Friday, July 18, 2008

My ideas to make the All Star Game better

There is a lot of debate about the All Star game counting. I'm sitting here at work listening to the Detroit Tigers broadcast, and the announcers are talking about how they both agree that the All Star Game should just be an exhibition, and it should not count.

I couldn't disagree more. I watched that game the other night. It was a great game. And I can honestly tell you that I would not have even bothered watching that game if it didn't mean something.

The first All Star Game was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago in 1933. The reason they had this game was so that the fans would have a chance to see all the stars of the day all in one spot. Back then, when they didn't have TV, fans never saw the players unless they went to the game.

Today, however, with TV, every baseball fan can see any baseball player no matter where in the world he is playing. So, the need to see all the stars in one place is diminished. Therefore, the need to play an All Star game is trivial.

So, why not have something to play for. Why not give All Star Game snubs a reason to play the game. And give slackers like A-Rod a reason to stay for the whole game (he left the game on Tuesday night early).

The game on Tuesday lasted 15 innings, and did not end until 1:25 a.m. That poses a problem. It poses a problem not just because of the length of the game, but because most managers want to play all the players, but at the same time they are playing to win.

K-Rod was pitching in the 9th, and he was pitching well. But, just in case the American League won the game in the bottom of the 9th, the AL manager decided to put Mariano Rivera in to the game to make sure the home town crowd had a chance to see a hometown hero.

The Tiger broadcasters say it's unfair to count the game, because the starters that are voted in are not playing at the end of the game. They also say that most players only pitch 1-2 innings, and most batters don't play long either.

Plus, the managers don't want to wear out players either.

Currently, there is a rule that a catcher can re-enter the game if he is needed. The idea here was that there always has to be a catcher. I think there should be more rules like this.

So, here are some ideas to make the All Star Game better:

  1. Invite reserve players to the game, with the idea that they will only be used if the game goes into extra innings.
  2. Make a rule that no pitcher can go more than three innings. If he has not yet pitched three innings, he should be allowed to re-enter the game.
  3. If there are no offensive players left on the bench, and a current player has played more than six innings, a reserve player will be allowed in the game.
  4. Make the All Star Break 7 days long. This way no player can use the excuse, "I wanted to spend time with my family." They will have plenty of time before and after the game to do this.

I think that's all that's needed. A problem I see with this is that some players might not want to go the the game if all they are going to be is a reserve. However, some would be more than excited at the opportunity.

And, with World Series home field advantage at stake, most players "should" be more than willing to help out.

There has been some talk of getting rid of the rule, which has been around since the first All Star Game in 1933, that a minimum of one player from each team make the team. I think all fans would like to have one player to root for. I know I did when I was a kid, and still do. My son loved watching Carlos Guillen almost hit a homerun in the game.

We certainly don't want to fix the game to the point of ruining it.


Righty64 said...

One way to not only improve the All-Star game, but major league baseball is to get that moron Bud Selig out of there! I say that Preisdent Bush needs a job when he leaves the White House. And he is a baseball man. Ok, so he owened the Texas Rangers and they are in the American League. But, I say Bush for commissioner! And, he was the ONLY owner to vote AGAINST interleague play during the season, another one of Selig's moves. That alone would get my vote for Bush for Commisioner.

Freadom said...

That's funny, because George H.W. was a candidate for that post after he left office.

DB said...

I agree with Righty, Selig hasn't been good for baseball the last few years (ironic since we are talking about the All-STar game). If Bush was indeed the only owner who saw beyond the dollar sign and voted against inter-league play, then I am all for him as Commissioner...especially if he reignites the war between the American and National leagues. ;-)

I know one thing that will ruin the game is changing it. But I do like your reserve all-stars idea. It allows us to see some more of the lesser known stars who probably deserve to attend (and it is good to set the expectation that they may not play).

The game needs to keep the World Series benefit though. And inter-league play needs to go.

Freadom said...

You know what I hate the most about interleague play is the imbalanced schedule. I think all teams in the AL should play each other the same amount of time, save for perhaps a few more games against divisional rivals.