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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Daily Debate: Should the All-Star game decide Home Field advantage in the World Series.

My first instinct with this blog was to just write NO, and get on with my life. The fact that the answer isn't that simple is everything that is wrong with baseball today. And don't get me wrong, I don't think that good ol' Bud has done a horrendous job as commissioner. Without him, we would not have the wild card system we have today. Imagine a world without a wild card. Remember the miraculous 2004 Red Sox team? You know, the one that broke that 86 year title drought. That team would have never even been in the playoffs without Selig instituting a wild card system.

That being said, he's had some major blunders too. Besides the steroid issue (which I will be writing a blog about at some point in the near future, so keep an eye out), his biggest mistake was to overreact to the 2002 All Star game. In this game, the teams were tied at 7 heading into the 11th inning. Selig decided, since the teams had not saved enough arms to continue the game for much longer, that he would call it after this inning. This produced a ton of backlash, which seemed unfathomable to me. (Although I was only 11 years old at the time, so I guess I couldn't have been too outraged).

The fact that people would ever dream to complain about any All Star game not having meaning is beyond me, but to say that about baseball is borderline absurd. Baseball has the best All  Star game of all the major sports, mainly because it's a slower paced game so the players don't play too much easier than they would in a regular season game. Have you guys seen the NFL, NBA, or NHL All Star Games? They are unwatchable. However, because of the tie, Selig decided to make the All Star game mean more, by making it decide which league gets home field advantage. Wait What?!

The thing that only exacerbates this rule is the rule that every team must have a representative. I never had a problem with this rule, since every fan wants to see at least one of his/her guys playing in the game, but that was when this was an exhibition. Do Red Sox fans really want to see whoever the Royals or Indians have represent them blow their chances at having four World Series games at Fenway? For sure not.

The other thing that bothers me so much about this is just how important home field advantage really is. American League teams are built for having a line up with a DH. A National League line up features the pitcher at the number nine spot (unless Tony La Russa is your manager). These two line ups are very different in structure. So the fact that an exhibition game, where maybe three or four guys from the eventual pennant winning team are participating, decides which league will be able to put out their "designed" line up for four out of seven games is laughable. But then again, just look at the picture at the top of this blog. Does it really surprise you that this was his brain child?

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