SPORTS SAFETY, MANNY AN ALL-STAR? I DON’T THINK SO, COACH CAL

May 31, 2009

From Dwight Perry: “An item making the Internet rounds, author unknown, on the evolution in sports safety: “The first testicular guard (translation: cup) was used in hockey in 1874 — and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for man to realize that the brain was also important and worth protecting.”
All-Star teams are being compiled in several sports and the annual campaigns being made by ticked-off writers are starting.                                                                                       
The campaigns?                                                                                                                  
Why, the writers are the only ones who should have anything to say about who is and who isn’t named to the team. RUBBISH!!!                                                                                       
Voting for All-Star teams is one of the only things that directly connect fans to their favorite teams and players. There are some snarky writers who
sound-off with a “Pecksniffian Sniff” that there might actually be someone out there who knows more about traditions and care more about the rules and
regulations.
Molinaro wrote: “Baseball’s latest brush with the ridiculous could become a full-blown mock-fest if fans vote Manny Ramirez onto the National League
All-Star team while he is serving a 50-game suspension after testing positive for banned drugs.                         
The possibility arose when the initial All-Star vote was released Tuesday and Ramirez was fourth among National League outfielders. With 442,763 ballots,
he trailed Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano by relatively healthy margins, but was only 34,080 votes behind the Mets’ Carlos Beltran.
Surprisingly, MLB has no rule preventing players coming off drug suspension from making an All-Star team. Wouldn’t you think baseball would have a rule
in place to help avoid the potential for this sort of embarrassment?                                                         
But baseball’s drug agreement declares that “the commissioner’s office shall not exclude a player from eligibility for election or selection because he is
suspended under the program. Since All-Star voting began in April, it’s not certain how many votes were cast for Ramirez before his suspension. But the
strong support for Manny hints at what we already know – that fan resentment over performance-enhancing drugs just isn’t as prevalent or intense as the media insist it must be.                                                        
Bud Selig’s office will be on spin cycle should Ramirez grace the NL lineup. But while Fox won’t admit it publicly, the network broadcasting the All-Star
Game would happily shoot a wink at the controversy- anything to increase ratings at a time when viewership for the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week is down 9 percent to date from last year.”  
I say if Manny is elected let it go through and then have “Uncle Bud” Selig remove his name by using the “for the good of baseball” clause. Chance are that Ramirez wouldn’t be attending the game anyway as he has done so many times before.

Danny Shaughnessy talked in the Boston Globe about John Calipari: “John Calipari: more vacancies than a luxury hotel in downtown Detroit. You remember.
UMass’s 1996 trip to the Final Four was erased by the NCAA when it learned that Marcus Camby accepted money and gifts from sports agents. Now
the NCAA may vacate Memphis’s 2007-08 Final Four ride because of new charges against a Calipari program. Naturally, Coach Cal has moved on
(for infinite millions). These days, it’s up to Kentucky’s admissions department to try to stay clean during Cal’s reign. Cal is on track to bring in one of the great recruiting classes, but it’s going to be tough to get some of the student-athletes through the NCAA clearinghouse. He’s also probably going to exceed the 13-scholarship limit, which means he’s running kids out of the program.”

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