Barry Bonds is an all-star. He got voted into the NL’s starting lineup, beating out Alfonso Soriano in the sketchiest election since Bush beat Gore.
Frankly, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how millions of Americans could vote for a guy who is the poster child for all that is wrong with baseball. And I’m not the only one scratching his head. SI’s John Donovan sums up the today:
What’s strange, though, is that a lot of different polls — ESPN/ABC, CBS News, USA Today, the Associated Press, CNN and many others — have indicated that most fans don’t believe Bonds when he claims he’s never used performance-enhancers. A good chunk of fans, the polls say, don’t want him to break Hank Aaron‘s career home run record. (He’s now only five away from tying it.) When he finally pushes past Aaron’s mark, many fans told the pollsters that they won’t consider it a genuine record. Many polls show that fans, simply put, just don’t like the guy.
So either those polls are way off, or the ballot boxes were stuffed, or fans changed their minds, or they simply don’t care about any of that stuff anymore, or they don’t think any of that should apply to an All-Star Game, or they don’t think any of it should apply to this particular All-Star Game, or … something.
Amen, John. Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. And Barry Bonds fans are from a whole ‘nother galaxy. It’s enough to make you think the whole thing was fixed. And, frankly, I do.
Except, I can’t figure out why MLB would rig this election. It won’t solve anything. Bonds will be the biggest story at the all-star game — wether he plays or not. He’ll either be on the verge of breaking Aaron’s record, or he’ll have recently broken it. He’ll be playing in his hometown. Or not playing. Regardless, he’ll dominate the news.
So taking the decision to put Bonds in the game or keep him on the sidelines out of Tony LaRussa’s hands won’t solve any of baseball’s problems. But it makes me feel better to think that MLB rigged this election. Because I’d rather believe that Bud Selig is corrupt and clueless — not a giant stretch — than think that America actually wants to honor Barry Bonds.
UPDATE: I’m not the only one who thinks this voting was fixed. The FANHOUSE thinks so, too.