All-Star game should be an exhibition

Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

By the time you read this column, Tuesday night’s Major League All-Star Baseball game at the home of the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., will be history.

While baseball is my favorite sport and I have always enjoyed watching the All-Star game, I have a major problem with its current format.

After the 2002 All-Star game in Milwaukee ended in a 7-7 tie because both the American and National League All-Star teams ran out of pitchers, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig decided to give the game, what he termed, more meaning in future years.

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With that in mind, and with the approval of team owners, Selig decided to give the All-Star game league winner’s champion home field advantage in the World Series.

Prior to that the leagues rotated home field World Series advantage from year to year.

In my opinion they should either go back to that formula or allow the team with the best record between the two league champions to have home field advantage.

The All-Star game should be an exhibition game as it was for many years. If you are going to make it determine home field in the World Series, you should allow the managers, who faced each other in the previous World Series, to pick the best players from their leagues.

While I was in favor of letting the fans choose the starters and requiring that at least one player from each team be selected, as long it was an exhibition game, with something big like home field advantage in the World Series on the line in its current format, all of the player decisions should be left up to the managers.

It is my hope that in the near future the All-Star game will go back to being an exhibition game that everyone can enjoy.

Some of my fondest memories growing up were of watching the All-Star game with my late dad, who, like me, had a great passion for the game of baseball.

Among my favorite things to watch during All-Star week is the Monday night Home Run Derby, one of the many sporting events I usually view with my dear friend, Billy Simmons Jr.

Billy, who is a dedicated employee of Goodwill Industries in Bainbridge, an active member of the Bainbridge Lions Club and president of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Men’s Club, and who loves and supports all Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Lady Cats sports teams, is very concerned about his mother who is currently having some medical problems.

Please keep Billy, who is an inspiration to me and many other local citizens, his mother and all of their family in your prayers.