MLB All Star Game Shouldn’t Matter
- Updated: July 25, 2012
This month’s Major League All-Star Game marked the 10th anniversary of it counting, and it’s time that it stopped.
This time ‘it counts’ is one of commissioner Bud Selig‘s bad ideas that just won’t go away. There is so much wrong with an all-star game playing a role in deciding the outcome of that sport’s championship it’s tough to decide where to begin.
There is no way the game should be deciding who has home-field advantage in the World Series.
By concept alone, the all-star week should be nothing more than a chance for baseball execs to press the flesh and show off the best players in the game. It is an exhibition; that is all. A simple, fan-friendly experience.
The NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds must have been comforted in knowing that if they make it to the World Series their hopes could have been pinned on two members of the perennially putrid Chicago Cubs – Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro.
Or if the Texas Rangers make it back to the Fall Classic for the third year in a row, that they will once again be playing the most critical game of the series in someone else’s park because Mark Trumbo from the Kansas City Royals went 0-for-2. Over the last nine years, the team with home field advantage in the World Series has had a 6-3 record in that series. That’s a significant number.
This is what happens when there are two sets of obtuse, out-of-date rules.
First, every team must have representation at the game – because it was better for the game to have Oakland A’s relief pitcher Ryan Cook in Kansas City than Texas Rangers’ rookie sensation Yu Darvish.
If MLB wants the game to be what it always has been, a fan-oriented exhibition game, this is fine. It’s not fine when it plays a role in deciding the World Series.
It doesn’t have to count
Major League Baseball needs to come to grips with a couple of realities. First, not every all-star game is going to be great baseball. There is always the possibility of ties just as there is always the possibility of an 8-0 stinker, like this year.
And secondly, who cares? Why does this game have to count?
You want to make players care about the game, put a big enough carrot out there for them to care. As always, money talks. Why not $1 million to each player on the winning team?
It’s time Selig gave up the ghost.