Wednesday, July 14, 2004

One Man, Twenty-five Votes

Major League Baseball's solution to making its All-Star game more appealing was to permit individual fans visiting to cast up to twenty-five ballots.

Ballot-stuffing online was not only to be encouraged, it was facilitated...up to a point. The only thing the web mavens at MLB failed to provide was a little macro program that allowed the stuffers, er, I mean "fans", to fill in their votes once and have the entry posted automatically twenty-five times. How twentieth-century of the good folks at MLB. Fans had to actually enter their votes twenty-five times, one back arrow at a time. So Retro. We can only be grateful the powers-that-be at MLB did not seek to level the playing field by insisting all votes be cast via a dialup connection.

All of this was no more disheartening, however, than listening to respected commentator Peter Gammons on ESPN's Baseball Tonight excuse the selection of the Yankees' Jason Giambi . Giambi was present and accounted for, Mr. Gammons opined, based on history though not, apparently, recent history. Not only had he missed approximately half of the season due to injuries, when he did show up the results were less than stellar. It's one thing to elect aging stars in the twilight of their careers for one more chance to bask in their reflections and quite another to elect middle-aging stars who are, not to put to fine a point on it, stinking up the joint by any standard. But, then, two other less-than-deserving Yankees, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, also were elected to the game, so why let a .239 batting average stop Giambi? After all, he presumably brought his glove.

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