|If Jason Varitek can be an All-Star, why not me?
Apparently the public shaming isn't going exactly as planned, because Manny Ramirez is getting a lot of All-Star votes:
Manny Ramirez might be serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, but fans could vote him into the All-Star game anyway. Ramirez was fourth among the outfielders in the first round of balloting for the National League, which was released Tuesday. He received 442,763 votes, only 34,080 votes fewer than third-place Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets, who is in line to for the final starting outfield spot.
A couple of years ago, football instituted what's come to be known as the Shawne Merriman rule, which players who run afoul of the league's substance abuse policy are banned from the Pro Bowl and are disqualified from postseason awards eligibility. Not so in baseball which almost invariably makes up rules on the fly. Sure, you can bet that Charlie Manuel is under strict instructions not name him as a reserve outfielder, but if Manny somehow cracks the top three, Selig and his gang will probably freak out. When they're done freaking out, they will have to announce the creation of a retoractive rule followed by Ramirez's very public removal from the team.
One blogger -- Jason, from the most excellent "It is About the Money, Stupid" -- is none too happy with baseball's head in the sand approach towards PED offenders and has taken it upon himself to see the powers that be placed in the awkward position of having to remove Ramirez from the All-Star Game. To that end, he has set up the "Vote for Manny" blog, and encourages everyone to do what they can to force the Manny issue on Commissioner Selig.
The All-Star Game is already rather ridiculous, and a little chaos can be fun,so I encourage that you use at least one of the 25 votes baseball gives you to see to it that Manny is an All-Star.