The All Star game is an exhibition, let’s keep it that way

It’s been a decade Mr. Selig and baseball fans still don’t like your “All Star Game for home field in the World Series” idea.

Following tomorrow’s game on TBS, we’ll all gather around our televisions to watch the announcement of the 2012 All Star teams. It’s exciting, especially if you’re favorite player is bound for All Star glory in Kansas City this year. There will be a great lead up to the game (happening on July 10) and it will certainly draw the same amount of excitement and scrutiny as the game has in recent years. Most, if not all of you are aware that the All Star game now counts. Yes, an exhibition game whose starters are voted on by the fans counts for something big. The winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series.

While it certainly hasn’t always been the case, the National League has claimed the last two All Star Games and the National League champion claimed the World Series title (the Giants in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011). In 2010 for example, the Braves’ Brian McCann came through with the game winning hit, propelling the National League to home field advantage in the Series. The NL Champion Giants (who had to beat McCann’s Braves in the NLDS) ended up beating the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

Now it’s hard to say that the home field advantage really matters. From 2003-2009, the American League won the All Star game, but the World Series was far less lopsided. Between those same years, the AL Champion claimed the World Series crown four times and the NL Champs took the Series three times. Not exactly strong evidence that the home field advantage card makes a difference, but the fact still remains that an exhibition game is being used to determine which league gets an extra World Series game, including the first two games.

With this year’s All Star Game a mere 10 days away, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether it’s fair for home field advantage in the World Series to be determined by the exploits of a player or players that may not even get close to October baseball. If a player from the Cubs or Twins gets a game winning hit, that could have a major effect on a team that actually has a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. That’s just wrong. Yes, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had to do something after the debacle that was the 2002 All Star Game, but after all these years of having the game count for something still doesn’t make it right. After a decade, it’s time to shift the All Star Game back to what it really is, an exhibition. It’s a great way for fans and players to enjoy a brief break from the regular season. There shouldn’t be a strategy to winning an All Star Game except to have fun and give everyone you can a shot at playing. If you win, all you should get (besides a bonus) is bragging rights for the rest of the season, nothing more.

Let’s enjoy the All Star Game for what it is, and maybe we can hope that Mr. Selig (or his successor) will end this ridiculous idea that the All Star Game should have an impact on the playoffs. It shouldn’t. ‘Nuff said.


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