Here’s the thing: if FOX targeted the broadcast towards you and me and people who know their stuff, they would not make any money. They need your mom to watch the game. They need that guy in your office who still thinks that Brian Roberts is one of the best players on the Orioles to tune in. They need all the people who are curious what is the spectacle because there’s nothing else to do on a random Tuesday night in July to tune in and watch the game.
And those people don’t know anything. That doesn’t make them bad people; it’s just the truth. They don’t recognize even the big names on sight. What big names they do know are years behind. You probably know the kind of person I’m talking about – like, if someone asks you why wasn’t Alex Rodriguez playing last night? That’s who’s watching in big numbers. They like dugout interviews with players. They like human interest stories. They like getting the thumbnail sketch of every player they don’t know, which is nearly all of them.
We’ve got to grin and bear these things, it’s true. The All-Star Game moments are still in there underneath all of that dressing, though. Consider this: what’s your favorite All-Star memory from when you were a young kid?
I’ll tell you mine: Randy Johnson facing John Kruk in the 1993 All-Star Game. I was 9. I’d heard of the Big Unit, never seen him; had a vague awareness of Kruk. To this day it’s one of my favorite baseball memories. It was so ridiculous, and unlike anything I’d ever seen before! (P.S. Cito sucks.)
Think about your memory from those more innocent days. You think the 9 year old budding baseball fans of the world didn’t get a kick out of something even in Tuesday night’s 8-0 snoozefest? What if that was the first time they ever saw R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball, or Mike Trout or Bryce Harper? I, for one, am heartened by the thought of some kid’s first and enduring memory of Harper being his complete confusion in the face of a routine pop-up. Those magic moments that launch a lifetime of love for this wonderful game are still there.
So, just accept that the game isn’t for you. You will be happier. You can still enjoy the little things, like the fact that Tuesday night we got to watch three Orioles appear in the All-Star Game – on the field at the same time, no less – for the first time in seven years. That is pretty cool, isn’t it? I’d say so, worth sitting through three otherwise boring hours.
When the game is over, you can turn to your place of choice for passionate, knowledgeable sports discussion – WNST, let’s say. You can vent, detox and complain, and that is fine. But while the game is going on, instead of getting mad, just remember one thing: it’s not for me. And that’s perfectly okay!
That’s how I learned to stop worrying and love the All-Star Game.