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All Star Fiasco

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on July 11, 2007 at 8:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

Stupid. That describes Bud Selig's decision to base home field advantage in the World Series on the outcome of the All Star Game. The game is nothing more than an exhibition, a one night showcase for the game's best players. It should have zero impact on what happens in October. Selig's decision diminishes what teams accomplish over six months. The team with the best record should be rewarded with home field. Save the argument about the two league champions not playing the same schedule. Interleague play is completely unbalanced and yet it counts. The Cardinals paid the price in 2004. After winning 105 games in the regular season, they both earned and deserved home field. I can't guarantee it would have changed the outcome but I'd bet my last dollar that it wouldn't have been a sweep.

Baseball has never gotten it right. It used to alternate home field between the leagues. That benefitted the Cards in 1982 but it cost them in 1985 and 1987 when they won far more games than either the Royals('85) or Twins('87) did. It's time to correct the problem. The best team over the course of 162 games earns the right to home field.

Now that I've solved that issue, we move on to Tony Larussa's decision to "save" Albert Pujols for extra innings. Huh? Let me say that I'm not one of those guys who engages in routine Tony-bashing. I don't think I know more than the skipper. I've come to accept his unconventional approach given the results. But sometimes he overthinks situations and this is one of those occasions. He had two perfect opportunites to use Pujols in the ninth inning and win it in regulation. He could have pinch hit him for either Orlando Hudson or Aaron Rowand. You have to take your chances with the guy who has been the best hitter in baseball the previous six seasons. Period. Plus he's earned his shot. There's no way either Hudson or Rowand wouldn't understand. Aaron Rowand or Albert Pujols with the game on the line? That's not a tough decision.

But, I've always believed an All Star Game manager is in a no win situation. He has to find a way to please 25 superstars and all their fans. Good luck! Every year someone gets bent out of shape because he didn't play or play enough. It's an honor to play in an All Star Game. But, it's a burden to manage in one.

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