MLB All Star weekend troubles.

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What does everyone want to be named to but nobody wants to go to? Answer—the MLB All Star Game. Many players earn a bonus if they are named to the game only to find they are unable to participate because they are totally disabled by a potentially fatal case of hangnail.

The American League has no players entered in the home run derby. Even the HRD which has been the one shining star in MLB’s All Star Weekend has some serious rust on it. While every All Star game has challenges, MLB’s game seems to be the most endangered.

Who wouldn’t give up a weekend off at home with the family in the middle of July to spend a couple of days on the field at St. Louis in 100 degree 100% humidity? Evidently plenty of people wouldn’t. Even the NFL has decided that to get anyone to play in their post season game, they have to hold it in Hawaii. Baseball holds their game in the middle of the season. Maybe they should put a franchise in Hawaii too. At least the weather would be better.

Players are afraid of injury. Remember Pete Rose running over Cleveland’s Ray Fosse in the 1970 game? Fosse was never the same after that hit. It cost him his career.

What has happened to MLB’s summer classic is inter league play and too much television. When Ben Franklin and I were kids, we seldom saw our favorite players on out of market teams except for the all star game. Ben was always a bigger baseball fan than I was. But you can’t eliminate inter league play because it draws fans to the ballparks all over the league. Reductions in TV games won’t be happening any time soon either. Baseball is losing enough money as it is. So what’s to be done?

One thing that should NEVER have been done is to allow the game to determine home field advantage in the World Series. Can you even imagine how stupid it would be to allow the West winning the NBA game 128-126 to give the Lakers home field advantage in the NBA finals?

Nothing can be done. Baseball can add a skills competition like the NHL and NBA has but that will not draw the top names. The old timers game is about the only thing that will draw some viewers but not enough to make a difference. A rookie game with 3A all stars vs the current rookie crop might generate some interest and exposure for future stars of the game.

As it has in every other area, baseball will continue to do the same things the same way and expect better results. That won’t work. Just ask our elected representatives in Washington. They use that exact approach to the problems we face.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: MLB,MLB ALL STAR GAME,NHL,NBA,LAKERS,World Series,home field advantage,Rose,Fosse
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One Response to “MLB All Star weekend troubles.”

  1. Mononucleosis
    on Jul 21st, 2009
    @ 10:32 am

    What role do you think favoritism of big market teams (yankees, bosox, mets) plays in putting the best/most deserving players? For instance the current batting leader in average, doubles, and 2nd in RBI’s Magglio Ordonez is 7th in the allstar voting in Right Field.
    .-= Mononucleosis´s last blog ..We all love and take care of ourselves. =-.

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