Tonight, the American League All-Stars will host the National League All-Stars at Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals. The All-Star game used to be a fun summer night where you could see the stars play in an exhibition game. That all changed in 2002 when the game ended in a tie. Now the All-Star game is a mess.
The mess was caused by the overreaction to the 2002 tied game. MLB commissioner Bud Selig spearheaded an agreement with the players union to grant the winner of the All-Star game home field advantage in the World Series. The rule is ridiculous. Home field advantage should go to the team with the best record. Then again, MLB used to rotate home field advantage on a yearly basis between the leagues which is only slightly better than awarding the winning side of the All-Star game.
I understand why MLB used to do rotate home field in the World Series. Prior to interleague play, it could be deemed unfair to award home field advantage to the team with the best record when one league may simply be more competitive than the other. With interleague play, I find that reason to hold less weight.
The All-Star game should now go to the team with the best record, period, end of story. If MLB really wants to have the All-Star game determine home field advantage, then they need to alter other rules which will make the game less fan friendly. First, they need to get rid of the each team has a representative rule. The best players in the game must play in the game even if 85% of them come from two or three teams. Second, they need to stop allowing almost everyone to play. Starters should stay in for at least six innings. Third, the pitching rules must change. You have to get rid of the one or two innings per pitcher and throw the guys longer.
I am sure no one wants to see those rule changes. Fans enjoy seeing their representative player and enjoy seeing most of the All-Stars take the field or swing the bat. I know individual clubs would have a huge problem if their pitcher was the one who had to go five or six innings in an All-Star game. So, the easiest solution is to make this an exhibition game again. All you have to do to avoid a tie is keep a few alternate pitchers on each side who only will play if the game goes to extra innings. Or you can just have a mini homerun derby to decide the game. Let’s go ahead and reward the team with the best record home field advantage in the World Series.