Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Make It Count" no more


By
Make it 13 years in a row that the Junior Circuit or “younger brother” of baseball is undefeated at the Midsummer Classic. While the American League was rewarded with home field advantage in the World Series once again, fans and players alike are still uneasy with Bud Selig’s decision to “make it count”.

I saw interviews with players like Justin Morneau and Derek Jeter saying they would actually prefer that the team with the better regular season record receive home field advantage. Keep in mind these comments were coming from American League All-Stars, so I imagine that after losing home field advantage for the past seven years, the National League All-Stars probably feel the same way.

Bud Selig’s decision to reward home field advantage to the winning league at the All-Star Game was merely his way to attach some semblance of merit to the game that had already lost all meaning after the 2002 debacle.

If the All-Star Game truly means something, then why not let the coaches pick the starting rosters to give themselves the opportunity to field the best possible team? If it’s that important then don’t leave it in the hands of fans to pick the starters when it’s often just a popularity contest anyway.

There is no other league in professional sports other than the MLB that has any weight whatsoever to their All-Star Game. By rewarding the winning team, the commissioner in essence has turned the All-Star Game into a farce by trying to make it serious yet sensational at the same time. Bud Selig needs to step back and see the All-Star Game for what it is - an exhibition.

7 comments:

  1. I actually love the fact that it determines home field advantage.

    Look at how close the games have been the last few years. The National League either:

    A) Can't close the deal
    B) Are coming up just short

    It'll turn around for the NL, and the critics will fly away.

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  2. I agree with finding some balance in the whole thing - if it's going to matter, then you've got to tone down the importance of fans in determining it, like you say. I doubt that the likelihood of winning would change much, but to tell a manager that he's playing for something, then dictate his starting fielders to him doesn't make any sense. I look forward to the day when fans put Jeter on the All-Star pine for a full nine innings.

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  3. Dan, I can't decide if so many people are criticize the ASG lately because the American League keeps winning, or because they're just tired of the winning team getting home field advantage.

    QJays, the fans are the only reason that Derek Jeter is playing at all in the All Star Game.

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  4. I'm sitting on the "it's a joke" side of the fence when it comes to making it count.

    The better regular season record is what gives home field advantage in the NBA and NHL playoffs instead of who wins the half-hearted midseason exhibition game. Why should home field advantage as a result of a regular season record cease after the LCS, all the current system does is encourage teams with their spot locked up to rest their stars down the stretch instead of striving to be the absolute best during the regular season.

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  5. Yes, in case it wasn't clear -- what I meant was that you could let the fans make a few choices, but the manager can still decide not to use the duds the fans choose. Jeter would be a good example, (but I doubt most managers would want to bench fan faves in any case). I think it would be awesome if a guy (like Jeter) garnered a bunch of fan votes only to have the manager say "not a great player -- to the bench with him!"

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  6. If Jeter was voted onto an All-Star Game as wasn't used, I'm afraid there would be riots in New York!

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  7. Yeah - the HoF sort of works that way too.

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