America's enemy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got 24 million votes last month in Iran's national election. Yet baseball sluggers Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez could barely cobble together 4 million votes combined in All Star voting. Both numbers seem to indicate blatant voter fraud, and I am going to change my Twitter avatar to a subtle chartreuse in protest.
Okay, maybe the voting for the MLB All Star Game had a bit more plausibility than the Iran elections (after all, my 23,928 votes for Mark Teixeira seem to have counted), but I can't help wonder what sort of cogs were spinning in the background to ensure that the two most dastardly and infamous victims of the steroid witch hunt will spend the All Star break
Look, the first All Star Game without Manny Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez since 1994 just isn't as fun. Sure, they cheated, they cheated bad, and they cheated bad and they got caught. Does that change the fact that they electrify crowds and boost interest in the sport? Nope. So why aren't they playing in next week's big star-studded game? Who are the ad wizards who decided a smear campaign against the fallen sluggers would be wise?
The media. Some blowhards are already congratulating themselves and the fans for keeping the midsummer classic "clean" but why do columnists care so much? Shouldn't these buzzards have been secretly casting hundreds of votes for Manny so they could milk the righteous indignation for just one more column?
Bud Selig. He'll do anything in his power to push positive testers to the backburner lest his reputation as the man who presided over the steroidiest era in baseball overshadow his reputation as the man who made a fortune selling used cars.
Pharmacists. They just don't want to be associated with naughty steroids anymore, instead hoping that when people think 'drugs' and 'baseball', they think 'Rafael Palmeiro' and 'erectile dysfunction pills'.
The Colonel. Because he puts a chemical in his chicken that makes me crave it fortnightly.
Fans. These people cheer Josh Hamilton and vote for him with religious fervor despite appearing in just 35 games and amassing a .746 OPS. Meanwhile, in Manny's 30 games he's got a 1.113 OPS and A-Rod has over 50 games under his belt and a .935 OPS.
So in the end, I can point my finger at any number of institutions for keeping the All Star Game in St. Louis a Manny-free zone, but when I point that finger, three other fingers are pointing right back at me for not hiring some Iranian politicos to bring down the entire MLB.com voting system.