When I launched the Vote For Manny site two weeks ago, some of the (publishable) hate mail looked like this:
- f**k Manny vote for Raul Ibanez who is 6th in the voting and actually deserves to be a starter
- if Manny gets voted in then a more deserving player does not get to play in the ASG
- It's funny now; but, what if he would take a spot from another deserving player that works their ass off, and contributes everyday to his teams success?
There's the rub: Many people felt that a vote for Manny would be taking the spot away from a player --like Ibanez-- who otherwise deserved to start (or make the team). Big kudos to the fans in Philly who got out and voted like mad. They launched Ibanez from 6th to 2nd last week, and up to 1st in this week's tally. Totally deserved, too.
So, my Philly friends, how do you reconcile the fact that you also voted for a shortstop who is hitting just 0.222 with and OBP of 0.261, three HR and just ten SB? Doesn't the vote for Rollins fly right in the face of "a more deserving player does not get to play in the ASG"? Isn't that hypocritical, silly, contradictory?
You know what, I'm OK with Rollins being selected as a starter because the selection process allows the fans to dictate who the starters are. I love that we get to vote. I also like that every team has to have a representative. What I DO NOT LIKE is that after that very democratic and fan-friendly selection process, we have a rule that the game counts towards home field advantage in the All Star Game. I've been up on this soapbox for a while, so hopefully you understand my stance by now: These two concepts are in direct conflict. Either the game is an exhibition with the current selection process, or change the selection process to match the game having significance.
Mr. Selig, should you or one of your team in the Commissioner's Office be reading this: Please change something surrounding this game. I'm begging. Keep the fan-friendly selection process and let the game go back to being an exhibition, a nine-inning exhibition with no worries about a tie. The managers will manage in a fan friendly way, trying to work everyone into the game without worry about extra innings, since it would be merely an exhibition.
On other thing, Mr. Selig: You also need to figure out a way to battle the MLBPA to keep those who have tested positive out of their next eligible All Star Game. For integrity's sake. Ya know?