sits on the bench.

Adam Jones is hitting .360 with 11 homers and 36 RBI and is not even in the top 15 of AL outfielders in the voting.

I have nothing against Ken Griffey Jr., but it isn’t fair for him to be in the All-Star game while players like Jones are left out off the team unless Joe Maddon chooses him as an additional player.

Ken Griffey Jr. is fourth in All Star voting among AL outfielders despite hitting only .213.

Ken Griffey Jr. is fourth in All-Star voting among AL outfielders despite hitting only .213.

Torii Hunter is 10th in the voting despite hitting 11 homers and driving in 40 runs and is batting .310.

Even though I am a Josh Hamilton fan, there is no way he should be second in voting among the AL outfielders. MLB.com lists him 102nd in the league in RBI.

I know he had been on the disabled list, but he is still 32 RBI behind the league leader Evan Longoria, who leads the majors with 54.

The All Star game voting supposedly is about who had the best first half of the season but now it has turned into a popularity contest.

Griffey and Hamilton obviously shouldn’t be on the 2009 AL All Star team but it looks like both of them will be on the field in July when the game takes place.

Ramirez is only about 34,000 votes short of being a starting outfielder in the 2009 NL All Star game.

Apparently, 442,763 votes for Ramirez indicate that fans are voting for Ramirez despite his 50 game suspension for steroids and not having near the numbers of his competitors.

The numbers shouldn’t even be considered since he was cheating to get those numbers. At least Alex Rodriguez is third in the AL All-Star voting for third base showing fans are taking his steroids confession seriously.

However Manny is not receiving any backlash from the fans for his steroids suspension. Bud Selig says he is watching the vote for Ramirez closely which probably means Selig will take some kind of punitive action against Ramirez if he is voted onto the team.

Apparently the Milwaukee Brewers fans are stuffing the ballot boxes, with J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun leading the NL shortstop and outfield voting, respectively.

These are the rest of the positions and how Brewers players finished in the voting:

First base: Prince Fielder (second)

Second base: Richie Weeks (second)

Third base: Bill Hall (second)

Outfield: Mike Cameron (fifth), Corey Hart (seventh)

(In the 16-team NL, the Brewers have three outfielders in the top 7 in the voting.)

Worst of all Raul Ibanez who is leading the NL in runs batted in with 46 and is second in homers with 17 and fifth in hitting with a .343 average is sixth in the voting.

It is a long time till the last ballots will be cast but if Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Ramirez are on the field at the All Star game in St. Louis it will mean the All Star game has completely turned into a popularity contest.

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