Tonight is the MLB All Star Game.
I remember when I was a kid how much I looked forward to the All Star Game. There was nothing better than going to games at Memorial Stadium and punching out the dots for the players you were voting for, which for me was usually every Oriole on the ballot.
But now, I can’t even bring myself to watch the game anymore. How did I get to this point? There are a myriad of reasons, but I think number one on that list is that the game matters.
The moment the game was made to award home field advantage for the World Series, it ceased to matter to me.
It’s an exhibition game. The stats don’t count towards anyone’s career numbers. Why should it count towards the World Series?
To that end, if the game is going to matter, then they need to change some things. First and foremost change the rule that every team has to be represented.
Great, Matt Wieters got picked, but does he deserve to be there? Is there a more deserving player that got snubbed to make sure every team is represented.
Just because there is an Oriole on the AL team doesn’t mean I’m going to watch the game. Just like it wouldn’t make me not watch the game if there wasn’t an Oriole on the team. This isn’t my son’s rec league. These guys are pros, they’ll get over it.
Next up is the rule that if a pitcher pitches on Sunday, they can’t pitch in the All Star Game. Depending on how rotations shake out this could keep several deserving pitchers out of the game.
I’ve heard that the pitchers are held to 30 pitches, and usually only one inning. However, I understand teams not wanting to risk their pitchers getting hurt in an exhibition game. So how do you fix it?
As Mike Schmidt said on Mike & Mike this morning, move the All Star Game to Wednesday. Simple as that. The break would be from Monday through Thursday and games could resume on Friday.
Maybe that adds a day on to the end of the season. Not necessarily. Just schedule one double header in the second half of the season and you’ve made it up without adding time.
Another problem I have is that players are now bowing out of the All Star Game. This is starting to become the Pro Bowl. If a player is on the ballot and voted in, he should be required to show up to the game. The only exceptions would be if they are on the DL prior to the game, or a family emergency arises. If a guy is nicked up and doesn’t want to play, I can accept that, but I think they should still make an appearance at the game.
Take Derek Jeter for example. He is saying he’s mentally exhausted and needs the break. Fine, don’t play, but at least make an appearance, tip your hat and be done with it. I’m sure MLB and the fans would like to honor him for becoming the first Yankee to get 3,000 hits.
When I was a kid, the players seemed to take pride in the game and played it like it was a World Series game. They wanted to win the game for their league. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. With free agency and Inter League play the players all know each other now and it seems to have taken some of that competiveness out of the game.
You also didn’t see the players from the other league as much back then. Now with ESPN, and again, Inter League play, you see these guys every night so that takes away from how special the game is.
So have fun watching the All Star Game. I’m going to be enjoying the Best of Randy “Macho Man” Savage on DVD.