Bet you haven’t heard that joke before.
The All Star Game voting process is not perfect. Fans vote for the starting position players, which lead to selections like Aramis Ramirez over Todd Frazier, Nelson Cruz over Edwin Encarnacion, or even the not as big of a deal Giancarlo Stanton not being a starter. Players get to choose, and why they couldn’t choose Chris Sale or Corey Kluber is still anybody’s guess, but the managers get a chance to make things right as well. You can read Keith Law’s opinion piece that includes questions on why Josh Harrison is in and how come Buster Posey is not due to Devin Mesoraco, or Jeff Passan’s that talks about Jeff Samardzija being ineligible for the ASG and how that’s a farce, and I think he’s right. All of this shows us the incredibly obvious: the way we select our All Stars is not perfect, thus endangering the exhibition that decides home-field advantage to be not as entertaining.
Home-field advantage came about to provide more of an incentive for teams to care about the result of the All Star Game, so as to not repeat any ties in an All Star Game, heaven forbid that happen in a game that counts. Of course, this is about dollars and ratings, a lot of us would still tune in regardless of what the cost of the game was. Now, instead of the team that proved it could perform better over 162 games getting the start at home, one game that could be extremely fluky ends up deciding things like the Giants starting in Texas or the Tigers starting in San Francisco. Do I have ideas for providing a larger incentive for teams winning the game? Not really. Should there be an incentive to winning the game besides the natural desire to want to beat your opponent? I’m not entirely sure. This could be another chance for players to get more money to donate to organizations and/or families in need, and I think that would be a lot cooler than home-field advantage.
The All Star Game is also on a Tuesday night. I normally play softball at this time, and this needs to be fixed right away. Come on, Major League Baseball!
I find those to be the biggest faults. I can’t say I’m mad at any of the ASG selections, because injuries will happen, starters will be unavailable, thus replacements will be needed. Will all deserving make it? No, and that might cost some an extra million, or an extra guaranteed year on a contract. Certainly is unfortunate, but wuddyagonnado. The rosters are large enough and the game is still going to be fun, just maybe not as fun as it could be.