I remember growing up and thinking of the All-Star Game as a fun change of pace, with the greatest players in the world putting on a show for everyone. The All-Star Game allows the players to show the kid inside and have fun.
But on July 9, 2002, everything was changed when Freddy Garcia struck out Benito Santiago in the 11th inning. Bud Selig ruled the game would end in a 7-7 tie as both the American League and National League had run out of pitchers.
We almost had a repeat this year as the game went all the way into the 15th inning, the longest All-Star Game in MLB history. Fortunately for managers Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and Clint Hurdle of the Colorado Rockies, Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins scored on Texas Rangers’ Michael Young’s sacrifice fly.
Bud Selig thought that by making the All-Star Game decide home field advantage in the World Series, there wouldn’t be an issue of a tie. But this year almost proved otherwise as both teams were again running out of pitchers and position players.
It seems that the baseball community is split on making the All-Star Game count for home field advantage in the World Series, but there are a few options Commissioner Bud Selig should investigate to enhance the All-Star Game.
Expanding the roster
Allowing the managers or players to vote in more players will hopefully eliminate the issue of a potential tie. Leave it up to the players if they would like to play.
It is an honor to be voted into the All-Star Game but the season is also 162 games, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get your two innings in.
Let the managers select the rosters
If you make the game count toward home field advantage in the All-Star Game, I don’t think the fans should be voting in the players. But it is the All-Star Game, the fans have to have a say in who plays right?
It obviously isn’t JUST a game now. So if the game means so much now, shouldn’t the managers be able to select their own players?
Don’t make it count
There were many issues other than the potential tie this year.
Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge warmed up and sat down six times throughout the game and threw over 100 pitches throughout the night. For a closer, that is unheard of.
Lidge wasn’t the only tired pitcher, as Arizona D-Back Brandon Webb and Tampa Bay Ray Scott Kazmir threw over 100 pitches on Sunday and were not in any condition to pitch more than one inning.
It becomes even more of an issue when Kazmir and Francona are only separated by half a game going into the All-Star break.
This was the greatest All-Star Game I had ever seen and I loved every inning. Aaron Cook was simply amazing getting around the bases loaded with no outs.
I have never seen either team care so much about an All-Star Game—the only thing it was missing was Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse. I still feel that Bud Selig MUST make changes to the format of the game to ensure there isn’t another 2002 ordeal.