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I don't think the All-Star Game should determine home field advantage of the World Series


Barnaby Graves

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I don't either, but that's typical for MLB. They always are a step or 10 behind the rest of the world. Kinda like having a 1-game playoff "series" for the wildcard teams after playing 162 games. Dumb.

I love the 1-game wildcard playoff. Makes winning the division more important, which is exactly what it was supposed to do.

I don't like the AS game thing either. I wouldn't mind quite so much if

a) the rule that every team must have a participant was waived, and

b) the managers actually managed it like it mattered

The idea that the game "counts" but every manager still goes out of his way to try to make sure everyone gets some token playing time is a joke. If it counts, play it like it counts.

Anyway, inter-league play pretty much killed the AS game, IMO.

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I love the 1-game wildcard playoff. Makes winning the division more important, which is exactly what it was supposed to do.

I understand your point, but couldn't they still accomplish this with a best 2 out of 3 series? It seems a bit absurd that a team would work for 162 games, make the playoffs and not have the opportunity to play 1 home game. I know, I know.....win the game and you'll get the opportunity. Still, baseball has time in its schedule for 3 days of all-star activities. Just sayin'....

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I don't like it that much either, but I don't know of a good alternative. People are quick to say "the team with the best record should have home field." But when you don't play the same teams, and the style of play is different between leagues, I don't really think that the records of the league champions are comparable.

I wouldn't mind quite so much if

a) the rule that every team must have a participant was waived, and

b) the managers actually managed it like it mattered

I 100% agree with this and I have been saying this since the beginning. If the game carries this much weight, it should not be managed like an exhibition game.

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I agree with the OP. Although I'm no fan of interleague play, I think its presence helps to erode the argument against granting home field advantage to the league champion with the better record, especially since it now takes place throughout the season. "This Time It Counts" was a bad decision following another bad decision. It needed to end before it began.

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To me, it's ironic that Selig decided that the All-Star Game should decide home field advantage for the World Series 10 years ago to give it more significance for this reason:

Of the 4 major team sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey), baseball was always the one all-star game that anybody ever really cared about at all (fans and players.) Nobody ever cared about the outcome of the A.F.C. vs. the N.F.C. in football, the Eastern Conference vs. the Western Conference or the Wales Conference vs. the Campbell Conference in hockey, or the East Conference vs. the West Conference in basketball.

Baseball's all-star game was the one game that actually carried some weight in regard to bragging rights, and it drove me up a wall that the National League would win it every year without fail when I was a kid (1972-1982.)

Even more recently, I remember when Tony Gwynn scored the winning run on a play at the plate in the 1994 All-Star Game to win it in the bottom of the 10th inning to break the National League's 6-game losing streak. He immediately jumped up smiling, and was mobbed by all of his National League teammates. It was a spontaneous celebration, similar to a when a team wins a game on the final play of a game in a regular season contest that counts in the standings.

Obviously, those bragging rights were not nearly as important as winning the division title, and/or the League Championship, and/or the World Series, but it did matter ........ unquestionably more so than the all-star games in the other 3 previously mentioned sports.

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Bud wants the All Star game to matter, so he came up with this plan. But it didn't change anything. The All Star game still doesn't matter, the players don't care any more. The managers still manage like the only goal is to get 33 guys in the game on each team and not get anyone hurt. You can't will something to matter when nobody really cares.

But having said that making the All Star game determine WS home field advantage isn't any more or less dumb than alternating or randomly drawing straws or something.

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Historically, home-field advantage for the World Series isn't really much of an advantage. For example, in Game 7s, the home team is 17-16. Most series never get to Game 7 (about 35%), when the home/road split really presents itself.

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Who cares really? Alternating the years or forcing them to fight it out. They could flip a coin or see who can drink a beer bong the fastest. Some way has to be developed and it matters so little.

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Not to diminish the conversation or the topic, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find many who DO like the All Star Game determining home field in the World Series.

I think it should be determined by a good ol fashioned game of Bubble Gum Bubble Gum. You can line up all 50 players from both teams in the World Series, and have it televised on the MLB Network the day before games are set to begin. That would be saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaweeeeeeeeeeeet!

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Bud wants the All Star game to matter, so he came up with this plan.

I think it was the best idea Bud Selig ever had. Even when the AL was dominating the All Star game, I loved it. It's absolutely appropriate and fitting that the league winning the All Star game should get the home field advantage. I don't understand all the opposition to it. I suspect that many opponents are just transposing their dislike for Bud Selig onto anything and everything he's done.

... But it didn't change anything.

It certainly did!

...The All Star game still doesn't matter, the players don't care any more.

Some players don't care. I think the vast majority of them do. I've listened to many interviews with players discussing the honor of being selected and the honor of representing their team and their league and I felt that most of them were quite sincere. The ones that aren't -- well there are bad apples in every field of endeavor.

Fans want their teams' players on the team. When it doesn't happen, we console ourselves that the break will leave our players more rested for the remainder of the season, but it's still a disappointment.

The method of selecting the starting lineups is a joke! In recent years, I've refused to participate in that travesty. Let fans select their own team's representative, but have the players, coaches, and managers determine who's going to be in the starting lineup. Then fill out the rest of the roster around the starting lineups and the fan team representative selections.

The managers still manage like the only goal is to get 33 guys in the game on each team and not get anyone hurt. You can't will something to matter when nobody really cares.

It is still an exhibition game. Fans justifiably want to see their players get a fair (or more) share of playing time. I remember how outraged O's fans were when Cito Gaston kept Mike Mussina in the bullpen as his "last resort" pitcher in 1993, and how Cardinals fans were equally upset when Tony La Russa kept Albert Pujols as his "last resort" utility player on the bench in 2007.

I think managers do need to strike a balance between showcasing the best players in the game and winning, and I don't think it's all that difficult. When Gaston set up his tentative lineups and pitching rotation, he ought to have planned to use all the representative of the host team in the game. It's not like Mussina was a bad pitcher that season (10-4, 4.10 ERA in the first half). It wasn't even a close game after the 6th inning.

I think the rule to allow a catcher to reenter the game in case of an injury to his replacement is a good idea. We don't want "emergency catchers" making a travesty of the game.

I also think it's a good idea to permit the game to end in a draw if one or both teams have used up their bullpens. We don't want position players pitching in the All Star game, nor do we want relievers getting stretched out to an excessive number of innings just because they're the last arm available. An All Star manager should plan his pitching changes to get through 11-14 innings, but shouldn't be expected to hoard long guys in the bullpen just in case the game drags out to 15-20 innings.

So the All Star is an exhibition game -- the best of any sport -- and it has a realistic objective beyond showcasing the game's best players -- to win World Se4ries home field advantage for the winning league. I think that's absolutely great, and I can't understand why anyone would feel otherwise, unless they're projecting their dislike of Selig onto everything he's done.

... But having said that making the All Star game determine WS home field advantage isn't any more or less dumb than alternating or randomly drawing straws or something.

All the other methods of determining home field advantage are "more dumb".

The only advantage of alternating home field advantage, as was done for over 3/4 of a century, is that it assures an even distribution. However, since it's rare anymore for the same team to win the pennant in sequential seasons, getting the home field advantage that way is just "dumb luck".

The only advantage of flipping a coin or drawing straws is that it's random and thereby "fair". Only if there were no other suitable method, should random selection be used.

In the division and league championship series, team record is used to determine home field advantage. This allows the teams that "earn" home field advantage to get it. Head-to-head record could also be used and, in fact, that is the first tiebreaker when teams have the same regular season records. The disadvantage of using team records to determine home field advantage is that few teams will have equivalent strength schedules, but there is no All Star game internal to the league which could be used instead for that purpose for the division and league championship series.

When the All Star game is played, no one knows who will be the 2 teams in the World Series, so it gives every player in the game the opportunity to contribute toward winning home field advantage for his own team if it gets that far. Also, since the teams with the best chance of getting to the World Series usually have more representatives in the game, it gives those teams more opportunity to affect their fate.

Some will argue that home field advantage doesn't mean that much and most of the time it doesn't, but it is an advantage -- sometimes a critical one. In 1987, home field advantage was absolutely decisive for the weaker team. Local Minneapolis radio stations distributed noisemakers to their fans and the fans were so noisy that they disrupted communications for the visiting teams in the post season. In football, they've even penalized teams for the noise generated by their fans. Of course, baseball teams playing in domed stadiums don't get to the World Series all that often.

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I think it was the best idea Bud Selig ever had. Even when the AL was dominating the All Star game, I loved it. It's absolutely appropriate and fitting that the league winning the All Star game should get the home field advantage. I don't understand all the opposition to it. I suspect that many opponents are just transposing their dislike for Bud Selig onto anything and everything he's done.

No, I just completely disagree with taking a meaningless, fun exhibition with a nonsensical roster and an even more nonsensical selection process (or if you like, popularity contest that has only a passing connection to player quality) and assigning actual consequences to it. I think any time you take a fun throwaway thing and assign ACTUAL VALUE to it you're probably for the worse.

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I think it was the best idea Bud Selig ever had. Even when the AL was dominating the All Star game, I loved it. It's absolutely appropriate and fitting that the league winning the All Star game should get the home field advantage. I don't understand all the opposition to it. I suspect that many opponents are just transposing their dislike for Bud Selig onto anything and everything he's done.

It certainly did!

Some players don't care. I think the vast majority of them do. I've listened to many interviews with players discussing the honor of being selected and the honor of representing their team and their league and I felt that most of them were quite sincere. The ones that aren't -- well there are bad apples in every field of endeavor.

Fans want their teams' players on the team. When it doesn't happen, we console ourselves that the break will leave our players more rested for the remainder of the season, but it's still a disappointment.

The method of selecting the starting lineups is a joke! In recent years, I've refused to participate in that travesty. Let fans select their own team's representative, but have the players, coaches, and managers determine who's going to be in the starting lineup. Then fill out the rest of the roster around the starting lineups and the fan team representative selections.

It is still an exhibition game. Fans justifiably want to see their players get a fair (or more) share of playing time. I remember how outraged O's fans were when Cito Gaston kept Mike Mussina in the bullpen as his "last resort" pitcher in 1993, and how Cardinals fans were equally upset when Tony La Russa kept Albert Pujols as his "last resort" utility player on the bench in 2007.

I think managers do need to strike a balance between showcasing the best players in the game and winning, and I don't think it's all that difficult. When Gaston set up his tentative lineups and pitching rotation, he ought to have planned to use all the representative of the host team in the game. It's not like Mussina was a bad pitcher that season (10-4, 4.10 ERA in the first half). It wasn't even a close game after the 6th inning.

I think the rule to allow a catcher to reenter the game in case of an injury to his replacement is a good idea. We don't want "emergency catchers" making a travesty of the game.

I also think it's a good idea to permit the game to end in a draw if one or both teams have used up their bullpens. We don't want position players pitching in the All Star game, nor do we want relievers getting stretched out to an excessive number of innings just because they're the last arm available. An All Star manager should plan his pitching changes to get through 11-14 innings, but shouldn't be expected to hoard long guys in the bullpen just in case the game drags out to 15-20 innings.

So the All Star is an exhibition game -- the best of any sport -- and it has a realistic objective beyond showcasing the game's best players -- to win World Se4ries home field advantage for the winning league. I think that's absolutely great, and I can't understand why anyone would feel otherwise, unless they're projecting their dislike of Selig onto everything he's done.

All the other methods of determining home field advantage are "more dumb".

The only advantage of alternating home field advantage, as was done for over 3/4 of a century, is that it assures an even distribution. However, since it's rare anymore for the same team to win the pennant in sequential seasons, getting the home field advantage that way is just "dumb luck".

The only advantage of flipping a coin or drawing straws is that it's random and thereby "fair". Only if there were no other suitable method, should random selection be used.

In the division and league championship series, team record is used to determine home field advantage. This allows the teams that "earn" home field advantage to get it. Head-to-head record could also be used and, in fact, that is the first tiebreaker when teams have the same regular season records. The disadvantage of using team records to determine home field advantage is that few teams will have equivalent strength schedules, but there is no All Star game internal to the league which could be used instead for that purpose for the division and league championship series.

When the All Star game is played, no one knows who will be the 2 teams in the World Series, so it gives every player in the game the opportunity to contribute toward winning home field advantage for his own team if it gets that far. Also, since the teams with the best chance of getting to the World Series usually have more representatives in the game, it gives those teams more opportunity to affect their fate.

Some will argue that home field advantage doesn't mean that much and most of the time it doesn't, but it is an advantage -- sometimes a critical one. In 1987, home field advantage was absolutely decisive for the weaker team. Local Minneapolis radio stations distributed noisemakers to their fans and the fans were so noisy that they disrupted communications for the visiting teams in the post season. In football, they've even penalized teams for the noise generated by their fans. Of course, baseball teams playing in domed stadiums don't get to the World Series all that often.

Interesting points. I think that having a mid season exhibition game determine the home field advantage of the World Series is a ridiculous idea. Selig overreacted when the bullpens ran dry years ago. I believe that the game was in Milwaukee which embarrassed him even more. The result was a bad idea from a guy who probably never even played in a JV baseball game.

Like I said, you make some good points, but I disagree with your statement that "it's still an exhibition game." The stakes might be low, but I can see where a manger might have a difficult time using everyone while trying to win. Also, you did not say what you would do in the event of a tie. If the game is truly going to determine home field advantage, they pretty much have to play until someone wins. Even if Miguel Cabrera is lobbing them in during the 17th inning.

Touching on the Mussina incident. Yeah, Gaston should have let him pitch in front of his home crowd, but Mussina had no right to warm up on his own. Both of those guys were bush IMO.

Anyway, I'm in favor of the team with the better regular season record having home field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series. If you have played the best baseball over 162 games, you should be rewarded for it in the post season.

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