Before I start today’s rant, I want to extend my sympathies to the New York Yankees family for the loss of George Steinbrenner, who died Tuesday at age 80. I may have hated him, but he cared about his team and built the Yankees into a juggernaut. And for that, I gotta give some respect.
Now, on to the matter at hand. The All-Star game has problems in its current form. It’s an exhibition game, yet it “counts,” as the league that wins the game gets home field advantage for the World Series. MLB has had problems with the managers running out of pitchers if the game goes into extra innings. So here’s some unsolicited advice for how to fix the ASG.
Do away with the “every team gets an All-Star” rule.
It’s really not necessary. Just because Fausto Carmona is in the game this year does not mean I’m more likely to watch the game. Besides, there are many players who simply aren’t deserving of the All-Star title that get it simply because their team needs a representative. I’d make one exception to this rule: the host team has to have at least one All-Star. I think that’s fair, and it gives the local fans something to be proud of.
Do away with fan voting, except for the Final Vote.
Simply put, most fans are idiots and every year a deserving player gets snubbed because the fans voted in a big name who might not be as deserving. There’s also the problem of ballot stuffing, which was somewhat fixed this year by only allowing fans to vote 25 times online. Fans can still vote more at the ballpark. And there’s a lot more fans at a Yankee game than a Tribe game. I’d still allow the fans to do the final vote, where then they could vote in a fan favorite that they want to see at the game.
Put a cap on how many players a manager may select from his own team.
I know they got a great record and all, but seriously Joe Girardi? You needed to take six of your own guys to Anaheim? Put a cap on it. You can take three of your own guys (I just selected an arbitrary number). Then you need to go fishing on other teams.
Don’t award home field advantage to the winner of the ASG.
Why? Because it’s an exhibition and it should be played like one. Home-field advantage should go to the team with the better record, y’know, like in most sports. Award the winner something else, like the decision to take an extra off day in the playoffs or not (something they currently award to the team with the best record).
Tie game? Play till 11 innings, then it’s home run derby time.
Look, extra innings are exciting, it’s do-or-die time. But they can drag on forever, depleting a manager’s bullpen and forcing them to play position players at pitcher. That’s not what the ASG should be. So let them play for a couple innings of extra innings, and then bust out the bats. Pick three to five players on each side, each team picks a designated home run derby pitcher, and each player gets five swings. Tell me this wouldn’t be awesome. I don’t even care how you’d score a winner, because I’d be rooting for the game to be tied every single time. Home run derbies are sweet, and you’d finally find a way to get the biggest names into the derby.
So there you have it. Ed Carroll’s plan to fix the All-Star Game. Feel free to comment and leave more suggestions.