July 14, 2014

Can baseball make the #AllStarGame better, for #Cardinals fans and #MLB fans?

I'd like to think so. As a Cardinals fan, I'm loving the idea that Adam Wainwright is starting, lamenting that fact that Yadier Molina is missing to injury, and further lamenting the fact that, due to injury, Michael Wacha, who had a shot a month ago, won't be there.

As a general baseball fan, I'm definitely lamenting that Waino isn't dueling against Masahiro Tanaka due to his own injury.

First, let's start with the most obvious thing — getting rid of Bud Selig's idea that the All-Star Game should be used to determine home-team advantage in the World Series. With 15-team leagues and 5-team divisions theoretically allowing for more balanced schedules, and requiring year-round interleague play, the league champion with the best record should get World Series home advantage, pure and simple. I mean, the NBA and NHL don't use their All-Star games this way.

Second, let's play this on a better night. I'm not sure about the NHL, because I don't really follow hockey, but I know that the NBA brings the starts out on a Sunday night, not a Tuesday.

So, here we go.

MLB teams' ASG break day becomes Friday, not Sunday. In addition, we have, if not 1 p.m., 3 p.m. start times for all games. That lets the Futures game be played Friday night without competition. 

Our All-Star extravaganza then gets started on Saturday. Home Run Derby and/or whatever else we decide is needed here. (More on that in a minute.)

Then, the All-Star Game itself plays on Sunday night, not Tuesday night. It's the climax of a weekend. And, it starts a half-hour, or an hour, earlier, just like the NBA does with weekend playoff games on TV.

And, to seal it off, and give non-All Star players an extra day of rest, as well as All Star nominees, scrounge an off day from elsewhere in the schedule to make Monday a day off. (That's per what the ASG used to be like, until the days off ran through Thursday, which is too much lull, IMO.)

And, find something else baseball-related to do on Monday in the host city for people wanting a total baseball fix.

How about an old-timers All-Star game? Selig could name captains/managers for each team. Eligible players would be retired three years, a little less severe than with Hall of Fame eligibility. We could either have the two managers draft, or have fan votes. In that case, the league in which a player played the most would be his league for voting purposes. Or we could have managers draft, but still do it as a league-vs-league competition.  Make it seven innings, with no pitcher throwing more than one inning and no position player playing for more than one time through the batting order. (DHs would be replaced by other DHs, in a rare time I'd support a DH game.)

We could have classic older captains in Henry Aaron vs Willie Mays, or somewhat younger ones, and league-separated, too, in Ozzie Smith vs. Cal Ripken.

Get rid of the All-Star Softball Clash, or, if you insist on keeping it, shove it into some dark corner. Does the NBA have celebrity 3-on-3 or H-O-R-S-E? Uhh, no! So, this would replace that.

You'd also have veterans available for autographs as they chose, with something like this.

I mean, I'm just scratching the surface of good ways, not dumb ways, Bud could make the All-Star break better.

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