The thing about the All-Star game
I used to take voting standards quite seriously: I’d argue with people about how much you should weight season-to-date against season-from-All-Star-to-All-Star and career achievement.
I came around eventually to this: it doesn’t matter. Once you let the fans elect the players, whatever standards individual fans want to use is fine. It’s like any other democratic election: you can tell me what I’m voting for, and you can argue why, but I’m the only person who comes up with a basis for my decision.
And that’s fine. It doesn’t work that well, but neither do manager selections, and it means that sometimes Cal Ripken plays when he doesn’t reaaaaallly deserve to on any basis but “we want to see Cal Ripken in the All-Star game again”… but that’s fine.
It’s actually kind of awesome: we spend the whole season powerless as our manager plays Miguel Cairo and bats him next to Jose Vidro, and for once we have some small, direct, fractional say in whatever way we want.
Or, to shorten this: vote for Ichiro if you want to see him in the All-Star game, whatever your reasoning, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The problem, to harp on this one more time, is that the game, which is a staged pony show featuring ponies picked through a capricious voting method, has any affect at all on who wins the World Series. I blame Bud Selig.