Internet, we need to talk about something very serious. I’m going to paint you a picture of two ballplayers.
Player One is batting .339 with 17 home runs, 44 RBI, an OBP of .402 and a slugging percentage of .707. He’s one of the best clutch hitters in baseball and has effortlessly replaced a fan favorite in a notoriously difficult town.
Player Two has been suspended since May 7 for using a banned substance.
Which player do YOU think is ranked higher in the National League All-Star Game outfielder voting totals?
Player one is Raul Ibanez. He’s in the middle of singlehandedly keeping the Phillies hovering at the top of the National League East.
Player two? Manny Ramirez, who will finally be allowed to play another game July 3, a week and a half before the All-Star Game.
Raul Ibanez has 399,969 votes and is in sixth place. Manny Ramirez? 442,763. Fourth place.
This aggression cannot stand, man.
Why is this happening? Well, in part, it’s because some baseball fan set up a website begging fans to vote for Manny in an effort to call attention to Major League Baseball’s laughable Performance Enhancing Drug policy. Let’s be honest, though. It’s because folks who know nothing about the game go to ballgames, grab the ballots and vote for the guy they’ve heard of once or twice.
Look, there’s a reason the same guys start the game every year, and it’s not necessarily because the numbers bear it out. It’s because some guy lucked into tickets at the office and SportsCenter told him that Derek Jeter is really good. (Derek Jeter is leading the AL ballot? Really? Mark Texeira’s even getting votes? REALLY?!) People. If you don’t know anything, don’t vote. If you’re a National League fan who knows squattah about the AL? Just vote for the NL! The world doesn’t need ‘Hey, I saw Johnny Damon on Cribs once’ votes.
And look, it happens every year, and every year, I wind up stomping around the house yelling about at least one player getting a starting berth that someone else deserved. I should be used to it by now. And yet…look, y’all, I’m sorry. I live in Philly. I see every day what Ibanez does for this team, and it pisses me off that a cheating jackhole like Manny Ramirez is beating him in the voting for the All Star Game.
WHAT THE HELL, AMERICA (AND ONE CITY IN CANADA)? STOP BEING DUMB. VOTE FOR IBANEZ.