Change may be an inevitable force of nature, but just because we have the power to make a change doesn’t mean we should. In the last five to ten years, there have been changes made to Major League Baseball; from instant replay, to inter-league play every day, to new sliding rules. Perhaps the worst change, though, is the ruination of the All-Star Game.
Last year, the Royals nearly took over the American League’s lineup, until some last-minute voting changed that to just three Royals starting.
This year, five Cubs have been selected to start (Dexter Fowler can’t due to injury) including the entire infield being made up of Cubs. For the Red Sox, they also have four players who have been selected to start, including David Ortiz, who is in his final baseball season.
The fan voting needs to stop. Bud Selig may have thought that he was doing the right thing in giving fans a vote, but he created a monster that Rod Manfred needs to fix. The starters should be based on the highest-performer at each position. For example, Corey Seager of the Dodgers has out-performed Addison Russell. Seager is batting .303 with 17 HR, 41 RBIs, and a .363 OBP. Russell is only batting .242 with 11 HRs, 49 RBI, and a .337 OBP. Because he plays for the uber-popular Cubs. Though. He gets more votes and is starting in the game. This is just one example of how voting can skew the game.
How else can we improve the All-Star Game? Eliminate the World Series implications. If you want this to be a game that is meant for fun, then there should not be any implications for home-field advantage in the World Series. The best players aren’t always the starters, so why should fans of playoff teams be penalized? When it comes down to the World Series, home-field advantage should first be determined by division winners, then record. A Wild Card team should never have home-field advantage over a division winner, but the All-Star Game makes this a possibility.
Drop the act MLB. Do you want this to be a fun game driven by fans, or do you want this to mean something? In either event, changes need to be made in order for this game to be more enjoyable again. In my opinion, the MLB All-Star Game is the best All-Star game of any other sport. MLB needs to take the necessary steps to keep it that way.