Should All Star Game Decide Home Field Advantage?
With Tuesday nights win over the National League, the American League lengthened their unbeaten streak to 13 All-Star Games. The last time that the American League lost the All-Star game was a bold 6-0 loss in 1996. Since commissioner Bud Selig made the All-Star game decide home field advantage in the World Series, in 2003, the American League has won seven times, and has received the benefits of home field advantage each time.
Having home field advantage in the World Series means a lot. It means that the National League has only been able to have three home games in each of the past six—2009 WS not played yet—World Series, and has not been able to host game seven since the Arizona Diamondbacks did in 2001.
Luckily for the National League, this has not converted into World Series Championships, because the two leagues remain even with three wins each over the past six Fall Classics. Just because the National League has not lost every World Series does not mean they are not at a disadvantage. It just means that they have had to play harder, better, faster and stronger in order to win a World Series ring.
Not just the World Series contestants are affected by this change, but every player and every team that participates in the All-Star game is affected. The game that used to be for fun now may decide if a team can win the World Series or not.
Instead of managers trying to get every player into the game, managers must coach strategically and try for the lefty versus lefty matchup, instead of trying to get Tim Wakefield in the game during his first All-Star game at the age of 42. The game becomes in some sense less fun, because instead of playing for show and just having a good time the players play more competitive as each player would love for his team to have home field advantage during the World Series.
There is enough reason for a loyal MLB fan to want to watch the All-Star game with each team getting a representation. Fans across the nation will still want to see their teams all-stars play on a national stage without the added competition for home field advantage.
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