Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mid Season Classic

The mid-season classic also known as the all star game is almost upon us. The same issues that come up every year are yet again being raised. First of all, why does every team have to have a representative. I understand this rule in principle, but when it leads to someone as mediocre as Mark Redmen from the Royals being included, it borders on ridiculous. If this rule is going to be enforced, then they need to add a couple of spots to each roster. Clearly more deserving people are being left off because of the need to have someone from every team. Plus this rule was enacted when there were at least four fewer teams in each league. The rosters have not grown to accommodate that fact.

Next, why isn't DH a position on the all star ballot? It's clearly a position in the American League. It seems silly to have Jim Thome, David Ortiz and Jason Giambi listed as first basemen when the majority of their time is spent at DH. So what if there's no DH in the National league park. Have you ever heard of a pinch hitter? Clearly the pitcher isn't going to hit, so they will need people off the bench to bat for him. I don't know of a more perfect situation to use a designated hitter. That's what the position is for, to hit for the pitcher. It's ridiculous.

The game has been used for the past couple of years to determine home field advantage in the World Series. This doesn't make any sense. It stems from the all star game in Milwaukee a few years ago that ended in a tie. Now it was a mistake for the teams to agree to end that game, but the commissioner over reacted by making the game worth more than it should be. It is after all an exhibition. The goal is for the fans to see the most popular players perform and to not get anybody hurt. By making the game actually "worth" something, the commissioner is really asking for one of the managers to over use the players. The starting pitchers shouldn't go more than two innings and the relievers shouldn't go more than one. The problem is that if the game is close in the late innings and home field advantage is on the line, maybe the manager would be tempted to use Mariano Rivera for more than one inning. Two, three even. It's dangerous and it shouldn't be part of the game.

My last sticking point is with the manager of each of the teams getting to add players at his own discretion. Ozzie Guillen decided to add six of his own players to the team this year. There are certainly players from other teams who are more deserving, but it is the manager of the squad who gets the final say. I guess there's something to a manager being loyal to his players, but it's unfair when you basically use every available spot that you have to pick your own players. Clearly there are more deserving players out there. Of course Ozzie Guillen is an absolute jerk. I really can't wait until that team starts losing. It's going to be amazing how quickly he will go from being amusing and honest to pathetic and bitter.

That's about it for the All star game rant. I'll enjoy the home run derby, at least.

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