The Jason Bay All-Star story is getting increasingly bizarre. Now he's leading NL outfielders in All-Star votes despite not playing all that well recently. He has probably been the second-best outfielder in the NL so far, behind Carlos Beltran. How is it possible that a Pirate has more votes than a better, more famous outfielder playing in New York?
The nicest explanation I can think of is that the Pirates' incredibly desperate PR effort to make Bay an All-Star starter is actually working. (The darker, more conspiracy-theory side of me thinks that perhaps the PNC employee hired to punch hanging chads for Bay is punching more than just the chads, but of course I have no evidence of that.)
Why do you think the front office is pimping Bay so mercilessly? It's because the All-Star Game is in Pittsburgh, and the management desperately needs a story to distract America from the fact that the team is a complete embarrassment and has been for a decade.
Do you want the front office to get what they want? Would you rather have the All-Star weekend be about what a swell player Jason Bay is, or would you rather have it be about how @#$^ing embarrassing the Pirates are? For me, it's the latter, since that strategy is infinitely more likely to make the management look like the fools they are.
The All-Star game is an exhibition. It is meaningless. The results of your votes have no bearing on Jason Bay's fortunes. I'm sure he couldn't care less.
When you vote, you are sending a message. If you vote for Bay, you are sending a message that Bay is a good player. That is a true message. If you vote for anybody who isn't a Pirate, you send the message that the ownership doesn't deserve to get what they want and that they should sell the team and crawl back into the holes they came from. That message is even truer.
If Bay doesn't start, all there is to talk about is that the park is beautiful, the team is awful and the fans deserve better.
Jason Bay is a great player and we're lucky to have him, but if you're one of these fans at the ballpark punching ballot after ballot for him, please stop doing that. I know it's counterintuitive and of course we all want the best for Bay, but still, stop it.
Stop voting for Bay! Stop voting for Bay! Stop voting for Bay!