Alfonso Soriano must be pissed. Despite leading Barry Bonds by a comfortable margin with days to go in voting, mlb.com pulled strings to get Barry Bonds to leapfrog him for the final slot.
Bonds, nearing 43 years old and having a historic year as the left fielder of the Giants, concluded action on Sunday with 750 homers, just five behind Hank Aaron's all-time MLB mark of 755, and will be starting for the NL in his home park. He overtook Alfonzo Soriano of the Cubs in the late balloting to snare the third and final starting NL outfield spot by 122,878 votes.
So let's do the math. On June 25, Russell Martin was leading Paul Lo Duca for the NL Catcher spot. For over a month, the Dodgers had an all-out campaign focused solely on Martin to get him the final spot. And in the final three-day push, Martin got an extra 741K votes to solidify his slot.
Bonds trailed Soriano by 122K votes on June 25. With three days to go, he turned that deficit into a 120K vote lead for the final slot. This is a swing of 242K votes, or about a third as many total votes as Martin, the focus of entire campaign from the #2 most populous city in the US, received during the same time period. Highly unlikely.
Of all the votes cast in the final three days for Bonds or Soriano (almost two million votes in total), Bonds would have had to have received 56% of the total votes. This gets a little squishy because an individual could cast a vote for both players on the same ballot. But think of it this way: For every three Soriano votes, Bonds would have had to have four votes for himself.
Chicago has a population of 2.8 million. San Francisco has a population of 744 thousand, roughly one-fourth the size of Chicago. And yet Bonds outpolled Soriano. Uh-huh.
If you think Bonds legitimately got his way onto the 2007 All-Star Game starting lineup, you have got to be kidding me. MLB snuck him onto the starting lineup because it couldn't afford to have the questions surrounding a San Francisco-based All-Star Game. And I'm not the only one who thinks the fix was on.
UPDATE: John Donovan over at si.com can't believe the vote count, either. Might there be a man behind the curtain, John? Or are you still putting teeth under your pillow?