Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to the All-Star Shyte Show

Everyone who knows the Coop knows she is a huge baseball fan. I am a Mets fan first, baseball fan second (Rangers hockey fan thirds and Jets fourth, in case you were wondering).

Although I am a huge baseball fan, I can't say I am a fan of the All-Star Game. This has been a more recent development, I would say I stopped caring about it when Bud Selig made it "count" by making World Series home field advantage contingent upon which league won the game. I understand that it was in "response" to a year when there was a play for a tie. However, call me crazy, I find that kind of "exhibition" more interesting than say having an every day player put himself out for a game that might not even impact how his team fares in October.

Meaning, only eight teams could potentially be impacted by the whole home field advantage thing. Meaning, every team needs to be represented in the All-Star Game. Meaning a guy on the Houston Astros has to play hard just because someone on the Cardinals (a division rival) might need it to have 1/4 of a chance to make the National League the home field team in the World Series. When you know the dude on the Astros will be golfing.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for playing hard in the All-Star Game. After all, some of the best games I remember watching as a game were low-scoring efforts. Meaning, they were more dependent on pitching duels and players actually being proactive in wanting to win. I have no issue with a player who wants to play hard and represent his league and make them "proud."

Making the players "have" to care, that's not something I'm cool with.

Case and point: 2006 All-Star Game. Although I said I stopped caring for it earlier in the decade (possibly the only one I watched beginning to end was in 2001, just to see my hero Cal Ripken Jr. play his last ASG, and to see him win the MVP too). The 2006 All-Star Game had many Mets representing. So of course I had to watch. I was thrilled when Carlos Beltran showed some aggressiveness, to the point where it looked like his ASG MVP was in the bag.

Enter Miguel "Fat Boy" Cabrera and Trevor Hoffman in the 9th inning. When Cabrera "Dorn'd" a ball that should have by all accounts been an easy play, of course Hoffman gets rattled and blows the save. Michael Young becomes the American League hero, and Beltran is all but an after-thought.

I wasn't so much upset about the National League losing home field advantage in the World Series, and hey tough breaks for Beltran, he's a big boy I'm sure he can handle it. However, Cabrera's team wasn't even sniffing the playoffs that year. Hoffman had more on the line, since his team actually made the playoffs. But I stopped caring when guys like Lance Berkman from the Astros was joking around in the press, when asked about whether he plays harder because National League home field is on the line, he made some kind of comment that "Oh I'm sure I won't lose any sleep if we lose."

Tell me again why this game "counts" for "ANYTHING?" I don't even get jazzed about the Home Run Derby, simply because it seems to ruin the swing of most players who participate.

The only thing I would remotely want to watch is Ubaldo Jimenez pitch, and even that, meh. He'll only pitch, what two innings, three innings tops? I really want to see Angel Stadium though, but hey, I can visit Anaheim anytime.

Not to mention the abject nepotism played by the "Managers," clearly the NL and AL reps from the Series last season. Charlie Manuel is a dick head to the nth degree, we all know this, but saying that Ryan Howard, a mediocre first baseman at best who is a dime-a-dozen represents while other more deserving players are not going. Then again, why should they? Maybe Howard will play harder since his team actually has a chance of making the playoffs.

I feel like a bad baseball fan for not caring or watching. Since I am going to be on the west coast this week, perhaps I will watch it tomorrow night. After all, my better half likes to view it. As long as I'm somewhere I can drink beer maybe I can tolerate it. Otherwise...why bother?

Stand proud, be loud Mets fans! Megdal for GM has two new primaries this week, at Amazin Avenue and Faith and Fear in Flushing. Whether you agree or not with his campaign, voting is the most important thing to do here. You can also hear Megdal and Mets poobah Marty Noble speak tonight at Amazin Monday at Two Boots Tavern. Unfortunately, I cannot make it, but tell 'em Coop sent ya if you make it.


Profe said...

The All Star game is a complete joke. It makes zero sense. It is a total popularity contest, and on top of that, every team needs a representative. If I'm an NL fan and this game "counts" I'd rather just vote for the crappiest, most injured AL players out there and hopefully get home field for my team in the series. But then what if they aren't in it? The whole thing is about $$$$. It should be a day, one game, and be done, not the entire fiasco it has become.

Bear Man said...

It seems the Home Run Derby gets more attention than the All-Star Game. Do fans really care about the game itself? Fans do care about the World Series. Therefore, eliminate the winner getting home-field advantage in the World Series and just play the game. It can be more fun that way when there's nothing attached to it. Then there would be less complaining about all the other things associated with the game.

DyHrdMET said...

oh crap - the fly ball derby is on. Oh well, I'm watching something else. I just had a flash of what that would look like at Citi Field in a few years.

The All-Star Game is a big joke. From the popularity contest to the prize to the winning team. The downfall of the All-Star Game was when the players' salaries got to be so big that the lollygagging started and players wouldn't play hard (granted not all players did this).

Thinking about it now, I just can't see how rewarding the winning team with home field advantage in the World Series is a way to fix a tie in an exhibition game.