With mid-summer baseball exhibition coming up fans gripe about players who deserves to be there got snub and who should not be in. At same time you have game where it lost it luster throughout the decade and half. How about fixing the mistakes of the All-Star game that just got to a point its a lousy exhibition with a lousy win-all incentive? Here are my suggestions on fixing the MLB All-Star game.
1. Get rid of winner gets World Series home field advantage - its a lousy incentive to play for. Despite getting home field in the playoffs its still a 50/50 chance the team will get eliminated. Ever since the incentive was placed not once a World Series headed to game 7. Look into sports outside MLB home field advantage doesn't mean much. The recent examples happened in NHL and NBA Finals. In the NHL Vancouver Canucks had home ice and series went to a game 7. They lost game 7 and the series. In the NBA Miami Heat had home court. Series went to a 6 games which Dallas Mavericks beat them right at their home court. Team having home advantage in the playoffs doesn't mean anything in anymore.
2. Get rid of all 30 teams must be represented rule - before the expansions (before 1993) I wouldn't mind. Now with 30 teams the rule gotta be scrapped. Sometime the lone player representing the team at the All-Star game shouldn't be there. Remember Mike Williams and Derrick Turnbow being named despite with ERA of 4-5 and they were relievers? How about last year picks of Ty Wiggington and Michael Bourn? Despite being "best" pick of the team the player is not worthy of being on the All-Star team taking away a spot for much deserved player. See Michael Young exclusion last year. I rather have the "best" players of the league playing in the game, not one per team.
3. 2 closers and 1 reliever to the team - Instead five relievers how about trim it to three? Let it be 2 closers and 1 reliever. Give two extra players to starters that deserve it. Would you have Tommy Hanson over Johnny Venters or last year, Jaime Garcia over Evan Meek to pitch an inning?
4. Get rid of fan voting - fan voting is just a popularity contest. See this year when Derek Jeter was named starter based on votes despite missing part of first half when Astrubal Cabrera deserved it more than him. Fans just stuff ballots and small market teams like Royals and Pirates have hard time trying garner extra votes outside their market.
5. Pay per incentive/bonus - reason why NASCAR All-Star race is popular and matters is the $1 million dollars prize to the winner. How about MLB pony up the money and give it to the players in some form? Give them a bonus for being in the game or toss in extra money for homeruns, strikeouts, stolen base, or runs driven in. Call it greed, but it worth watching of players going full force for the extra money. With the money bonus incentives it make players play and try harder to earn the extra bucks. It make him and the fans feel he deserves to be part of the All-Star game. It worked for NASCAR.
6. Move the game after the regular season ends - move it to the fall and have it right before the playoffs start or better yet, before the World Series. Instead half a season, players have entire season to show they belong in the All-Star exhibition game.
7. Get rid of winner gets World Series home field advantage - oh wait I just mention that.
The All-Star game need serious changes if it want to make relevant to watching.