By Jovani Gama |Asst. Sports Editor|
The MLB’s all-star game counts. The question is, should it?
Unlike the NBA, MLS and especially the NFL’s all-star games, MLB’s is more than
just an opportunity for the best of the best to showboat their dunking, kicking and catching
Home field advantage in the grandest stage of them all, the World Series, is at stake when the National League meets the American League every July.
Recently, the American League was dominating the All-Star game, providing the winner of their pennant with a much needed advantage. Lately, however, the National League has regained the prize as it has won each of the last two games.
It is for this reason that even though the St. Louis Cardinals are the Wild Card in the
National League and finished the regular season exactly six games behind the Texas Rangers
in the win and loss column, they have started off the World Series in St. Louis and will play four
out of the potential seven games at home.
Is this fair?
Any Cardinal fan would definitely say it is. Ranger fans would surely disagree.
What if the shoe was on the other foot, however?
Surely the perspectives would be switched.
It is easy to understand why Commissioner Selig would add such allurement to this game.
The game counts, therefore fans are interested in the outcome.
But, should a game that players seem so willing to bail on or often unable to even attend
be worth so much?
This year, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez were ineligible to pitch in
the big game because they started for their respective ball clubs on the Sunday before the All-Star game on Tuesday.
Then again, if you take away the players’ incentive to win, will the game just become a
worthless display of the talent that we already knew the players’ had?
Then there’s issue of whether or not it is fair that players whose teams are not even in
playoff contention can decide the fate of those who are.
This year, there was a rare coincidence as Prince Fielder of the World Series hopeful
Milwaukee Brewers hit the decisive three-run homerun against C.J. Wilson of the World Series contending Texas Rangers.
As stated before, Wilson’s Rangers had to start the series on the road.
In my opinion, the game should definitely not count.
It is true that playing conditions in both leagues are different, as styles and
even rules differ from one league to the other.
However, every team plays exactly 162 games. The team that is able to win the most out
of these 162 should be rewarded with the opportunity to host the World Series.
Baseball is a sport that has little room for error and tomfoolery. There are no alley oops
or silly trick passes that we need to worry about.
At the end of the night, whether it counts or not, it will still be 9 glorious innings at the
old ball game.