Feldman: All-Star Game must matter for it to remain relevant
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 12: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals will start Tuesday's All-Star Game for the National League team. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) By Mike McGinnis
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- There are countless jokes out there about how Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game “counts”. It has meaning in the sense that it determines home field advantage in the World Series. There are those who despise that notion.
Why in the world would we give a team credit for something other plays accomplished for them several months prior?
The arguments are sound. It’s not a perfect thing for that to be the case. But MLB has one thing right. It makes Tuesday night’s game between the National League and the American League interesting. And without intrigue do you know what you’d have?
The Pro Bowl – the biggest joke of an All-Star game ever created in professional sports. The guys in the NFL don’t particularly care about it and hardly give much effort. Granted, their seasons are over by that point and football is a sport you’re bound to get hurt in more so than baseball.
But it’s still an exhibition that means nothing. So why bother watching and having a vested interest in it?
Knowing Adam Wainwright is going to try and get as many American League hitters out has he possibly can so whoever represents the National League can have the best possible chance at winning the World Series will draw viewers and make things more exciting than if this meant nothing.
Who, honestly, has fun watching a game that doesn’t count towards something? It’s like watching a spring training game. Sure, we watch those because we’re so desperately craving baseball and can’t wait for the season to start. But that’s not the case here.
We’ve been watching baseball for three and a half months already. It wouldn’t be a problem taking a few days off from it before the 2nd half begins on Friday.
What draws interest (and with it excitement) is the fact we’re watching a real baseball game and not just an exhibition with guys throwing a ball, swinging a bat and having fun.
Fans want excitement. Fans want suspense. Fans want the games they’re watching to actually have some meaning behind them as opposed to being glorified recess in school.
Home field advantage in the World Series? Truthfully, I wish there was another way to make the All Star game count. But there isn’t. And making the Midsummer Classic meaningful is more important.
So home field advantage in the World Series it is.