I think we can all agree the fact that Major League Baseball’s all-star game determines home-field advantage in the World Series is an embarrassment.
The mid-summer classic is supposed to be a celebration of America’s past-time, where the sport can display its best players to a national audience.
Instead, commissioner Bud Selig has created an oil and water mix of keeping the game as a celebration, but also a game that’s become pathetically meaningful.
Derek Jeter was voted by the fans to start at shortstop for the American League all-stars. Jeter has been the face of baseball for nearly 2 decades, and since this is his last year playing, he deserves to be recognized for everything he’s done for the sport.
As a fan, I want to see Jeter start (all biases aside). But since Jeter doesn’t technically “deserve” to start based on his average at best stats, it creates a conflict.
Either you celebrate Jeter’s career with one last all-star game, or you put on the field the player having the best season so the AL has as high a chance as possible of clinching home-field advantage for the World Series. Sorry Bud, you shouldn’t be able to get it both ways.
If the player that was having the best season were starting at shortstop, Alexei Ramirez would most likely be the guy. Ramirez leads all AL shortstops in hits, home-runs, and is 2nd in RBIs.
That brings me to my next point, of how to fix the game. Take a look at the ratings the World Cup got when the United States was playing. National pride took over and tons of people that knew nothing about the game tuned in to support America.
Major League Baseball can do the same thing by making the all-star game US vs. the World, no more home-field advantage nonsense.
You can have specially designed US uniforms, and world uniforms. Just like the World Cup, probably not to the extent, but people would tune in for national pride purposes to see if the United States can take it to the rest of the world.
Imagine this: a US team with Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Troy Tulowitzki, and Clayton Kershaw representing their country against Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, and Masahiro Tanaka. You make the game about American pride, and people will watch.
What should decide home-field in advantage is whatever team has a better record. If you perform better in the regular season and make it to the World Series, you should be rewarded. Imagine that concept.
What do you say Bud?