Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bob Lobel: Tweaking Major League Baseball's All-Star Game

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Ever sit down in front of the computer and try, try, and try again to make sense of what you're supposed to write? 

The subject is sports, and the cupboard is bare. But hey, let's talk about the baseball All-Star game. Flawed, but not like other sports' All-Star presentations. 

Football is a joke, and they just can't figure it out. They know the Ideal Gas Law, but the only gas the NFL can pump into the sagging Pro Bowl is very similar to what your dog brings to a quiet evening in the living room. 

The one embarrassment for the baseball All-Star game is the system of picking the players to play. Fans vote. It was not always this way.    

For some reason, somebody sold them on getting the fans involved. Big mistake. And to make matters even more ridiculous, there is the maximum vote of 35 times. Yikes! This is crazy. 

Next best way is the old fashioned way of having the players and coaches pick the teams.  I say add a computer to the mix with all the salient information, since we are in the age of metrics. Metrics will tell us everything except who is using and who isn’t.  

It is just a way to clean up the chaos the system creates. Also, it is difficult to see how the winner of that game gets World Series home field advantage. The one immediate benefit of changing the voting process would be saving markets like Kansas City and Cincinnati.   

Fans of those teams have just loaded up the ballot boxes with their guys. Embarrassing. 

Now, every team does encourage its fans to vote for its players, but it’s a casual announcement, not a brazen attempt at stuffing the ballot box. 

So what's the point of this? Well, when players like Bogaerts, Ortiz, Bradley, and maybe Betts, along with Steven Wright make the team, it will be because they are true All-Stars for the first half of this season. 

Enough said. They earned it. 

One more thing: The absence of Brock Holt makes the heart grow fonder. Somebody like him, who is all baseball player, like Pedroia, is never deemed as valuable until he's not around. Intangibles. 

That’s why this team, with it's mediocre, at best, pitching, is where it is with that record. 

There… In this time of crisis and mourning, that is all I have to offer. Hopefully, things will be better next time.   

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