Should All-Star Game Count? [David Stefanini]
I think it's idiotic to have this game determine who gets home field advantage in the World Series. What's wrong with having an exhibition game to showcase the all-stars? Is it fair to the team with the best record in the league to have to travel on the road in the World Series? I think the answer is no. Just tell the managers to play the game to win, or find something else to give to the winning team.
I understand why the move was made. Fans want the game to count for something. Years ago the game meant something because you were either for the NL or the AL. Players would spend their entire 18 year careers in the NL or the AL and truly felt connected to that conference. In today's game due to free agency players hop conferences every year. Not many players have ties to a specific conference.
Did the fact that this game 'counts' last year end the game without a tie, no. Let the game play out, let the starters stay in longer. Let the pitchers actually throw a couple innings. Maybe as a backup have two extra pitchers added to the team and keep them as 'reserves'. Just in case the game goes into extra innings have two starters on each team waiting in the bullpen to throw 3 or 4 innings.
If I was a fan of a team who has a real shot at reaching the World Series I would be praying that the best pitchers and hitters play the most amount of time. This game should be for entertainment only. If you want the game to matter, give money to the winning team and watch how much harder these millionaires play. Instead of telling Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates to play is hardest because Pittsburgh may need to host the World Series.