When they play the All star game in Seattle next week, it will have a definite Mariner feel to it. Four Mariners were named to the starting lineup, selected by the fans through paper ballots and Internet voting. While fans in other cities are crying about ballot box stuffing, which player would you take out of the lineup?
Ichiro got more votes than anybody, the first rookie to lead the balloting, and rightfully so based on the year he’s having. Brett Boone is putting up numbers that, well, are all-star numbers. John Olerud is hitting .317 and Edgar Martinez is a lifetime .320 hitter.
Who gets in and who gets jerked around has become part of the All-Star ritual. The restrictions on the rosters ensure that somebody having a big year is going to stay home. And if you said the wrong thing to the wrong manager, the one running the show when you’ve had you’re big year, most likely you’re looking at a 3 day vacation instead of Home Run Derby.
Cal Ripken was elected to the game as a starter, while Tony Gwynn was not. Both have announced their retirement at the end of the year and deserve a big day in the sun on the national stage. The commissioner’s office should figure out how to give Gwynn a start in this game, even if they have to change the rules.