Five Ways To Fix The All-Star Game

When I was growing up I used to love the All-Star Game. The game meant something to me because it was clear it meant something to the players. When two of my favorite players – Pete Rose and Ray Fosse – met at the plate during the 1970 All-Star Game in Cincinnati, it was clear it was not just another game. At least to those two.

FOSSE/ROSE: When the stars played with passion.

At one time they played two All-Star Games. These days there’s not too much of a game at all. It stopped being special when the vote was returned to the fans – ironically, in 1970 – because that’s when it became a popularity contest. Any election where a person can cast an indefinite amount of times is a farce by definition.

As far as I’m concerned, the game officially jumped the shark with interleague play. Soon after, MLB did away with the league offices and merged the umpires. And, of course, let’s not forget the farce of having the two leagues play with different rules regarding the DH.

Baseball’s All-Star Game is by far superior to other sports, but that doesn’t mean changes aren’t necessary. It doesn’t need tinkering, but an overhaul of serious proportions.

Here’s what I would do:

1. It is a pipe dream, I know, but the first thing would be to eliminate interleague play, thereby creating a distinction between the leagues. The leagues will always be blurred to some extent because of free agency and movement of players. Interleague play is a gimmick that has taken luster from the All-Star Game and World Series.

2. Knowing MLB will keep interleague play as long as Bud Selig is around, the next step would be to cut the nonsense about the winning league having home field in the World Series. As long as the fans vote and it is a popularity contest, having it have such an impact in the postseason is a contradiction. The notion of a fan vote, having each team represented and trying to play everybody is the opposite in essence of having the winner determine the Game 7 site of the World Series.

3. Take away the fan vote. Another pipe dream, but I’d rather eliminate the popularity contest angle. Maybe the managers and coaches, or players, or scouts, or media. The stipulation being you can’t vote for your own players.

4. Why should every team be represented? It’s like everybody getting a trophy in the second grade. The only caveat being the host city having a player on the team. Assuring each team being represented often ends up having a deserving player being snubbed.

5. Expand the rosters to include a lifetime achievement participant. If a player is at the end of his career and has been a perennial All-Star but is having a sub-par year, include him on the team. For example, had Chipper Jones had not made it as a late entry, then a spot should have been reserved for him. Give the public a chance to say good-bye.

11 thoughts on “Five Ways To Fix The All-Star Game

  1. I wouldn’t take away the fan vote. I’d modify into something like the BBWAA vote for MVP and Cy Young. Break it into 31 districts (each ball park and the internet). Give the top five in each district points on a downward scale 10-7-5-3-1 or whatever. So if 27 million Yankee fans want to flood into their stadium with the $1,500 seats and vote for Russell Martin, he gets 10 points.

  2. 1. Yes. And it ain’t happening while the current clown is running the show.
    2. Same as #1
    3. I would keep the vote. It is about the fans. It is not a real game.
    4. Haven’t you gotten the memo? EVERYONE is a winner. There is no such thing as a loser in competitive sports.
    5. That’s fine. It goes along with point 3. It is about the fans and it is not a real game.

  3. But the fan vote was proven right since Sandoval had a triple!
    /sarcasm

    Seriously, I read a tweet from Jim Caple who said something along the lines that why should only the east coast fans stuff the ballot box, and that “Panda” deserved his spot.

    Laughable. Sandoval is having a nice season, but not near as nice as Wright.

    I hope David tears it up in the 2nd half. I’d love to see him win MVP. And for this team to play meaningful games in October.

    • When you say meaningful games do you mean meaningful in the Wilpon sense or do you mean meaningful as in playing in the post season?

      • to paraphrase Jim Mora,

        “Playoffs, I’m talking Playoffs”

        Only 3 regular season games in October, vs the Feesh.

  4. I agree that this exhibition should not determine home field. Team with hte best record should get it. Don’t give me this crap about needing to have an idea earlier for booking hotels, until the playoffs reach the LCS, you won’t know anyway.

    The next bright idea Bud is having is to have DH in the NL parks during interleague, and pitchers hit in AL parks. Asinine.
    Since interleague will now be all season long, methinks we will see universal DH in a few years, something the players association will LOVE. Purists will hate it, but frankly, it makes sense to have the entire MLB play the same way, and we all know the PA will not give up the DH.

    • The next bright idea from buddy is to have baseball follow football.

      free substitutions, expand the roster, field a defensive team and an offensive team.

      The union will love it as more players more money.

      he will also allow corked bats and then aluminum ones. after all what better way to kill the pitcher and induce more hr’s since steroids are officially forbidden?

      it will also help break records and induce a new round of debate. what if the babe had an aluminum bat? how many more hr’s would he have?

    • Ed: You’re right about the hotels. There’s no problem with that in the NBA. The dates are all set, so there’s no problem. Besides, reservations can always be cancelled. … Regarding the DH, I don’t care if they have it or not. Just be consistent. Both leagues have it or both don’t. It shouldn’t be that hard.-JD