When it first counted, it did seem a decent idea.
Major League Baseball had a terrible way to award home-field advantage for the World Series. MLB simply alternated home-field advantage between the National League and American League every year.
The NFL is again the leader of the sporting leagues with their neutral-site Super Bowl showcasing one American city a year. The NBA and the NHL play in a playoff-series format, just like the MLBs, so neutral sites would not work over seven games. In the NBA and NHL, the team with the better regular season record gets the home-site advantage.
That is what Major League Baseball needs to do: make World Series home-field advantage about regular-season records. You guys play 162 of them; shouldn't those count for something?
It is always about ulterior motives, and the national pastime, under the reign of Bud Selig, has become riddled with hidden agendas. Fox wants to have the ratings the MLB All-Star Game had back in the day of only three channels. Each of the big channels hates the advent of cable, satellite and the Internet because they have all helped their ratings plunge when compared to previous eras.
Selig can never catch a break, either. The team he owns—er—used to own, the Milwaukee Brewers, were the host ballpark for the 2002 All-Star extravaganza . The game was competitive, and after twelve tied innings, with all of the pitchers exhausted, Selig called the game a tie.
It was not well received.
Panic usually causes the worst decisions. Fox panicked about the ratings, Bud panicked about the TV deal, and, suddenly, the All-Star Game's winning league had home-field advantage in the World Series.
Some things seem so obvious that only hidden agendas could keep them from coming to reality. College football's playoff system used to be the most glaring, but even that sport's glacial movement toward modern times has increased.
The MLB All-Star Game will never have the passion of Pete Rose obliterating Ray Fosse. We will never see a Cal Ripken play all fourteen innings of a mid-summer classic. In trying to rekindle that passion, a horrible choice has been made to make the All-Star Game count for something.
In retrospect, this is a minor issue for 28 teams, but I bet you that the Texas Rangers would have liked home-field advantage last year.
They earned it in my mind since they had a better record than the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were a Wild Card team as well, and they still were able to host four World Series games over the division champion Rangers.
The MLB All-Star Game should just go back to being a fun exhibition game. Making it count for something has not been a good idea. Regular-season records should determine home-field advantage.
Every regular-season game has the chance of something special happening, and those games should be the reason that one team hosts Game 1 of the World Series.
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