I’m writing about the All Star game! White noise alert! White noise alert!
In all honesty, I don’t have anything to say on the subject that hasn’t been said before. I’m saying it anyway, out of annoyance.
The “Midsummer Classic” has become anything but. I don’t suppose that any system would be perfect. There will likely always be a few undeserving players elected to the All Star team, and a few deserving ones left off it. Lately, however, this problem seems to have escalated to a ridiculous point. The fan voting system was a horrible idea from the start, and really needs to go. The masses do not choose the players who are having the best years. They choose the players that they like best, namely big name players from successful large market teams. It’s nothing more than a popularity contest, and that was never what the Major League All Star Game was meant to be.
And then there is the World Series implications which are now tied into the game. This might be even worse than the voting system (together they make for an especially hideous beast of a thing.) What is the intended message here? A game featuring baseball’s brightest stars isn’t enough. Playing for pride, or fun, isn’t enough… it must mean something. There must be something at stake. Boo hiss, I say.
Why not just give the American League team automatic homefield advantage in October, skip the All Star game itself, and play four hours of commercials with brief intervals allowing Joe Buck and Tim McCarver to spew some nonsense about David Wright and Nolan Ryan and apple pie and golden retrievers? It would save me the trouble of actually having to watch.
Because I will watch. Sometimes I almost look forward to it, in my naivete. The 8-year-old in me thrills at the idea of sitting in front of the television with a dish of ice cream, eyes wide, ready to jump up and cheer if ever the camera should rest on my own beloved team’s lone representative. Of course, reality usually sets in with the first Taco Bell promotion.
The old-fashioned All-Star ideal still exists in my head. I can still dream of a bonfide midsummer classic in which the players who deserve to be there just play a good game, minus all the frills and headaches. (Perhaps I should cling to the more probable hope that, someday, someone will invent a time machine and I’ll be able to go back a few years and see exactly the sort of All Star game that I want.)
I don’t want a say in the starting lineup. I don’t want a mid-July game having direct ramifications on the World Series. I don’t want to be told that I’m watching something important and historical. All I wanna do is watch 2010’s sparklingest guys play a baseball game. Why is that too much to ask?