You can write off his high finish to the fact that many of these ballots were cast before his suspension began (and I agree) – but many employees of ESPN (e.g. Wilbon & Kornheiser) expect him to end up in the top 3 by the time the all-star teams are chosen. They site websites such as this one – http://voteformanny.blogspot.com – and compare Manny to such cultural icons such as Sanjaya of American Idol.
And while I don’t think America will actually select him as an all-star, I like to think of the possible outcomes if they did. First of all, it sounds as if there is nothing that Bud Selig could do to bar him from the festivities – at least officially. Such a move would bring on some serious ire from the player’s union.
What I think is funny is that Manny fans could go to great lengths to get him voted into the all star game – and there’s a very strong chance that Manny wouldn’t even show up! Remember, only 3 years ago, baseball fans made Manny the top vote getter in the major leagues; but he didn’t show up to any of the all star game festivities because of a hurt knee, even though the knee was good enough to play in the previous regular season game.
So if Manny gets voted in this year, and pulls a no-show, does he then get praised for it? Do the stodgy baseball writers compliment him in “doing the right thing” and “preserving the integrity of such a historic game”? When in actuality he is blowing it off because he doesn’t care – because he’s never cared? Manny Ramirez, one of a kind.