Here’s how to fix the MLB All-Star Game…

July 09, 2007 | Drew Forrester

…get rid of it.

For a bunch of reasons, the mid-season classic just doesn’t have the same luster it did in the 70′s and 80′s.  It would take five blogs to chronicle everything wrong with the All-Star Game, but for starters, the thing starts too late.  If the first pitch can’t be in the air by 7:35 pm, something’s wrong.  I don’t want to hear anything about TV ratings.  They could play the Super Bowl at midnight and the same number of people would watch the game.

But for purposes of this blog, let’s just fix the All-Star Game with one easy sweep of the broom and a solution to giving the fans what they want – good, meaningful baseball.

Get rid of the All-Star Game as we know it.  There, that was easy.

Now, here’s how you replace it.

Play a one-game, mid-season, $20 million dollar game of baseball.

Rotate the city that hosts the game just like you do the current All-Star Game.  This year, “my” game would be in San Francisco.

Who plays?  That’s simple too.  The two teams with the best winning percentage after they’ve played 81 regular season game get the nod in the American and National leagues.  In this year’s case, after 81 games, that would have been the California (LA) Angels and Milwaukee Brewers.

Here’s what’s at stake:

The winning team gets $4 million – the losing team gets $1 million.  This money is divided equally among all players on the roster who played in at least 20% (16 games) of the club’s first 80 games.  Each team trainer gets $25k and another $75k per-team is divided between the coaching staff.  That’s a total of $5.2 million.  The other $800,000 goes to the game’s “3 stars” (to borrow a hockey term).  The 1st star of the game gets $400k, the 2nd star gets $250k and the 3rd star gets $150k.  That’s a total of $6 million.  Suddenly, EVERYONE wants to be the MVP – or the 1st Star if you will.  The media or the players can vote on the 3-stars of the game.

The winning team secures home-field advantage for their league in the World Series that year.

The remaining $5 million goes to a charity designated by the HOST TEAM (in this case the San Francisco Giants) to be dispersed in their city and their city only.

EVERYONE wins in this case.  The players (remember, they have to make a living) get to play for a $4 million winner’s check…the winning team helps their league…and the host team – besides making REVENUE off of the game – gets to give a charity in their city a $5 million check from MLB.

Wait, where’s the other $9 million?  Easy.  The fans get it.

MLB gives away $1 million EVERY INNING except the 1st inning.  That’s $8 million.

How would $100,000 change YOUR life?

Well, what if 80 names were chosen and each of those people got $100k?

All you have to do is watch the game on TV.  And have a computer.

I’m don’t have enough time to sit here tonight and devise the plan to give-away the $8 million.  That’s simple.

Everyone enters via their computer, the names are drawn, and displayed on the screen in between innings during a commercial break.

Sponsors are happy – people are actually WATCHING the commercials (in order to claim your $100k, you must log-on with a special password within 15 minutes) – and anyone investing their time has the chance to win $100k.

This is now a game that actually means something TO EVERYONE.

Sure, two teams have to play one more game…while everyone else in baseball gets a rest, they have to play a game.  But that’s what you get for being in first place after 81 games.  You get the chance to play for a $4 million winner’s check.

Oh, I forgot the final $1 million, right?

That money goes to one fan in the stands.

Yep, someone in the stadium goes home $1 million richer.

Again, it’s late and I don’t have time to figure out how to give it away.  But we can all come with cool ways to give away $1 million to someone, right?

So, to re-cap.

The thing formerly known as the All-Star Game but now called something else is worth $20 million.

$4 million to the winning team.

$1 million to the losing team.

$800k to the “3-stars of the game”.

$25k to each team trainer/training staff and $75k to each coaching staff – a total of $200,000

$5 million to the HOST TEAM’s designated charity.

$8 million to the fans watching the game on TV.

$1 million to one fan in the stadium watching the game live.

By my math, that’s $20 million.

Now, go find a sponsor and let’s get selling.

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