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Monday, July 11, 2005

The All Star Game Rant

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks
I don't care if I ever get back

Baseball’s All Star Game sucks. The way the game is played now, it’s just a major anxiety attack for most people involved.

Don’t get me wrong I used to love *love* the all star game. It truly was the crowning point of summer. I was watching the back-to-back homers by Evans and Bo Jackson, I watched Puckett’s homerun, and I enjoyed all of it.

The players seemed to want it, the game didn’t seem as dependant on crazy stats (maybe it was just me), and there weren’t the problems like the game has today.

1. 2002 All Star Game
For a long time I was vehemently opposed to the outcome and used it as another Selig blunder. The game ended in a tie because it went into extra innings and the bullpens were out of pitchers.

The end of the game saw very respectable managers Joe Torre and Bob Brenley talking about their thought process on why they both conceded.
-No one left. How could they change the rules to let another pitcher pitch?
-How in anyone’s right mind would a manager simply keep the last pitcher on the mound until the last run? Talk about screwing another manager, if Torre kept the last pitcher out there, that pitcher’s manager would probably rip Torre’s jugular out. And rightfully so because you’re probably putting that whole team in jeopardy by burning out their All-Star player in a useless game.
-It’s an exhibition and everyone’s got games in 24 hours. Again a great reason.

Basically Torre and Brenley gave very logical reasons for why the all star game is worthless and why it needs to be unimportant.

They basically killed any interest and sabrematician had and all the love any decent baseball fan had in the All Star Game.

Imagine being the White Sox manager (let’s just say he’s the AL Manager) on Tuesday. Think about all the stupid decisions he has to mull over:
-make sure everyone plays
-make sure all the teams are represented
-make sure your starter pitches two full innings, but don’t overdue it.
-give the stupid interview from the dugout in-between innings
-try not to piss off Twins/Indians fans by not playing their players
-try not to piss off twins/Indians fans and personnel by over playing their players
-As much as you don’t want to play them, you have to play your own White Sox players.

And this is right in the middle of a successful year with his White Sox.

Talk about a tough spot and walking a thin line.

2. The “fans”
With all the above reasons that totally by-pass the game we have these complete pseudo-fans. They can’t be fans because baseball fans know how worthless and boring the all star game is. Real baseball fans know that this is just a scrimmage between all the players that wanted to show up and the dumb people that voted them there.
There is the play for the home-field in the world series deal, but the why the hell does Mike Sweeney care? Not to mention that there’s a whole half season of baseball where anything can happen.

3 “oh I can’t believe ________got snubbed!”
Do you people have stock in this player? Would you have won a free Coke if he went?
Why does it matter? It’s not like you’re going to watch more than 3 innings anyway.
It’s not like this snub would’ve avoided his useless pinch run effort in the 8th inning anyway.
Not to mention that sometimes they were snubbed for a reason.
Torii Hunter a snub? I don’t think so. Not until he learns patience at the plate.

4. The home run derby
This always sounds better than it really is.
The thing that makes the home run so great is that it only happens so often in a game. You could be like me on Sunday sitting around eating hot dogs and BLAMMO, tie game.

Now when you gather all those home runs and spoon feed us dingers it doesn’t have nearly the same effect because nothing is involved. It’s nothing more than glorified batting practice between 8 players (four players too many).
Like the slam dunk competition, the home run derby is boring and stupid.


So with all the sensitivity of players and the fear of ruining fellow rival ball clubs the only way to hold an All Star Game would be to stick it after the world series.

BUT it wouldn’t have the same feel of the mid summer classic because it would be in friggen November. Not to mention that the players would definitely not care. It wouldn’t be any better than the Pro-bowl.

So you have to keep it in mid-July, BUT it doesn’t mean anything but pride from the past.

That’s why you scrap all the major league ball players and replace them with the AAA all stars. Then throw in an incentive where the winning team’s players automatically are locked into their club’s roster and it wouldn’t count against anything. Basically a team would have 26 players instead of 25.

That way the AAAer’s would play a competitive game, play in a major league stadium, and the fans would see a potential good all star game that has meaning to each of the players.

Of course there is then union problems and the whole calling up bit.

I think it would be a helluva lot better than the crap the All Star Game is now.

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