Written by: Bobby Mette
At this time of year, players and fans around the league get excited to join forces with their rivals from across the country. It’s a time when players can have fun and not worry so much about winning, or at least it used to be. There are so many problems with the All-Star Game that it may actually be better to get rid of it or at least move it to the end of the year. Why in the world does an exhibition game determine which league gets home-field advantage? This is absolutely absurd! Since this is the case, unfortunately, how come fans get to vote for the starters? For those of you that are on the same page as me, enjoy. For all the other Bud Selig-lovers, enlighten me.
To start off, let’s just say as an example that the Pittsburgh Pirates make it to the World Series. Yes, I know. Just stay with me. (For those “baseball fans” who tune in during the last month, I’d check the NL Central standings.) Representing the American League, we have none other than the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates have the worst record of the eight playoff teams, and the Red Sox have the best record. But wait, four of the seven games are played at PNC Park in Pittsburgh? Huh? Ok, home field advantage has been proven by many statisticians out there as not as big of a factor as we think. Blah blah blah. While home field advantage may affect other sports more than baseball, would you rather play at home or away? Thank you. Why the Pirates, who clearly are the worst playoff team, should receive the majority of the home games in the World Series is beyond me. That’s the first point.
Next, how come Yankees fans and Red Sox fans are allowed to vote in all of their players? The league made a bad enough mistake by making the Midsummer Classic something of importance, but by letting the fans vote in the starters is an even worse mistake. It’s like letting 18 year olds vote. Are you kidding? Derek Jeter, the newest member of the 3,000 hit club, is the most popular player in baseball. He also is NOT the best American League shortstop. But it doesn’t matter because as long as he is wearing the pinstripes he will be starting for the American League forever. Now the fans actually did a much better job this year than in years past. How come though, they get to vote for the position players, but not the pitchers. They should vote for everyone or no one at all. But the only reasonable option would be the latter of the two.
This year, the number of players on the All-Star roster is the most ever. Why? Basically, it’s because players these days are too good for their fans and would rather take time off. With all of the soft rules regarding the game, players are able to step out and not play if they want to rest. They should have this right though, since the majority of the players in the league do get three days off. Well, if they are allowed to just drop out of this high honor, then why does this game count? Derek Jeter and many others have opted out of the game to rest. While the replacement of Asdrubal Cabrera may be the better option right now, players should not be able to say no to their invitation unless they are on the DL. Enter Jose Reyes. He is having a career year, and could win the MVP. He has just been put on the disabled list, however, and was replaced by Troy Tulowitzki. Should Reyes still earn his All-Star roster spot. NO!!!!!!!! If they are not playing in the game, they do not deserve the recognition. Now, this may seem a bit harsh for Reyes since he has a legitimate injury. But for guys like Jeter, they shouldn’t be given the right to a roster spot if they choose not to play. Basically they are saying that they are too good for their fans. But Jeter’s a Yankee, so he can do whatever he wants. What I think should be done is for one thing, let the managers pick EVERYONE, and also, the teams should not be decided until the weekend before the game. Giving players a week to think it over will only give them more time to turn down the offer. Let me clear one thing though. I love Derek Jeter, as does the rest of America. While many criticize his defense and call him overrated, he has done a lot for the game. He is the face of baseball, and while the game has just gotten through its darkest age, Jeter was someone fans could count on. He just accomplished a major feat of recording his 3,000 hit in very stylish fashion. He has been an icon his whole career and finally he has screwed up. He needs to be at the All-Star Game tonight. Period. But he will not be, which is a shame.
The League has just come up with a new rule that if a pitcher pitches the Sunday before the game, then they cannot pitch in the All-Star Game. I’m sorry. I forgot these are 10-year olds who can’t pitch a couple of innings on one day of rest. This rule doesn’t bug me as much as the others, but the player should have the right to say that he wants to pitch in the All-Star Game. Some guys may be having a career year and may never make it back to the game. They should be able to pitch if they are willing to and in good condition to.
Now, for the bright sides of the game. I do like the fact that the previous year’s World Series managers coach the game. This is a great way of paying respect to a couple of the hardest working managers in the game. Giving them the choice of choosing the pitchers and reserves is also a great idea. Just add on the starters to that list, and then we’re talking! I also like the fact that the players have a great time during the game. Since the rule has changed, players still enjoy participating in one of the better festivities sports has to offer. And this point is exactly why the game shouldn’t count. The players do not take it seriously. No matter what though, once the first pitch is thrown, I am glued to the T.V. like many others. For once Cubs fans get to cheer for Pujols (except this year) and Red Sox fans get to cheer for A-Rod and Jeter (again, except this year). Ok I’m done bashing the game. There still are a bunch of guys in the game that are fun to watch. There are many new faces, and it will be interesting to see if the N.L. could win back-to-back.
Prediction time. Getting on to this year’s game, I am going to have to go with the American League. I did like the NL’s lineup more at first, but Reyes was taken off, and the replacements on the AL Lineup make it a bit more complete. The AL will be without Verlander and King Felix, but they have enough weapons to take back the crown. I’ll bet it’s a close one just like most of the previous games. I think the MVP will come off the bench with a clutch performance. I’ll go with Jacoby Ellsbury. The guy had a great first half, and is poised to win Boston home field advantage against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
AL 6 NL 4