It's time to ROCK THE VOTE
If your circle of friends is anything like mine, you like to discuss all the ways you can save the world. My circle usually focuses on one major, hypocritical, liberty-oppressing issue but we do venture off into other topics, as well.
There is a pretty important vote coming up here in the great state of Wisconsin and, again, if your circle of friends is similar to mine, it’s been a major discussion topic since some time last year.
When it comes to casting a vote, you have to check the box for the person whom you TRULY believe is MOST deserving of your vote. I’m of the belief that for many issues, the two most-popular viewpoints or choices will be split just about evenly down the middle. And, no matter which person or party receives the most votes, the debate will rage on for eternity -- or at least until the next vote.
For months I have heard and read numerous comments from both sides regarding why their argument is best and why you should cast that specific vote. One only need browse this very website to read any number of comments for or against an idea or an individual, and every last commenter believes common sense and logic is on his/her side. While not everyone views it this way, I believe everyone has the right to believe he/she is correct because, in the end, opinion is all about perspective.
One's perspective is just that -- one perspective -- and there is no such thing as a wrong perspective. You know the old cliché about walking a mile in someone else’s flip-flops? It’s true. You have absolutely no way (especially when reading in black and white online) to know the life someone has lived in order to create his or her perspective.
I’ll get to the "no-brainer" in a second, but let me begin by sharing my perspective on why you should ROCK THE VOTE for Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun for the 2012 All-Star game.
Not one single person alive can even begin to comprehend the past six months of Mr. Braun's life. We can debate until we are blue in the face on whether Matt Kemp should have been named the 2011 N.L. MVP, but the fact remains that it was awarded to Ryan Braun.
In early December someone (likely an MLB insider) leaked to ESPN that Mr. Braun failed a urine test for performance-enhancing drugs and the circus began. What should have been an off-season filled with excitement and pride instantly was flipped upside-down.
I’m not going to pretend that I understand the thoughts that have run through Mr. Braun's head, but I imagine they were stress-filled and loaded with what-ifs. What if the appeal process didn’t work and, even though he was completely innocent, he had to deal with this for the rest of his life? What if no one believed he truly never ingested anything to enhance his performance?
I’ve seen Braun speak and perform enough to know that he certainly does not lack confidence and am sure he quickly erased those what-if thoughts and used them as motivation to go out and play even better this season. Still, it's not a pleasant way to spend an MVP off-season.
Which brings me to my argument for casting your vote for Mr. Braun (or 25 votes, per MLB rules): He dealt with that off-season, as well as losing one of the most-feared hitters in baseball behind him in the lineup, and still is batting better than .300 and in the top five in home runs and RBIs. In addition to losing his protection, the player signed to replace Prince Fielder in the lineup plays the first six weeks of the season with a batting average barely above the Mendoza line. Granted, Aramis Ramirez has hit the ball hard, but too often right at defenders. But what kind of pitches would you throw Mr. Braun if Ramirez is hitting behind him? Exactly. Vote Braun.
There are other outfielders who also deserve a vote, such as the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran. But the great thing about the MLB All-Star vote is that you can vote early, vote often and vote for several different people. No ID required.
Now for the "no-brainer." Despite an injury that will keep him out for four-to-six weeks, catcher Jonathon Lucroy thus far has had nothing short of a monster year and deserves your all-star votes as much as any catcher in the league. His batting average is close to .350, he has hit five home runs and driven in 29. Those are without a doubt all-star-caliber numbers, but when you add in the fact that he leads all of MLB by batting .533 (16-for-30) with runners in scoring position, you have the icing on the cake.
When it comes to casting the all-star vote, one thing I will not do is vote for an undeserving Brewers player simply because he is a Brewer. I’ll use Rickie Weeks as an example here, but literally everyone else on the team qualifies for this category. Rickie has been wearing that "potential" tag for as long as he’s been wearing a Brewers jersey. Anyone reading this knows we’ve seen that potential a few times only to lose it to injury. We’ve also seen Rickie get sent down to AAA, long after becoming a full-time big-leaguer, in order to get himself together. I hate to say this, because I love and (used to) believe in Rickie as much the soon-to-be Mrs. (who has him pretty much at the top of her list), but he has been awful this year.
I’m sure a commenter will tell me that this second baseman or that second baseman is deserving of my vote. I’m also confident they would have logic and reason on their side. I want to vote for Rickie, because who doesn’t like to see their guy win? But if I did so, I would be voting for the lesser of two evils and, when it comes to that option, I prefer to abstain. I also have been known to vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE," which is how I plan to vote in that other upcoming election.
Vote with your head and your heart, but most importantly, regardless of the outcome, let’s ALL be adults once and for all. Let's come together and forget about this crap until the next time we need to vote. Let the winner do his thing and, if it’s not your guy, go home and be quiet until the next cycle. Because regardless of who gets the vote, the hatred needs to stop.
("The Bullpen" notes: AMEN!)
Tim Thompson is a carsalesman, farmer, and huge fan of the Milwaukee Brewers. He lives in Milton area with his wife and two kids. Tim is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.