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Votto joins annual snub list for All-Star rosters

It’s that time of the year. You know, time for the Major League Baseball All-Star voting and selection process to pass on some deserving players.

Let’s not dwell on the idea of the All-Star Game being an exhibition game that is more of a popularity contest for the fans. Let’s face it, Ken Griffey Jr. got more than one million votes and he retired several weeks ago.

The idea that the game means something now because baseball commissioner Bud Selig decided that the winning league gets homefield advantage for the World Series to determine the champion.

That’s right, an exhibition game where the rosters have more than 30 players and the managers try to win the game while also trying to get everyone in the game. Let’s not have the team with the best record get homefield advantage like in the NBA, NFL and NHL.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

This year’s snub list is led by Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto. Not only is he the Reds’ best player, he is putting up MVP numbers. It’s hard to believe he is having that kind of a season and might not make the team.

Votto could still make the team as the final player voted on by the fans, but there is no guarantee because the other snubs are pretty good, too, and this is a popularity contest.

Other National League players snubbed include Mets’ pitcher Mike Pelfrey who has 10 wins and a 2.93 ERA, Padres’ pitcher Mat Latos with nine wins and a 2.62 ERA, Rockies’ catcher Miquel Olivo who is batting .308, and Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg and first baseman Adam Dunn.

Over in the American League, Red Sox Kevin Youkilis is his team’s best player and can find a spot on the roster without a final fan vote.

His top competition comes from Rangers’ second baseman Michael Young, Yankees’ pitcher Andy Pettitte, White Sox outfielder Alex Rios and Rookie of the Year candidate Brennan Boesch of the Tigers.

There will be some discussion and comments expressing unhappiness and disgusts with these snubs, but the controversy isn’t that big of a deal. Just check the ratings for the All-Star Game.

The players have the most reason to be upset. Usually they have a clause in their contracts that pay a hefty bonus if they make the All-Star Game.

It’s a shame that Votto should have made the team even before the other Reds on the roster, but if he doesn’t make the final roster cut at least he can enjoy a three-day vacation.

Sinatra

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.