Baseball Needs to Return the All-Star Game to Being an Exhibition Game…Without ‘Meaning’
The Major League Baseball season has reached the midway point of its season with the 2013 All Star Game on tap tonight in New York at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets. A few years ago it was determined that the winner of this game between the American League All-Stars and the National League All-Stars would gain the home field advantage in October’s World Series. When that decision was made, I was against the idea and I still am today.
This is a game that features the best players and it should be played as an exhibition game. All of the players should get into the game and if that means the last catcher on both teams gets injured then you could then reinsert one of the previous catchers. People want to see “The All-Stars” and they don’t need to root for one team over another.
What Major League Baseball has done is try to make this game worth something. What they failed to realize is that the All-Star game already had worth and they didn’t need to tinker with it. If the players felt the same as Major League Baseball does then the St. Louis Cardinals would have kept Adam Wainwright out of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs so he could pitch in the All-Star game to help the National League (hopefully the Cardinals) secure a game seven in their park in October if it is needed. Instead they pitched him Sunday and he will not be able to pitch in the game tonight because of it.
Before you blame Major League Baseball for this decision, some of that blame, and probably a majority of it , needs to go to the Fox TV Network, the company that has a long term contract with Major league Baseball. They thought they needed a hook to secure viewers to the game. In my opinion they thought wrong.
What they have accomplished is cause the best players in the game to take out a second baseman to break up a double play or smashing into a catcher to score a run thus risking the careers of some of the top players in the game today. All so the game has some “meaning”.
If you really want to decide who gets home field advantage in the World Series, go by the team with the best record. Make the games played during the 162 game season have “meaning”. Making a mistake is one thing, learning from it and making the changes needed to correct it is another. Major League Baseball needs to correct a bad decision made a few years ago and make the All Star Game what it always was, an exhibition game of the greatest ball players on earth. That’s good enough for me to watch.