Since everyone looooves my baseball posts, here's another one to brighten your day on this most awful of days (it's one of only two days in the year in which no major sporting events from the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB take place...the other was Monday. Always the day before and the day after the All-Star Game - Earl).
I thought long and hard about this, well 3 or 4 minutes about this and here is what I would like to see changed about the Mid-Summer Classic:
- Stop making it count. It's an exhibition and it's supposed to be fun. It shouldn't really matter who wins as long as its the American League. Just kidding. But to give the home field advantage in the World Series to the league that wins the All-Star Game is just ridiculous. Home field advantage means too much! I don't like the alternating year method that was previously used either, but this is worse. I would suggest giving the home field to the league that has the better winning percentage in interleague play. Those games count. Those games matter. And it would probably still be the American League so it works for me!
- If you are selected for the game, but unable to play because of injury...DON'T FUCKING SHOW UP! Your spot was taken, David Oritz. So was yours, Kerry Wood. You too, Alfonso Soriano. Put on some street clothes and buy a ticket for $500 just like everyone else. No one needs to see you in the dugout. Especially you, David Ortiz!
- Same thing goes for pitchers who are selected but because they started a game on the Sunday prior to the All-Star Game are ineligible to pitch, or whose managers plead with the All-Star manager not to pitch them. If you don't think you are able to pitch, STAY AT HOME! Give your roster spot to someone else who might actually be willing to help out their league. Listen, it's noble as a grape that Scott Kazmir pitched the 15th inning of the game last night. It really is. But he is a starting pitcher and Terry Francona probably wasn't to get more than another inning out of the guy because of his situation (often hurt and he threw more than 100 pitches* on Sunday). The manager shouldn't be put in that situation. Just stay home and give someone else a chance.
- If the game is tied after 12 innings (or whatever arbitrary inning you pick) then each team should pick their 3 best sluggers and give them each 10 swings to hit home runs. They can pick the batting practice pitcher of their choice. Whichever league hits the most home runs after 30 swings wins the game. That would be fun, right? And after all, it should be an exhibition that is supposed to be fun. Right?
- Tim McCarver should not be allowed anywhere near the city that the All-Star Game is being played in on the night of the of the game. Not even in air space. God, he's awful!
*I heard an interesting tidbit on Nolan Ryan and the Texas Ranger's future pitching prospects. He is getting rid of all pitch count stats. He wants to train these young minds and arms into going longer into the game. Building up their arm strength and their mental strength. He wants to rely on the catcher and the coaching staff to determine when a starting pitcher has had enough in the game. I'm real interested to see how this pans out. I've been a long-time debater on the subject of pitch counts and whether or not they are necessary. When you see guys like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and the injuries they have suffered, it seems to make sense. But then there are guys who get hurt without excessive pitch counts. Or guys who never get hurt who ALWAYS have high pitch counts. I dunno. It should be an interesting experiment.
I would love to see a major league pitching staff that has no set roles. Maybe 9 guys who can go three innings every three days. Go out there and throw balls out for three innings. Whether they are the 1st 3, the middle 3 or the last 3. Every three days you throw three innings. I wonder how that would work?