One thing has always frustrated me as a Major League Baseball fan: The All-Star game.
Firstly, I love the All-Star game, in every sport. I think that it is a welcome break, an excellent exhibition, and a good spectacle.
However, that's just it; It's supposed to be a exhibition.
I think that it is completely ludicrous that a team of practical strangers decides the fate of one of the most important factors in deciding the eventual World Series winners. Something that 95 percent of the players won't experience.
The fact that fans get to vote, and vote 25 times, just adds to the argument that this should be an exhibition only. It's game that displays the talents of the players that the fans want to see.
The best players do not always appear, the fan favorites do. It is after all a popularity contest.
Why do fans need 25 votes? Is there any point to that system? I can't see one.
I have no problems with fans voting for their favorite players. I might have a moral objection to voting non-All Stars to the All-Star game. However, it's a game for the fans, so it's their choice.
So why make the game a meaningful contest? It doesn't make any sense to me.
This is supposed to be a enjoyable experience, and you ask players to play at 100 percent?
What about the players that have no chance of being in the World Series? Do they care? Is pride enough to make them want to give their all for a exhibition game?
In my opinion, home-field advantage should be decided by regular season record. Give the team that performed the best during the season the extra bonus.
Does a team that wins 85 games, and sneaks in via the wild card in the AL, deserve home-field advantage over a NL team that wins 100+? All because the "other" players in the AL out performed the "other" players in the NL?
Of course they don't. Give a team the reason to play for the full season, to the final out.
By comparison, look at the NBA. Their All-Star weekend truly is a fantastic spectacle. There is no meaning, just good old fun, how an All-Star game should be.
As much as I hate to think about it, somewhere someplace, there is a baseball fan continuously clicking on the All-Star ballot to get their favorite player into the game, but it does happen.
Players from small-market teams that outperform players from bigger market teams are ignored. Although every team has to be represented, it's not a fair representation at all.
The MLB All-Star game is a flawed system, so they can either go two ways with this one.
1. Keep the fan voting and take away any meaning to the game. Make it a fan spectacle, an exhibition of talent. Decide the home-field advantage on regular-season records.
2. Scrap the fan voting. Have managers and/or players decide. Or alternatively a separate body of analysts choose the best players at each position and keep the All-Star game as a deciding factor in home field advantage.
Needless to say, I would prefer the first.