Daily Archives: July 13, 2011

How to Make the All-Star Game More Interesting

The pool might had as much coverage as the actual game...

I just got done reading a fellow bloggers post (Chris Ross) on why the All-Star game is boring, and doesn’t need to be meaningful to be relevant. Seeing how I doubt the A’s will be in the World Series anytime soon I don’t really care that home field advantage is a result from the game, but do agree with most everyone that it’s ridiculous to have the outcome effect the World Series. Exhibition does not equal “meaning something” last time I checked, but who are we kidding, we want to be entertained regardless of the stakes.

The ASG has been on the decline for years now (based on the ratings the last few years), and with numerous players dropping out for whatever reason, we don’t usually even have the real “stars” of the game out there playing. I read the other day that over 10% of the league made an All-Star team for a second straight year. How ridiculous is that? I understand pitchers ducking out from pitching too recently, and other guys actually ON the DL, but guys like Jeter being “emotionally tired” is stupid reason to miss the mid-summer classic. I hope he donated the money he got for getting selected, because he doesn’t deserve that bonus. Maybe he knew deep down he didn’t deserve to be the starter and wanted Asdrubal to start in his place since he was clearly better this year. Either way he should’ve at least shown up.

Anyways, this wasn’t supposed to be a bash the guys who are in the game post. It was supposed to be a little constructive, so here’s three easy ways I think that the MLB could fix the All-Star game aka make it more competitive and entertaining for us baseball fans…

  • This first move would automatically make me like the actual game more. Have the players that the people voted into it, finish the games. Maybe that won’t work with pitchers, but for the hitters this is an easy way to change the structure on how it’s managed. I want to see the best players decide the game in the clutch. I don’t care about seeing players like Miguel Montero, Matt Wieters, Howie Kendrick, Scott Rolen, etc. coming up when it matters in the late innings. I want to see the starting lineup out there, so let’s make a rule that all the fan selections come in to play after the fifth or sixth inning to finish the game or as close to that selected starting lineup as possible.
  • Offer up a monetary gain for the winning team. I don’t know one person that isn’t inspired by money, and I doubt even the players could pass up the chance to win an extra half million each. Instead of just giving all of them a $500K check as thank you for showing up bonus, they should only give that “bonus” money to the winning team. Let’s see how serious the players get with a half million on the line. Maybe even make the losing team donate some money to charity or something along those lines.
  • Push the game back one day. This seems like the easiest fix on my list. Start the season one day earlier and give the players one extra day before the ASG, so we can get the best pitchers to pitch. No offense to Robertson, Wilson, Walden, or League, but wouldn’t you rather see Verlander, CC, Felix, Price, and Haren pitching instead? No need to answer, it was a rhetorical question.
One last quick thing they should do is add some more skills challenges. It feels like the HR derby is as popular as the actual game, so why not try to add to it. I don’t give two craps about the celebrity softball game, ok maybe watching EA and Kate Upton wasn’t terrible TV, but it wasn’t good either. How about they do an outfielders challenge where they set up targets on all the bases and you get points for accuracy and maybe some bonus point for hitting targets on the fly. How about a game of horse between pitchers. Like throwing certain pitches to parts of the strike zone like a whiffle ball strike zone, and making the next guy match it or they get a letter. How about a presidential race like in Washington. Put some players in those funny president suits and have them run a lap. I could think of a million stupid little games that I would watch if pros were doing it, so I’m not sure why they wouldn’t try to include a few extra skills challenges, and I’m sure the players would be down, well, at least the ones that like to have fun. As always though, no changes will be made and baseball will be stuck in reverse yet again…