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Far be it from us to imply that someone isn't taking the All-Star Game seriously. But the facts are these: Manny Ramirez was the top vote-getter in the American League this year. And Manny isn't going. He says he has a sore knee, so you know, count him out. We know you are shocked by these developments, just as you were in 2000 when he didn't play, and in 2003. There is a move afoot, actually, to remove Ramirez from future All-Star ballots unless he promises to attend, according to Boston Globe columnist Ron Borges.

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No one has officially told Bud Selig about any of this, of course. At this point Selig is like the dad trying to organize fun party games at his son's 10th birthday party, and the kids are having none of it; preferring to run around outside in the sprinklers. Truthfully, no one wants to attend his All-Star Game; it's just that it's expected. The fans went to a lot of trouble voting online, you know (clicking that mouse is hard), so you had better show up!

We like the All-Star Game, but at the same time we can hardly blame players for not wanting to participate. Too much is at stake if you get hurt. We soon see the day when it holds all the significance of the NFL Pro Bowl. Which is to say, they had better move it to Hawaii quick.

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Selig Up Front About Absence [Boston Globe]
Manny Ramirez, The Slugger Who Cried Wolf [MSNBC]