(Originally posted on my MySpace blog July 11, 2006)
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the All-Star Game. I looked forward to it for days. I spent hours arguing about who belonged and who didn’t. I kept score of the game (or, more accurately, I tried to keep score of the game, because even though I kept a pretty mean scorecard, YOU try to keep your scorecard neat when 25 players enter the game for each team).
I remember things like Dave Parker throwing a strike to home plate from the right-field corner to nail a runner trying to score; Bo Jackson hitting a ball that may not have landed yet; and a then-young hotshot Giants pitcher, Atlee Hammaker, getting absolutely torched in the 1983 All-Star Game – seven runs in 2/3 of an inning.
But over the years, I’ve gotten to the point where I barely care about the All-Star Game, if at all. I have the game on tonight, but it’s on in the background, and I’m also listening to the Chili Peppers, doing work and writing this blog. That would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.
Why? There are several reasons I can think of.
One of the main reasons is the player movement, which is far more frequent than when I was a kid. I’m still a huge baseball fan, and I’m usually in two fantasy leagues every season, yet at least once during every Yankee game, I find myself asking, “Since when is (player name) on (team name)?” It was more fun for me when the core of each league’s team was the same every year.
Another one, and probably the most important one to me, was the number of stories I read about players just not caring about the game. Between guys who were healthy enough to play blowing it off, or guys who were in the game giving half-assed efforts, it made me think, “If they don’t care, why should I?”
More recently, the tie a few years ago, with dumb-ass Bud Selig in the stands on national TV shrugging his shoulders, left a bad taste in my mouth and, likely, the mouths of most baseball fans. It wasn’t so much that I cared who won the game, or even if there WAS a winner, but the sheer disorganization was baffling.
And most recently, even though I guess it was meant as a solution to the last thing I vented about, the idea of the All-Star Game – an EXHIBITION game, no matter how you slice it – determining home field in the World Series is one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever heard of in sports.
For argument’s sake, say the White Sox win the American League again and end up playing the Mets in the World Series. Now say the White Sox win 98 games and the Mets, coasting with such a huge lead in their division, win 94. You’re going to tell me that it makes sense for game seven to be in Shea Stadium because Mark Redman of the Royals, who will be nowhere near the playoffs, let up a home run to Jason Bay of the Pirates, who will be nowhere near the playoffs? This idea is even dumber than injury time/stoppage time in soccer.
“THIS TIME, IT COUNTS!” Oh, seriously, BITE ME.
However, there is ONE good thing about the All-Star Game: It’s giving me a much-needed four-day vacation from the Yankees!