5 Reasons Why Incentive-Laced MLB All-Star Game and Festivities Are Best In Sports
5 Reasons Why MLB All-Star Game and Festivities Are Best In Sports
Every year around the middle of July, I find myself in more heated arguments than usual. No -- it's not about my insane love for fireworks, it's about the way MLB handles its All-Star Game and festivities opposed to the way that the NBA, NFL and NHL do. Naturally, the pessimistic sports fans of the world like to ridicule the event because of the controversial rule that Bud Selig implemented after the 2002 MLB All-Star Game in Selig's hometown of Milwaukee.
Unlike any other sport, the MLB's All-Star Game is laced with incentives and the biggest is that the winning team between the National League and American League is awarded home-field advantage in the upcoming World Series. You won't find a bigger supporter for this rule than me -- this one little niche allows the fans to see a game that is actually competitive instead of another meaningless exhibition.
The NFL Pro-Bowl, NHL All-Star Game and the NBA All-Star Game are an absolute eyesore due to the halfhearted effort shown.
However, there are other things about the MLB All-Star Game festivities that make them the best in sports. For example, what other sport has children out in the outfield shagging fly balls? These kids are given the opportunity to be on national television, so even if they drop a few balls then they can still tell their friends "Hey -- I was on TV and you weren't."
No. 5 Reason Why MLB All-Star Game Rocks: Fans Vote for All-Stars, Twice
We all know that the fans pay for the salaries of this high-profile players. However, professional sports teams rarely give the fans a say -- the MLB allows fans to vote for the American League and National League starting lineups. If the starting nine wasn't enough, the "Final Fan Vote" allows fanatics to send a player who didn't make it on the original roster to be sent to the "Midsummer Classic." Baseball is America's pastime, so it kind of has to be the most democratic of the four major sports.
No. 4 Reason Why MLB All-Star Game Rocks: Festivities Are Extremely Kid-Friendly
Piggybacking off of the last slide, baseball is known as a sport that fathers and sons can latch onto together. Fathers have passed down baseball cards, bats, and gloves for generations, which means the kid-friendly nature of the MLB All-Star Game and festivities is perfect. No other league caters to the youth quite like MLB does and it's nice to see such a commitment to the future.
No. 3 Reason Why MLB All-Star Game Rocks: Timing is Everything
There are enough great sporting events on the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are usually log-jammed with sports, so baseballs decision to put the All-Star Game in the middle of the week is another great move on MLB's part. This allows fans to come home from work and enjoy a competitive baseball game and make the work week that much shorter. In addition, the Home Run Derby combined with the All-Star game makes for two days of baseball-related drama.
No. 2 Reason Why MLB All-Star Game Rocks: Home Run Derby is Magically Unique
Love it or hate it, the Home Run Derby is legendary. Thousands of baseballs have been sent out of parks across the country and we've had the pleasure of seeing guys like Jason Giambi and Josh Hamilton just go bananas and smash balls into the nosebleeds. Also, who can forget the crazy show that Robinson Cano put on in 2011 when he won the Derby with his Father serving as the New York Yankees' slugger's batting-practice pitcher? It's moments like those that define baseball history and separate the MLB All-Star Game festivities from the rest.
No. 1 Reason Why MLB All-Star Game Rocks: All-Star Game Is Actually Competitive
What's the point of playing a sport if you're not going to keep score? I understand that All-Star Games have been lighthearted, comical and stress-free events in the past, but why take the opportunity of having the best baseball players in the country on the same diamond and waste it on an exhibition. Granting the winner of the AL vs. NL battle home-field advantage in the World Series is nothing short of brilliant. Throwing this incentive in the match up calls for a riveting game in which the fans are subjected to an actual game and not a scrimmage.