Major League Baseball’s All Star Game carries about the same amount of condescension and pity as someone holding a surprise party for themselves. Its one big MLB love fest, except anyone with a brain turns the game off and is left with animosity…or maybe that’s just me.
It all starts with the voting. Any bloke with a computer can vote for their favorite players regardless of whether they are deserving or not. I hate to be “that guy” but the old voting system where you had to actually go to a game to cast one was leagues better. Not only did it draw in more fans, but it also ensured that at least the fans who were voting cared enough about the game that they actually went to one. Don’t even get me started on the Twitter voting. That was one of the most asinine things I’ve seen. Not only did it destroy my timeline, but the fact that all of western Asia was able to vote for Yu Darvish was just completely unfair. Fan voting influence needs to be decreased. There are far too many snubs that should’ve made it and players that shouldn’t be there (ahem, Bryce Harper) that are.
The game used to mean something. But those days are long gone. Being an All Star used to be an honor and the players would reflect that on the field during the game.
Some players don’t even want to be there and until this year they were allowed to simply opt out. I’m sorry but I can’t take any game seriously in which a rule had to be instituted that players have to participate if elected or they will be fined if they don’t have a legitimate injury. Why wouldn’t you want players to play who actually want to be there? Wouldn’t that be more entertaining Bud Selig?
The fact that only 5 teams are represented in each of the starting lineups is utterly ridiculous as well. If I wanted to watch the Rangers, Tigers, or Yankees, I would just tune into ESPN on any given night. To combat this and in order to insure “fairness”, baseball mandated that every team must have at least one participant. So when you have so many from so few teams and then you have to add at least one more for the rest of the teams, it just gets to be a ridiculous amount of people. And some of them don’t even get to play. It’s just a microcosm of everything that is wrong with the MLB. You have the league dominated by a few teams and the MLB tries to make up for that but ends up failing (see revenue sharing, or lack thereof).
Sure, baseball’s All Star game is the closest thing to the real game, but that’s one of the problems with it. It’s the same as every other game. Interleague play has really done a number on its popularity. Before interleague play, the game used to be one of the only time you could see the best from the AL play the best from the NL. I have already seen the likes Bryce Harper, RA Dickey, and Dan Uggla because they have played the Orioles during interleague play. It has taken the sense of surprise and unpredictability out of it. It’s not special anymore because everyone has seen these most of these players play their team at some point.
And it’s not just the All Star game that is a joke. If you didn’t watch the Home Run Derby, I completely envy you. The fact that there was three hours of televised home run jacking is just absurd…THREE HOURS! The most exciting part of the whole thing last night was watching Adam Jones chow down on some ribs.
But the biggest mistake Major League Baseball has made with the Midsummer Classic was the knee jerk reaction to the tie that occurred ten years ago. Baseball’s genius idea to avoid future ties and to ‘make it more interesting’ was to add incentive to the game: home field advantage to the winning league in the World Series. I guarantee you that Adam Jones isn’t worried about striking out for fear the AL might get home field advantage in the World Series. I mean, he could care less about his own individual performance since getting his new contract. What if an 88 win team somehow makes it to the World Series against a 108 win team? You’re telling me the 88 win team should get home field advantage because their league won a scrimmage back in July? I’m sorry, but you can take that cow fodder somewhere else.
MLB’s All Star game is completely flawed as is every leagues all star game. But it will continue to exist because they get to show off their “best” players to everyone. It’s just one big advertisement for Major League Baseball; that Fox actually pays them for. Genius business strategy I’d say. I don’t blame them for having one. If I was in their position I would have a party for myself too.
I just blame people for watching the sorry excuse that is…