It has become an annual tradition. Every year Major League Baseball announces its All-Star Game rosters, and every year there are howls of protest from fans and media. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, really. Well, get out your guns because Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made some curious choices for the National League, which at this point might as well just concede the game -- again.

Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto leads the NL in OPS at .984. Oh, you hate new-age stats? You only look at RBI and home runs and call it a day? Get over it. That combination of slugging percentage and on-base percentage is a simple way to see exactly how much total offense a player produces. Votto was ahead of everyone -- even Albert Pujols in that category -- entering play on Monday.

Votto also has 19 home runs and 57 RBI, so even old-schoolers like Manuel should know better. He deserves an All-Star spot. Hopefully the fans will come through for Votto, one of five finalists who could be voted into the game this week.

That was an absurd move by Manuel. But not putting the Mets' Mike Pelfry or the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw on the team is also dumfounding. When you're 10-2 with a 2.93 ERA like Pelfry is, you deserve a spot. Kershaw is 8-4 with a 3.02 ERA. There's no reason to have a reliever like Arthur Rhodes on the team instead of those guys. No one watches the All-Star Game for matchups. Just put the best starters in the game. Hardly anyone pitches more than one inning anyway. Plus, if Votto was on the team you'd still have three Reds and could just ditch Rhodes, who has pitched all of 33 innings in 2010. Most starters can hit that total in a month.

In the end, fans are going to botch picks -- Yadier Molina? Really? -- but they deserve to see the players they want to see. It's the manager's job to fix any wrongs. Manuel apparently didn't get that memo.