All-Star Absences Hurt the Game

MLB’s All-Star Game has long captivated fans by showcasing the best players in an exclusive, one-time event.  By adding “last man votes,” replacements and requiring even the worst teams be represented, the rosters have become too dilute to really represent the sport’s elite players.  I haven’t heard of half of these guys!  Even worse, perennials like Derek Jeter, who should be fighting to extend his All-Star career, will not be appearing.

Derek Jeter is the toast of the town and Major League Baseball again after dramatically achieving his 3,000th hit last Saturday, after many attempts and a rare injury slowed the climb. Despite his lack of performance overall, Jeter was elected to the All-Star Game once again, probably for the last time in his storied career.

That he just achieved a major milestone would cloud his current .270 average.  Maybe he is really injured badly, but he should go to the game just to tip his hat out of respect to the fans for voting him in.  Personally, I have always been a fan of the Mid-Summer Classic. From a statistical point of view, it should represent a higher league than MLB, and its records and history held in high esteem.

Tom Verducci referred to “little league rules” that force managers to play every player, take a guy from every team, etc. It has ruined the game, and the players’ lack of commitment is a reflection of the lack of competition that has defined the game for years.

Watching the game on tv sucks. It takes forever to start (although the lineups is my favorite part), has a zillion commercials, music performances and pitching changes to slow it down to a crawl.

It’s time to put the baseball back into the All-Star Game. One of the key strategic elements of the game is substitution. If you have an endless bench (and how could they all be stars?), this is not baseball. It’s more like an office softball game.

So instead of seeing a replay of Jeter with his own commentary, and a chance for all fans to cheer him and the game, we’ll get a video tape. I just can’t believe Derek Jeter is sitting out his last All-Star Game.  Something is very wrong in the state of Baseball, not to mention Arizona, where this farce will be acted out tonight.

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