|All-Star Break Not Worth It||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on July 12, 2010
I'm trying hard to find something to like about the All-Star Game.¬† Great baseball? ¬†Nah, that's a dubious proposition -- far too many one dimensional players and players who aren't even the best at their position but have been voted in by fans.
Maybe the fact that they've tried to give an exhibition game a little meaning by allowing the winning league home field advantage in the World Series.¬† Nah.¬† Thought it would mean something, but so far all it seems to have done is give the Yankees home field advantage year after year, hardly a desirable result.
Well forget all that. ¬†I admit it.¬† I hate the All-Star Game.¬† I've felt this way since baseball coverage went national well over two decades ago.¬† Every July the season stops suddenly for no actual reason save for MLB to throw a popularity contest that isn't even relevant anymore.
The All-Star Game is an anachronism which no longer serves a purpose.¬† Once upon a time it had some meaning; it allowed fans in a single city, and in later years once television had reached enough volume it allowed a national audience, to see the stars who they would never have gotten to see otherwise.¬† That's no longer the case.¬† Games are nationally televised every single week, MLB's online Game Day and Extra Innings on television, have made every game accessible to every fan, not just in the United States, but anywhere in the world where there is an internet terminal.
Today the All-Star Game is little but a self congratulatory popularity contest where teams urge fans to stuff ballot boxes, and promote their handful of marquee players in order to sell more seats in their home parks (except for teams like the Yankees who only have a handful of non-marquee players thanks to the fact that the playing field is far from level in terms of revenue).
The All Star Game isn't about All-Stars, but about populist notions as to who are great players -- the people's choice in other words.¬† That might be great if Kansas City cast as many votes as New York City, or if San Diego cast as many as Los Angeles.¬† Too many of the best players don't make the final roster because of things like that, while far too many undeserving veterans do.
I could live with that and even¬† enjoy the game, except for the fact that it's in the middle of the season and that everything actually relevant to the game of baseball stops for three days for this farce to be played out, disrupting what until this point has been a glorious and fascinating season full of surprises.
It certainly makes me wish I still had some childish innocence and could get excited enough to look forward to the All-Star game on Tuesday. ¬†But even if I had that, I'd probably just be disappointed as the game isn't exactly set to be played during child friendly hours and probably won't end until sometime after midnight.
No, I don't get the All-Star Game at all.¬† It just makes me miss real baseball.