So, another one of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s ingenious ideas is causing controversy.
Selig’s latest proposal is to have the All-Star game determine whether the American or National Leagues get home field advantage in the World Series. Selig started this idea in response to last season’s All-Star game in Milwaukee, which ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings, when both sides ran out of players. He said that by giving players new incentive for playing hard, the events at Milwaukee’s game would not happen again.
Currently, the leagues rotate home field yearly. The team that has hosted Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 has won 15 of the last 17 World Series. The last eight Series that went to a Game 7 were won by the home team.
Again, baseball remains clueless. Rather than having something meaningful, like regular season records determine home field advantage, this proposal puts the decision in the hands of the players who do not play in the World Series. If Player A’s team will not participate in the World Series, then why does Player A influence who gets home field advantage?
Under Selig’s proposed plan, the 1997 World Series between Florida and Cleveland, the second to last Series to go to a Game 7, would have been played in Cleveland, regardless of the Marlins better record. Under the current plan, the 2001 World Series between Arizona and New York, the last Series to go to Game 7, occurred in Arizona, though the Yankees had the better record.
Only in baseball is something that strange the norm.
The owners voted 30-0 in favor of Selig’s plan last Thursday. The only hurdle remaining is the Players’ Association, which remains neutral on the issue. However, many players have made their thoughts clear.
Boston’s Johnny Damon says he doesn’t like the idea of “taking a chance of injuring himself for a game that’s for the league.”
Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said the All-Star format was “doing good the way it was.”
Selig has the right idea of trying to make the game more meaningful. However, he is going about it the wrong way. Perhaps a monetary reward for the team that winning team would provide incentive. If baseball wants to fix the All-Star game, the last thing it should worry about is what to do for the winning team.
Especially when last year there was no winner.
By Kevin Fair