Friday, July 8, 2011

My Take on Improving the All-Star Game

With the All-Star Break coming up next week, many around the world of baseball have taken the opportunity to vent about the All-Star Game's problems, and present their opinions on how to fix them. I certainly agree that there are problems with the current format, so here I'll offer my take on some of the ideas that have been put forth.

First off, the most obvious thing that needs to happen is something that nearly everyone who's made their voice heard on this issue seems to agree with: the World Series home-field advantage rule needs to be done away with. Home-field advantage is worth a lot in the World Series, and should be awarded to the team with the best record during the regular season, not to the team whose league won the All-Star Game. I understand Selig's desire for the All-Star Game to carry some kind of meaning, but in reality, the All-Star Game has always been fun because it's an exhibition. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has proposed a system of bonuses for players making the All-Star Team, as well as the game MVP, as a means of encouraging players to want to make the team, and to play hard in the game itself. I don't have a strong opinion on this one either way; seems like an interesting idea, at least.

One idea Passan puts forth that I strongly agree with, however, is to start the game earlier. As Passan points out, the first pitch is currently thrown at around 8:50 p.m. ET, meaning the game ends at around midnight. When you think about the fact that the All-Star Game is probably most exciting to kids, this really doesn't make much sense.

So, these are my main thoughts on the subject. Please post your own ideas in the comments. Finally, it should be noted that Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has also advanced a quite interesting list of ideas to improve the Midsummer Classic. In all seriousness, I think vintage uniforms are a pretty good idea.

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