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2011 MLB All-Star Game: Why All-Star Game Is the New Pro Bowl

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 09:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees talks to the media after hitting the 3000th hit of his career at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 11, 2011

Throughout the years, the Pro Bowl has become somewhat of a joke, with numerous stars being held out to avoid injury after the season.

When you're holding a game reserved for the best players in the league, you'd expect the best players in the league to be part of it.

Now, baseball is sadly beginning to follow suit, even with home-field advantage on the line.

This year, for the 2011 All-Star Game, a whopping 10 players were added to the American League team alone.

Some of the starters voted to the All-Star game by fans are injured, so you can't fault them for not participating, but baseball is beginning to follow football's lead in players opting out just because there's a chance they could get injured midseason.

A list of American League All-Stars who won't be appearing in the All-Star game this year: Justin Verlander, James Shields, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, C.C. Sabathia and Jon Lester.

On the National League side of things, New York Mets shortstop and NL MVP candidate Jose Reyes will be held out, as well as Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco. Phillies starter Cole Hamels and San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain will also be sitting out the All-Star game.

Shields, Hernandez, Price, Hamels and Cain all started on Sunday. Because of this, they won't be available, even though pitchers normally won't pitch more than two innings in an All-Star game.

As for Rivera and Jeter, they are "battling" injury, but they've still been playing recently.

It's gotten so bad that backups of All-Star game starters are being held out.

If a player is truly injured, I can understand him getting held out.

But when the All-Star game is Major League Baseball's way of telling fans they have a voice in the league and then the same stars they vote for get held out, what message is that giving the fans?

Despite commissioner Bud Selig upping the ante in making the All-Star game actually worth something, the event is becoming more and more like the Pro Bowl.

Making the All-Star game is an honor for players and continuous appearances benefit players in potentially making the Hall of Fame, but it's no longer an event for the fans anymore.

The players actually get more out of it than the fans.

Even the players who don't show up.

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