Baseball owners are set to vote on a proposal to award home field advantage in the World Series to the league that wins the All-Star Game. They're doing this, they say, to Put Some Meaning back into the so-called Midsummer Classic:
"The game has lost importance. It's turned into an exhibition," Montreal Expos president Tony Tavares said. "Last year was embarrassing and difficult."
Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane and Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino also endorsed the idea.
"It used to be that players were interested in the outcome," Lucchino said. "For years, players cared about it and played and hard and took a chance."
Here's a dirty little secret: One reason for the esteem of the All-Star Game in the past was because you might otherwise never get to see a star pitcher from one league go up against a star hitter from another. Remember Randy Johnson versus John Kruk, where Kruk was bailing out of the batter's box while the Big Unit was still winding up? Well, with interleague play nowadays, Kruk might've faced Johnson a few times before. He would've known what to expect, and that would have ruined the moment of its memorableness. Whatever mystique there may have been has been greatly diminished.
Interleague play isn't going anywhere, and admitting that the All-Star Game is just a fancy pickup game would damage TV ratings, so I guess this sort of tomfoolery was inevitable. Doesn't mean I have to like it, or accept the reasoning behind it. Jayson Stark does like the idea, while David Pinto and Dan Lewis are with me.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 16, 2003 to Baseball | TrackBack