This year’s MLB All-Star Game was not the most exciting sporting event of the year, to say the least.
If you are just a casual baseball fan, watching the best players in the world go at it for just a combined three runs in more than three hours of action is just a huge disappointment. Baseball’s showcase of stars is different from the other major North American professional sports leagues for just one particular reason — home-field advantage.
Why MLB has adopted the notion that a glorified exhibition game can help determine the outcome of a World Series just baffles me. Why have players risking injury to compete for a reward that they and their team may not even get a chance to benefit from? Home-field advantage should be determined by the teams on the field, not star players from every team in baseball.
If I played for the Atlanta Braves and my opportunity to secure home-field advantage in a potential trip to the World Series is denied because a Pittsburgh Pirates player pops out on the All-Star Game’s final pitch, I would pull my hair out.
And for the fans, they really miss out on watching the best players in the world just let loose and have fun.
Most players have to take the game seriously for their respective team’s sake. That means pitchers will raise their games to a whole new level than what you would not expect in an exhibition game. The result of great pitching is a low score and a shutout. MLB must drop the World Series aspect out of the whole All-Star Game equation. It makes the game too serious when the All-Star Game is truly about the fans.
A contending team will play 162 grueling games to determine their postseason lives, but why does one exhibition game decide whether that team receives the ultimate advantage in the World Series or not?
It’s not right for the players, teams or fans of this wonderful game.