The voting for the 2006 All-Star Game closed last night. I kept going to MLB.com to check the scores, seeing the headline change...4 hours left...3 hours left...2 hours left and thinking about writing a last-minute plea to voters' common sense, but what would have been the point? The All-Star Game isn't for me, and it's not for most of the people who read sites like this one. It's a made-for-TV event for people who don't watch any other baseball at all between Opening Day and whenever the Red Sox play the Yankees in the playoffs. Accordingly, the lineup is theirs: three Boston players, three Yankees, Vlad, and Ichiro in the AL; four Mets, Pujols, Utley, Soriano, and Jason Bay in the NL. Exactly one of those picks (Bay) is at all surprising, and Bay is benefiting from get-out-the-vote campaign in host city Pittsburgh, where it's not like Pirates fans have anything else to look forward to this year.
Joe Mauer, the best hitter in the AL who plays in the field, is not a starter at the expense of rep pick Jason Varitek. Grady Sizemore, who's having an all-world offensive season (.307/.381/.552) gives way to Guerrero, who's 55th in AL VORP (.290/.327/.490). The best player in the National League, Miguel Cabrera, will have to make his way as an All-Star substitute. The same goes for Matt Holliday, 5th in NL VORP among position players. Sorry, Jose Lopez, but your AL starter at second base is Robinson Cano.
To be fair, a lot of the Mets guys deserve to go. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are having great seasons. David Wright isn't far behind Cabrera on the VORP tables. But Paul Lo Duca? Really? Why is David Ortiz considered a first baseman while Jim Thome isn't? Whither Alex Rios? You know, I don't know why I'm wasting my breath. The All-Star Game isn't for me. I should be satisifed with the entire non-ESPN regular season. I guess I am.
ESPN's Gene Wojciechowksi wants to take the vote away from the fans, but I don't know how well that would work. It's not like the players are playing any closer attention. Wouldn't they just vote for guys based on rep even more? I'd go out on a line and say we need some sort of selection committe, but look at how contentious and incompetent the Hall of Fame voters are. (This current Cubs team is killing Ron Santo one day at a time. Please, please elect the man before he spontaneously combusts right in the WGN booth, leaving nothing behind but a badly singed toupee.) I'll watch the All-Star game because they cruelly deprive us of real baseball for three days in the middle of the season, but I'm not going to enjoy myself.