If you watched the Cubs-Dodgers blowout Sunday night, you heard plenty of debate about Manny Ramirez.
Way too much, as it were.
But there were a few interesting topics brought up:
1). Should Manny be allowed to begin a minor league rehab with 10 games left on his suspension?
2). If Manny is voted in as an All-Star starter, should he be allowed to play?
The first issue is not a Manny-specific rule. It's a baseball rule and in the collective bargaining agreement it states that a person suspended for 50 games for violating the drug policy can start a minor league rehab after serving 40 games.
I personally disagree with this, as the suspension should cover his time away from baseball. Sure, a week-long stint in AAA Albuquerque isn't the same as the majors, but it feels more like a 40-game suspension and this penalty should be more severe, if anything, not less.
The second issue may not come into play now, as the latest All-Star voting results have Manny slipping to fifth place in the N.L. outfielder vote behind Ryan Braun, Raul Ibanez, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran. Manny would need to make up 135,000 votes to crack the starting lineup.
And since he's eligible to come off the suspension on July 3 (and the All-Star Game on July 14), it's possible for Manny to play in the mid-summer classic.
Some think Manny should come out with a statement, urging fans to cast his vote for other deserving N.L. outfielders, thus not having to force Bud Selig's hand if he's voted in.
Frankly, I don't want to see Manny there, but by voting him in, this may finally change the way the All-Star voters are selected, which is long overdue. It's simply a popularity contest, having very little reflection of who is deserving.
What do you think about these two issues?
Should Manny be allowed to go on a minor league rehab stint? Should he be allowed to play in the All-Star game?