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Major League All-Star Game needs revamping

Posted: June 22, 2013 - 11:05pm

I hope Bud Selig and the rest of his Major League Baseball cronies have been watching the NBA finals.

In July, baseball’s All-Star Game will be upon us and for the 11th year it will determine who gets home-field advantage in the World Series three months later, starting Oct. 23.

What a travesty that is. You think the Miami Heat would have wanted their home-court advantage decided by the outcome of the NBA All-Star game?

Discounting the National Football League, of course, this is the only major professional sport that uses this process to determine who gets the home advantage.

The Georgia High School Association predetermines who the home team is in the championship round by assigning it to one half of the bracket long before the game is played, but at least the traveling squad gets one chance to be the home team on the field in a best-of-three series.

The previous solution was alternating home-field advantage between the leagues each year, which was a decent compromise since teams in opposite leagues faced each other only in the World Series. This went on for six more years after the beginning of interleague play in 1997.

With American and National League teams competing against each other for 17 years now, isn’t it time for the team with the best regular-season record appearing in the World Series to be the home team?

If they stick to their guns about the format, then they really should consider revamping the All-Star Game.

Growing up, I liked being able to vote for players, but it wasn’t always necessarily based on merit, there were some guys I just wanted to see play, namely Orioles. Many times the game was a last hurrah for a player in the twilight of his career – as it is now – but there wasn’t anything on the line then. The vote needs to be taken out of the fans’ hands. Giving a weighted vote to managers of division-leading teams heading into the break would be one of my solutions.

Each team having a representative on its respective league squad is also an antiquated concept. It’s the professional version of handing out a participation trophy.

There is no reason slots need to be filled by someone from each team. There’s no guarantee that every player is going to get in the game anyway. Cito Gaston was the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and the AL manager in 1994 when the game was played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He refused to put in Orioles star pitcher Mike Mussina, which spawned some profitable T-shirts in Baltimore that were not complimentary to Gaston.

There are many people who think the system is flawed, but the players must not have much of an issue with it as their union continues to sign off on this format.

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