As you sat and watched the over four hour marathon that was the 2008 All-Star Game, were you even aware of the 18 people that started the game? Of course not. You were trying to figure out who was left in the bullpen, on the bench and who came up next in the batting order.
Alex Rodriguez was the No. 1 overall vote getter; he went 0-2 with a strikeout. Yankee teammate Derek Jeter was second in votes, batting 1-3. In addition, where were both of them when the game surged into extra innings? Sitting on the bench.
Players like Dan Uggla were on the field, which made three errors in two innings for the NL. Christian Guzman, the shortstop for the Nationals was holding down the fort at...third base? Sure, they are all All-Stars. Nevertheless, fans watched as Evan Longoria stepped to the plate four times while starter Kevin Youkilis got just one at-bat.
Not to mention Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were pondering pitcher problems every two minutes wondering what each manager would do if the game kept on going. Both Scott Kazmir of the Rays and Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks were instructed to stay on the bench. Both of them ended up being forced to work an inning on the mound.
So what can be done that heightens the importance of a starter and can keep worry away from All-Star managers? Re-entry. Once all players from the bench have been used a manager should be able to insert starters back into the lineup as he sees fit. It may not help the pitching problem as much.
However, with bats like Josh Hamilton, Rodriguez and Youkilis in the lineup at the end the game might not have lasted 15 innings. Therefore, Bud Selig can chew that one over while you try to figure out who is shooting steroids and how to use replay...
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