I realized last night that the Major League Baseball All-Star game is obsolete, and I wouldn’t mind if it were scrapped completely.
The All-Star game was invented in a time when the only way to see your favorite players was to see them in person, and the only way to see the rest of the league’s stars was to wait until they visited your hometown. And the only way to see the other’s league’s stars, if you lived in a city with one team, was to hope your team and that team met in the World Series.
This is clearly not the case anymore. If you want to see the best players, just turn on Baseball Tonight on a nightly basis. Want to see them play full games? Get an MLB package, and watch any game you want. Don’t want that? Wait for interleague play, you’ll get the opportunity to see them all.
So what’s the draw? Seeing them all in once place, to play a meaningless game (except for hime field in the WS…a completely unrelated incentive that makes no sense)? I’d rather not risk the injury (if you’re a Mets fan, and were watching Carlos Beltran come up lame after legging out the ground ball last, don’t tell me you didn’t gasp). I’d rather not add an extra inning to my closer’s arm, especially when he needs the rest. I’d rather not have my slugger taking 30-40 extra home run swings in the heat of summer, when batting practice would normally have been cancelled.
Sure, there should be an award to the best players at each position. So do it like the NBA at the end of the season: first-team, second-team and third-team All-MLB. The All-Star game just doesn’t matter.
(Which is not to say that I wasn’t pumped during the ninth inning. Comeback wins with two outs in the ninth are always exciting, even in a little league game. Especially if I was rooting for the AL. Except that I didn’t want Mariano coming in. Oh, well. Go AL!)