Wednesday, July 11, 2007

2007 All-Star Game

Freddy Sanchez takes infield - AP Photo/ Eric Risberg

Those of us at Wait 'Til Next Year (aka me) have been taking our own All-Star break the past few days. We have passed the time by reading about the 1997 team and watching specials on the teams of the early 1990's. Oh yeah, and the All-Star Game was played last night.

Maybe it is just me, but I do not like watching the All-Star Game as much any more. Maybe I am just bitter because the winner of an exhibition game now plays a factor in the World Series. The World Series is the most important element of the entire baseball season, and it is being tampered with. Why? In an attempt to increase the All-Star Game’s television ratings and help Bud Selig’s image recover from the infamous tie. Five years ago, the game was not important enough to finish. Now it arguably affects the entire season.

The biggest problem with this format is that managers must run the game in an effort to win, while also playing as many players as possible. As a result, you run into some of the situations that came up last night. Albert Pujols, who very well may become the greatest hitter in baseball history some day, never reached the field. Michael Young, who won last year’s game with a late triple, also remained glued to the bench. There is no reason to bring these players to the game if they are just going to sit there. Maybe next year, Pujols decides he is more interested in spending these three days at home. Then the losers will be the fans. Just make the game an exhibition again and return to alternating the World Series home-field advantage.

For those of you interested in Freddy Sanchez’s role last night, he entered the game in the top of the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Freddy made a nice catch of a foul pop off the bat of Justin Morneau. He had to elude the bullpen mounds just before making the catch. His fly to center ended the bottom of the inning. The American League won again, 5-4.

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