Hate to drop a stink bomb into the love fest that has been the selection of Barry Bonds to start in the All-Star Game, but am I the only one struck by how convenient it was for him to earn 1 million votes in the final week of balloting and make up 242,000-plus votes on the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano?
Now first let me say that I endorse Bonds as an NL starter. You can easily argue that he’s had one of the three best seasons for an NL outfielder — only Colorado’s Matt Holliday and Cincinnati’s Ken Griffey Jr. have been significantly better, and Griffey plays half his games in a band box — so good for him. Say what you will about the guy — and I’ve been a pretty harsh critic through the years — but he still belongs among the stars, not only for what he’s doing this season, but for what he’s done in his career.
But it just seems more than a little coincidental that the “Vote Bonds” campaign put on by the Giants was this effective. I mean, you’re dealing with a society that won’t get off its couch to find a remote control, so the thought of everybody coming together nationwide with such notice to vote in the man they love to hate seems, well, fishy.
Let’s just suppose Bonds didn’t win the vote. You think for one minute that MLB couldn’t manipulate the final totals if they had the whim? I mean, Bud Selig is no great fan of Bonds, obviously, but even he recognizes good business, and having arguably the greatest player in the history of the Giants’ franchise (Bonds and Willie Mays run neck-and-neck) on his home field for the Midsummer Classic constitutes good business.
Anyway, just wanted to see if anybody else had the same conspiritorial thoughts I did when I heard the news.