As I sat on the couch watching the home run derby in a beautiful house on the beach during a much needed vacation, I thought to myself that Major League Baseball has it absolute right when it comes to the All-Star festivities. How many columns have you read, talking heads have you seen or radio talk show hosts have you heard in the previous few weeks discussing how to fix the Major League All-Star game? How about adding a skills competition, or making the rosters smaller, or taking away home field advantage rule? What about the snubs, or the guys that don’t deserve to be in Phoenix at all? The derby is too long and the All-Star game isn’t as fun as it used to be. There are so many opinions and so many “solutions.”
So here’s mine: don’t change a thing.
That’s right, I’m the absurd one because I’m of the belief that MLB has the mid-summer classic perfected.
Of the three major sports I watch, (baseball, hockey and football), MLB has my favorite All-Star game. Hockey’s skills competition is cool and their pick ’em style All-Star game is neat, but the game has no meaning and ends up being a high scoring snoozer. The Pro Bowl is a total joke that is so flawed that no one even knows where to begin discussing it’s faults. It’s a truly tireless effort. But for baseball, I always find myself anticipating mid-July for the All-Star game.
Having the game determine home field advantage in the World Series is unique and draws my interest. I find myself torn because I want to see Matt Wieters represent the Orioles well, but in all likelihood I will be rooting for an N.L. team come October. Sure the rosters are big, but if they were smaller wouldn’t they lose guys worthy of of making the team? I think so. And yeah, the home run derby is long, but that doesn’t stop me from watching it from start to finish every year. Everyone of the All-Star game’s “flaws” can be answered with a “yeah, but.”
We live in a world of over analyzation with 24 hour analysis in multiple formats. Sometimes we break things down too much and in my opinion that’s what has caused the uproar surrounding the All-Star game. The stadiums are always jammed packed and fans of the game are watching, so what’s the problem?
Baseball is America’s past time. One of my favorite quotes about this great game comes from a great movie. Imagine that. Terrence Mann expressed his love for the game with Ray Kinsella as he debated the point of building a baseball field in his Iowa corn field. “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again,” James Earl Jones as Mann said. It’s a chilling quote from a fantastic movie that gets right to the heart of any fan and when I watch the All-Star game, even with all of it’s imperfections, I can’t help but think that Terrence Mann knew exactly what he was talking about.