Tonight in Phoenix the 82nd annual MLB All-Star Game will be played at Chase Field. I enjoy the MLB All-Star Game very much, I think it is the best All-Star game in all of sports. However, the game is quickly losing a bit of luster.
In tonight’s game airing on Fox, more than 20-percent of the participating players will have replaced someone else due to injury or having pitched on Sunday or a certain guy not playing at all for other reasons (we’ll get to that in a second).
When I was younger, you did see the All-Stars there. Guys like Ken Griffey,Jr. and Barry Bonds and Greg Maddux and even Rickey Henderson. Now we’ve got a bunch of good players in there who are not quite All-Stars (at least some of them aren’t quite All-Stars yet).
It also bothers me when a healthy player like Derek Jeter bows out because he’s “physically and emotionally exhausted” from his pursuit of 3,000 hits. I know he just came from the disabled hist,but the guy went 5-for-5 on Saturday to get that 3,000th hit. He seems healthy to me. That’s a sorry excuse to not show up to a game that the fans want to see you at.
Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman and Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran have both said that he should be here if he is healthy and I agree. It is apparent that the league should make some changes to the game. Here are some suggestions:
1. No roster bonus to no-shows
I think that if you were named to the team and aren’t going to play that your bonus for being named to the team should be revoked unless you didn’t get a chance to play in the game or you were hurt prior to it. Just because you were named to the team doesn’t mean you earned the $150,000, you have to earn it.
2. Scratch a pitcher’s Sunday start if he is named to the All-Star team
I think it’s silly that a pitcher has to miss the chance to play in the All-Star game because he pitched on Sunday. Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia, Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez, James Shields, Justin Verlander are all not able to play because of this. I think they can afford to lose a start so they can be afforded the honor of playing in the All-Star Game. Some managers reset their pitching rotations for the second half of the season anyways so why would missing one start matter for them?
3. Don’t let the fans vote for starters
The fans don’t always get the starting line-ups right. I know it’s a game for the fans,but sometimes players get voted on because they like the player regardless of the season they are having. I don’t vote for the All-Star team because it spams up my e-mail and also all the Red Sox, Phillies,and Yankees fans cancel out my vote. I think the fans can vote for the players,but not the starters. The manager should decide that.
4. Healthy players that opt out should not be on the ballot the next year
If players like Jeter are going to treat an honor such as being named to an All-Star team like so, then they should not be on the ballot the next season. They don’t want to play the game anyway, so why give fans the chance to name them to it next year?
5. Shorten the Home Run Derby
Last night’s Home Run Derby was nearly four hours long and after the first two hours of it I got pretty bored with it. I say instead of three rounds, make it no more than two. I think if it is too long,fans lose interest even though they love the long ball.
Now many folks don’t like the home field advantage in the World Series being on the line for the game to matter and rightfully so. I do agree that it is a farce to an extent, but until somebody comes up with something better as an incentive for the game to matter somehow, I think it should stay in the game for the time being. If I knew of a way to replace something like that, that would’ve been number six on the list.
I think that some changes will be made in regards to this, only time will tell.