83rd Annual All-Star Game: Who Cares?

2012 MLB All-Star game. Please don’t let a Giant get injured. Please! (Photo Credit: mlb.com)

In a few hours, the 83rd annual MLB All-Star game will begin in Kansas City.  The big question surrounding the game is who cares?  Seriously, does anybody care anymore.  When I was a kid, in the 80’s, there was some excitement to the game.  Adulthood has taken a little off of the luster of the game but so has the state of the modern game.  Previously, the only time you would get to see some players was in the All-Star game.  Now, with the internet and modern broadcasting, you can watch any team, any time.  There was also the added treat of watching players compete against each other who would otherwise not.  Interleague play has taken that away from us.

Aside from a complete and utter lack of excitement or meaning, there is the injury worry.  I’m a San Francisco Giants fan and my worst nightmare came true.  They named Matt Cain as the starter for the game.  The starting pitcher is the only pitcher who will generally go for more than an inning.  Even if he comes out of the game unscathed, I’d rather have him not pitch 3 innings on his day off.  There’s really no way for them to go half speed, and each inning on the mound increases the risk.  It’s rare for it to happen, but ask Ray Fosse (see below) what can happen.

Watered down drinks

Aside from all other concerns, the game is completely watered down to make more people happy.  If there were 25 man rosters, it would have some added meaning to be an all-star.  This years edition has 74 players with mandatory placement of a player from every team and injury replacements.  25 man roster times 30 teams equals 750 players in the Major Leagues at any time.  This is literally 10% of the players in the majors participating in the game.  Is this really the cream of the crop?  Sure, these guys are better than me, but are all of them stars?  I’d have to say no.  Besides, the Giants engaged in a ballot-stuffing exercize to get their players voted in by the fans.  The bloated rosters take a bit away from the honor of being selected.

The added excitement is supposed to come from the carrot that is World Series home field advantage.  The players are going to take the game as serious as they want to.  I can’t imagine how this is going to make a millionaire play harder than they already play.  They played hard back in the 70’s, when Pete Rose ruined Ray Fosse‘s career by destroying his knee sliding into home plate.  Players made less money then and played for the competition.  There was nothing on the line except for pride.  What I find upsetting is that something as arbitrary as the All-Star game decides who gets the home field advantage in the World Series.  I’d rather them flip a coin, reward the best team, have a mascot tossing competition or something that makes a bit of sense.

    • turnstwo
    • July 12th, 2012

    The play with Ray Fosse is still talked about to this day because that was a BS move. He was trying to take him out, which I can understand if that had been an actual game, but in an All Star game that didn’t count for anything was not ok. Plus, he has never said sorry, even all these years later.

    You see now managers telling the manager of the All Star teams not to use their players now too because they don’t want to risk injury, so you have guys out there half playing.

    • And that half playing only waters down the game even more. It’s a cycle that they’re not really going to get out of, so long as the players make so much money.

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