Major League baseball wants the fans involved, but they don’t. They want everyone to love them, but at the same time they don’t really care what we, the fans, think.
Did you happen to take a glance at the All-Star voting for the National League that was just released? I could go on and on about how stupid it is to allow the fans to select the starting lineups each year which almost always results in some undeserving player taking the roster spot of some deserving option, but I will do it quickly with three potential landmines thanks to the ballot box stuffing that is going on in Milwaukee
Rickie Weeks, out for the season, currently ranks second amongst all second baseman in votes.
J.J. Hardy, hitting all of .247 as of this writing is second in the voting at the shortstop position.
Bill Hall, making Hardy actually look like an All-Star with his .223 average, is also second at his position – third base.
The bottom line is that most fans are “homers” or flat out have no idea about anything related to performance on a ball field (not any of you reading this of course, I’m talking about those “other” fans). But I’ll save my consternation over that for another time.
The real issue currently facing MLB and its fan voting for the All-Star game is that Manny Ramirez, suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy, is currently fourth amongst NL vote getters in the outfield putting him within striking distance of actually being voted to start the game. Manny will have served his suspension and officially be allowed to return to active duty with the Dodgers before the All-Star game, so how could major league baseball step in and stop Manny playing in the mid-summer’s classic if that’s what the fans want? Leave that to Mr. Doofus, aka Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, to step in a throw a monkey wrench in the plans.
“I’m going to think about that,” Selig said. “He doesn’t come back till July 3. Normally, I’m sensitive to the wishes of the fans. If the fans choose someone, I’d like to honor that. But we’ve been testing players for a long time, and it bothers me that someone would [cheat] at this stage in the game. I’ve got some time to think about this one.”
Or how about this one from Manny’s own manager, Joe Torre, who had this to say when asked if he felt Manny should be on the All-Star squad if he is voted in by the fans.
“No,” Torre said. “I think if you asked Manny, he’d give you the same answer…To me, I think the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who have a good first half.”
I’m no apologist for Manny, and in fact I blasted him when the whole scandal broke in my article entitled Shame On You, so I have to say that I agree with Joe Torre completely here – you should only be allowed to play in the game if your performance earns you that right, which is why I mentioned the word “fallacy” in the title of this piece and decried the stupidity that is rearing its ugly head in Milwaukee with their idiotic ballot box stuffing.
As for what Mr. Selig said, my response is more biting.
Mr. Selig, do you EVER make the right choice? I could list a myriad of instances to show you how profoundly asinine the majority of his decisions are, but I won’t bore you other than to comment on the current situation.
Mr. Selig you gave the fans the right to vote for whomever they want to see start the All-Star game. Therefore, you have to live with their choices no matter how profoundly ridiculous they are.
Are we living in a communist society with a dictator arbitrarily making up his own rules when he doesn’t like what he sees going on? I’m sure we would all like it if we were driving down the street one day, going 35 in a 35 zone, only to get pulled over by a police officer who, despite the fact that the law states it is a 35 mph zone feels that it’s too fast so he’s going to give you a ticket anyway. A stupid example perhaps, but it still illustrates the point – societies operate on an agreed upon set of rules, and in this case Mr. Selig is taking about amending those rules mid-stream.
I don’t know if any of you remember your political science class from high school, but back then we learned about a little thing in our legal system called “ex post facto law” which states that government may not change a law today to punish you for something you did yesterday. I know we aren’t talking about a legal system here with baseball, but the bottom line is that if there is nothing on the baseball books about removing a player from All-Star consideration because of a failed a drug test, and if there is no one has ever shown it to me, then Manny, no matter how much of a shame it would be, must be allowed to start the game if the fans vote him in. Last time I checked, despite all of its legal privileges, MLB was not outside the realm of the U.S. Constitution (see Article I, Section 9), so Manny must be allowed to play.
Do you think I missed my calling and that I should have gone into law school instead of sports? Me neither, though it’s fun playing a fancy pants, morally superior person every once in a while. You might want to try it yourself sometime. God knows Mr. Selig does it all the time.
By Ray Flowers