Does anyone remember when it wasn’t fashionable to just bash the whole idea of an All Star game? I remember being so excited about it when I was younger, it was a highlight of the summer. As with most things in life, those that we remember fondly as children often continue to hold a dear place in our hearts as adults, yet here we are, bashing the All Star game, holding it to a standard that an exhibition game shouldn’t be held. Is this the same event that used to mean something to me as a kid, pr Pete Rose as a player?
I hear from my father so many stories of baseball days of yore. He is a man that cherishes the old days, often to a point where he signals how far we’ve move away from them while offering his opinion of how horrible the departure is. When I was younger, one of the reasons why I wanted the Phillies to win a World Series wasn’t just to watch my favorite team reach the pinnacle, but also to shut my dad up about Dallas Green, Larry Bowa, and the other intense players, thinking that they proved the only blue print to be followed for the way to win the Series. Through my father, I learned about who was the only Phillies player to hit a game winning home run in an all star game, and then the heart ache that followed that same season. I learned how the great Pete Rose never took a play off, not even in the All Star Game. Baseball games never ended in a tie when he was younger, either.
But that was then, and this is now.
When I was younger, the All Star Game held so many aspects that made it special, something unlike any one would see during the baseball season. It stood apart from your average baseball ball game, as you would see National League and American League players on the field at the same time. My favorite team was represented, even when the Phillies had no chance of ever making it to the World Series. It would often be a chance to see Mike Scmidt, Ozzie Smith and Ryne Sandberg on the same team. These players existed during the Free Agency, but never left their respective team in which they broke into the league. But, as we move forward with ludicrous contracts, we see players leave their original teams, playing on so many teams. You could point to the Yankees as the most egregious of this, but that’s the way the game is now, and there’s no doubt it will continue like this.
Some people have expressed a favorable opinion about the All Star Game “Meaning Something,” meaning that it determines home field advantage in the World Series. I admit, there’s a logic behind this that I could probably get behind-the All Star Game is supposed to be a showcase of each leagues’ best players, so the best players will battle it out to determine something so important. Of course, when you see players like Derek Jeter not playing in the game, even though he’s not even on the disabled list, or Cole Hamels not pitch, because of the rule that if you pitch on the Sunday before the game you can’t pitch during the ASG, you start to wonder who these Stars are in the ASG. It took so many injuries to get Andrew McCutchen on the ever expanding roster, even though a third baseman from the Cubs is batting nearly 50 points higher in average than the guy that’s getting the start-but he wasn’t even included on the roster. The roster is filled with questionable players and back ups that you wonder why a B Squad All Star roster should be determining something as important as homefield advantage.