|A New Way to Determine Home Field Advantage||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on July 13, 2010
I have to admit I was one of the proponents who thought that the All-Star Game might actually be a bit better because home field advantage in the World Series would go to the winning league.Â I was wrong.Â It didn't help the All-Star game or make it any more interesting for the fans.Â All it's done since the inception of the rule is to give the American League a bigger advantage when it comes to postseason play.
It's time to address this issue and take the home field advantage out of the equation when it comes to this exhibition called the All-Star Game.
Maybe going back to the old way or giving home team advantage to the team with the best overall record is really the way to go, but I think I'd like to see it awarded a little bit differently and in a way that addresses some of the financial imbalance between teams a little better.
Home field advantage should go to the team with the lower payroll.Â It should be a reward for doing more with less, and the owner of that team should be forced to add any revenue generated by that extra game (if in fact there are any extra games) to his team's payroll for next season.
In other words if you walked into the World Series with a $60 million payroll and MLB (or even better a set of outside auditors) determined that you made an extra $2 million due to that game you'd have to have a minimum payroll of $62 million going into the following season.
What this would do is lessen the advantage of large market teams and reward teams who best managed to succeed without a seemingly limitless budget.Â It wouldn't be giving the smaller market teams an advantage but just lessening the disadvantage that they have going into a World Series against a financial juggernaut.
In cases where large market team met large market team, or the budgets were within a reasonable amount of each other the money for that extra game shouldn't go to either team but should be dumped into the revenue sharing pool and dispensed only among the revenue sharing recipients who actually INCREASE payroll the following year via the addition of Free Agents with a salary of over $2.5 million.Â That $2.5 million is a number I've pulled out of thin air and it might well need to be modified, but the idea here isn't to reward teams for keeping their own players who have an increasing salary, or those who buy middling and low end free agents just to fill roster spots, but are actually trying to improve via these additions.
Maybe it's a crazy idea, but it's no crazier than having an exhibition game determine who gets home field advantage.Â And just maybe it will level the playing field a little bit and lead to some better World Series and a more competitive game overall.