Happy Manny Returns… an All-Star?


Major League Baseball is about to face yet another controversy involving one of its biggest names and the use of banned substances.


Only one month ago, Manny Ramirez tested positive for a female fertility drug.  He was subsequently suspended for 50 games.  While that penalty might seem excessive, in an effort to clean up the sport in 2005, Commissioner Bud Selig enacted stricter punishments for drug users.  The first offense garners a 50-game suspension, the second a 100-game suspension.  A third offense results in banishment from baseball and an honorary seat next to Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe.


Prior to being suspended last month, Ramirez played in 27 games.  He had hit six home runs and was batting .348, fourth in the league if you don’t count minimum plate appearances. 




While the Dodgers are still in first place despite Manny’s absence, they were 19-8 with him in the lineup, boasting two different week-long winning streaks.  His contributions from the batters box are among the best in the game and have been for fifteen years.  He is sixth among active players in career batting average (.315) and fourth in active home run leaders (533).


But as the All-Star Game approaches, baseball must once again question its own integrity. 


The All-Star Game has always been about the fans.  Families line up at ballparks, or go online to vote for their favorite players, those they want to see in the mid-summer classic.  Herein lies baseball’s current dilemma.  Manny Ramirez currently ranks fifth in voting among National League outfielders, which means it’s conceivable that he play in the game.  Voting closes on July 2nd.  The game will be played July 14th at Busch Stadium in St Louis.


It’s not just about Manny being an all-star.  What makes matters even more intriguing is that in 2003, Major League Baseball voted to make the All-Star Game more than just a meaningless exhibition game.  Each year, the winner is awarded home field advantage in the World Series. 


Now… wouldn’t it be interesting if Manny Ramirez, who had been suspended for essentially the first half of the season for violating baseball’s drug policy, came to bat in the All-Star Game and knocked in the winning run to give the National League the victory and thus home field advantage in the World Series?  Manny could conceivably affect the outcome of the entire season!


Sportswriters and talk show hosts nationwide have urged fans NOT to vote Manny in, saying there are other, more deserving players to fill that roster spot.  Here at sportschump.net, we have decided to take the low road and rightfully so.




The All-Star Game is the baseball fan’s last stand.  If we wanted to see Pee Wee Herman suit up, enough of us could write him onto the ballot and… poof, there’s your starting first baseman. Power to the people, y’all. 


Baseball’s chickens have once again come home to roost and this time, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Manny playing in the All-Star Game, affecting its outcome and very possibly that of the World Series is another nightmare Commissioner Selig can’t possibly want to face, yet he can’t stop Manny from being voted into the game.


So, baseball fans, if there are any of you remaining, if you want to stick it to the man one last time for good measure, here’s your link to All-Star voting.  Before you vote, remember… this is the same Commissioner that is inexorably linked to a cancelled World Series, a tied All-Star Game and the biggest drug scandal in the game’s history.  His concern for our well-being over the past seventeen years has been sketchy at best.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see him writhe just once more?  So please cast your vote wisely.  Although if Manny ends up leading the league in voting, Selig would inevitably find one more loophole to deny fans their happiness.



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10 Replies to “Happy Manny Returns… an All-Star?”

  1. Sorry dude, but Manny is/was a virus in the club house! No way he gets my vote!

  2. DM… Is that the same reason Peterson got thrown out of JD’s home game?

    Hey, man. Selig’s been a virus in major league baseball for just as long so it’s a wash.

  3. Chris
    Whilst I’m not excusing Manny’s actions. He made a personal choice. One which he really didn’t put much thought into from the outset it’d appear. If that’d been the case then I think we’d have heard him state that he’d consulted with MLB’s own physicians as well before going down the path he did.

    Mind you this is only my own personal thoughts on the matter. As I know there’s got to be several differing opinions out there to begin with.

    As to him being made an All Star. That’ll be down to the voters and the hierarchy of MLB. As it now stands . If at the time of the All Star event , he’s served his suspension to their satisfaction. Then it’s fine with me. As it is Selig and his minions to begin with have been less then forthright with the fans to begin with concerning the whole ‘steroid era and mess .Concerning what they knew and when they knew it to begin with.
    So I as a fan have no real faith in the game much less the players or the hierarchy to conduct themselves in the appropriate manner. As I view them all as nothing more than a bunch of self serving ingrates !

  4. Tophat… that’s exactly the problem. Nobody has any faith in the game of the players anymore.

    Growing up in my family in the northeast, there was baseball and everything else was an extremely distant second.

    Not so much anymore.

  5. Be right there, Al.

    Yeah, I head Steve Czaban the other day go off on his “Shaq Runs throught it” shpiel about this years Finals.

    There’s Kobe, Phil, Lakers, Van Gundy, D Howard, Superman, Magic.

    Betcha he’s still rooting for the Magic though.

  6. Chris
    Offcourse I’m still rooting for the Magic. But after last night’s debacle I’m not so sure what it was that Van Gundy was trying to achieve. It’s one thing to lose 100-75 . But it’s another not to put up even a smidgen of an effort to begin with.

    And above all the biggest mistake was in playing Nelson. Even if there wasn’t much of a change in terms of the offensive output. To my mind it completely altered the chemistry of the team altogether. Why try to mend something if it’s not broken ?

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