It is the only game of its kind on Earth that actually makes a difference.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig’s idea in 2002 to give the winning team of the MLB All-Star Game home field advantage in the World Series was a strike of pure genius.
In the past week leading up to the MLB All-Star Game, many analysts and writers have criticized this format, calling it “backward, insane, and downright wrong.” I highly disagree with this, I think that the current format is a fantastic concept, and makes the All-Star Game just that much more exciting. In other sports’ All-Star Games, the players don’t try hard at all, because simply, there is nothing to try hard for at all.
In the MLB All-Star Game, the players do have something to try hard for. Every baseball player’s dream is to play in the World Series, because of this, each and every player tries his absolute hardest during the regular season and the playoffs. During the World Series, it is a great advantage to play 4 out of the 7 games at home (hence the phrase “home-field advantage”), at it gives that team a greater chance to win the World Series. By having this format in the All-Star Game, the players try harder, because they know in their mind, that if their team makes it to the World Series, then, them trying hard in the All-Star Game can help their team actually win the World Series.
For the fans, knowing that this game could actually decide the outcome of the World Series makes the outcome of the All-Star Game more meaningful for the fans. They root for the side that their team is on, and therefore, the All-Star Game becomes more popular.
No matter what people say about the format, many players actually like the way the game is set up, here are some quotes from players supporting the current format:
Jair Jurrjens: “It gives the game a little more intensity.”
Gaby Sanchez: “Look at baseball. Look at football.”
Troy Tulowitzki: “We’re the only sport where the All-Star game has some juices flowing to win the game because of what’s at stake.”
These are just some of the player supporters, and all of these quotes make sense. The game is more, and at that, much more intense because there is something to play for. Also, football’s “Pro Bowl” is much less exciting, the players are barely trying, because they have absolutely nothing to play for. Finally, baseball is the only sport with this unique and thrilling format, and there is much more intensity and excitement involved with that.
The MLB All-Star Game is the most unique, thrilling, and enjoyable game of its kind. The players have more to play for, and the fans have more of a reason to watch. There is truly no downside to the current format, and we just have to leave it at that.
It’s a shame that no other commissioner thinks just quite how Bud Selig thinks.
By Sam Brief