You can’t please everyone. This is evident in the discussions of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.
Much of the blame is placed on the shoulders of this guy, Commissioner Bud Selig. Rightfully so, he is the man in charge and stemming from the ASG fiasco of 2002 in Milwaukee, there is a right to be warry of his decisions. He has drawn much scrutiny from his management of the league, but the All-Star Game is not something that has fallen through the cracks.
It is the premier star-studded showcase for premier players in any major sport. It is treated like it, too. The controversy and speculation surrounding the game are unlike in any other sport.
That means people are paying attention.
Many of the criticims the game itself faces are mere suggestions that I feel would hinder the meaning and tradition of baseball’s mid-season spectacle. For example, I am very much pleased with all 30 teams being represented. It may take away a chance for a player with better numbers to be snubbed, but what reason would a die-hard fan of a lowly team have to even watch the game? And to truly be a Major League Baseball All-Star game, shouldn’t every team in Major League Baseball be represented?
I heard the rumblings from some national pundits saying “Are Royals fans really that excited for reliever Aaron Crow to be in Arizona?” I think they are. They can buy his American League jersey, honor his acknowledgement and watch intently during the game to see if he gets in.
Other brash suggestions have been doing away with the fans vote.
How ’bout no.
This is a game for the fans and the players who start the game should be elected by the fans. It’s who they want to see in the game. Also, it’s more than likely that the players they want to see in the game will be selected anyway. I think the bigger honor is actually being selected by the manager of the team and the players. They know baseball and are more respectable than those punching ballots at stadiums or voting thousands of times online. Plus, the starters will not play many innings in order to get an also deserving player in the game.
Which brings me to my next point.
I watch the game to see a crop of players playing together that I normally do not see on a nigh-in, night-out basis. I anticipate the substitutions to see these guys get some hacks out of their natural game routine and element.
And, of course, to see a Pirate like Andrew McCutchen.
He only hit a slow dribbler back to the mound and was easily out at first in his only at bat of the contest. Still, seeing him come in to replace Matt Kemp in the 8th was a thrill. I know the feeling is mutual among all baseball fans who enjoy seeing their guys in the big game.
McCutchen was in the game to record the final out from pitcher Brian Wilson and walked off Chase Field a winner in his first of what many predict to be many All-Star Game appearances.
Two other Pirates made the team, as well. Kevin Correia and Joel Hanrahan were represented as two of the top pitchers in the National League. Hanrahan deserved to be there, Correia really did not.
The one rule, or obligation, I have against the game is the quantity of players there. It can be fixed with one simple tweak. Letting the pitchers that pitch Sunday be eligible for the All Star game. If worries about rest still arise, just move the game back a day to Wednesday. It is an off day, anyway. All of Major League Baseball should have Monday off, do the Home Run Derby Tuesday, play the game itself Wednesday, then have another day off on Thursday. Half the teams do anyway, why not grant every team a properly earned day of rest. The second half will always be a grueling one, four full days to prepare and focus is proper and should be granted.
Nonetheless, the game is a staple for the American Summer and should be honored with all its tradition.
The game, although a blow out in Midsummer Classic terms, was very entertaining and provided much to cheer about.
Prince Fielder was the most outspoken character of All Star week andrightfully so performed on the biggest stage. As much as it pains me to say it, congrats and thank you for helping display baseball at its finest on a hot summer night.
photo credits: yahoo.com