Bud Selig created value for the All-Star game after the tie of 2002, making the winning side have home-field advantage during the World Series. However, it seems like the All-Star game is becoming the NFL Pro Bowl, filled with injuries, replacements and non-Stars becoming All-Stars.
This year, there are 43 American League All-Stars and 41 National League All-Stars. The starting third baseman for the National League is now Scott Rolen, he of the .241/.276/.398 line in 62 games, showing the devastation of the “Year of the Weak Hot Corner.” There are four injury replacements and several others who were replaced due to pitching on Sunday or nursing injuries.
So much for the value of the World Series home-field advantage. This game is all about honoring the achievements of the players who the fans love, nothing more than that. That is why Derek Jeter was voted in, why Cal Ripken was voted in, and Griffey, Jr. was voted in for so many years. The value of the player is important, which is why teams worry about their players in the World Baseball Classic or pitching in foreign Winter Leagues. This game is more than that. Show some respect for the fans, the people who create your revenue and salary, the people who passionately root for the Pirates through the last 19 years, and the people who came back when you turned your back on them in 1994. This game is important because of the memories – Cal Ripken’s homerun, Bo Jackson and Wade Boggs going back to back, Torii Hunter robbing Barry Bonds, and Pete Rose running through Ray Fosse. Do your job that you did so well and get on the field, that’s why you were chosen by fans and peers in the first place.