Well, last night was the 88th MLB All-Star Game and once again the American League won, continuing its dominance in this game over the National League. This got me thinking, what can MLB do to make this game more interesting? They have struck gold with the new Home Run Derby setup as it definitely makes it much more interesting. Some of the ideas that have come and gone that the sport has attempted to make it better.
But in the long run, they have not worked out. For instance, making the winner of the MLB All-Star Game give their league home field advantage in the upcoming World Series. This was a good attempt, but as you can tell, it did not work. It was not the end all be all situation to the seemingly meaningless exhibition game that we call the All-Star Game.
Some of the suggestions I have heard included turning it into an exhibition contest that is the equivalent of the NFL’s Punt Pass Kick, but instead of it being for the kids try the All-Stars at different things. The NHL also does this. Speaking of the NHL, another suggestion was to do what the NHL does with their all-star game. With hockey, they break the teams up into divisions and play a shorter 1-period version of the game where it becomes a tournament style. This would require obviously shortening the game down and would prob not be the ideal situation.
Which brings me to the best idea I have heard. As sick to my stomach as it makes me, I have to agree with Bryce Harper on how to make this more interesting. His suggestion was to allow the Top two vote getters to become the captains and do a draft for each team and then play the game out. The NFL tried this and it did not work, but that is because the NFL is a contact sport and the last thing you want to do is lay your own teammate out for an exhibition game.
This would work for MLB because let’s be honest, there is no contact in baseball and who wouldn’t want to see Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on the same team? Or who wouldn’t want to see Clayton Kershaw have to face Clay Bellinger or Max Scherzer go up against Bryce Harper? The draft could be done the night of the HR Derby, either prior to the derby or after the derby is completed. I believe this will make the game more fun as you will get to see players joining forces that you probably won’t get to see in the Regular Season. The All-Star game is not a complete snooze fest, but it is fast approaching that as last year they had the lowest ratings of any MLB All-Star Game yet. If Rob Manfred wants to turn this around, I would suggest he listen to Bryce Harper and turn it into a fantasy draft.