David Ortiz gets thrown out at second in the bottom of the ninth. (Gttyimages)
Sure this may sound like sour grapes because the AL lost, but in all honestly, at its very best, the MLB All-Star game is just a really fun exhibition game to watch. And yes, I concede that of all the other All-Star games it's head over heels above the other leagues, but that's not the point. Imagine if you will, just for a moment - that the NBA All-Star game had the same implications as the MLB All-Star Game. This year the East edged the West in front of 108,713 fans in Dallas for the victory. What that would have meant a month ago is that Game 6 & 7 of the NBA Finals would have been played in Boston, which most likely would have swung who the current NBA Champion is. I would have loved that for my own selfish reasons as a Celtic fan, but would have it really been fair to reward the Celtics for cruising to a fourth place finish in the East while resting their player with home court? No way. That would not be fair at all. And it makes no more sense to reward a Wild Card Team home-field advantage for the World Series. I obviously wasn't complaining about this in 2004, but as I've already established, I'm selfish.
This is a game and weekend that should be fun for both the players and fans. Managers should NOT have to feel pressure to play every player, as being selected is truly the honor for them - and as J.D. Drew can tell you, an All-Star Game MVP only goes so far. Managing these games is a nightmare - and maybe a fix would be to allot for more relievers on the teams? I don't know.
In the end this is all pretty ridiculous because Bud Selig overreacted to the 7-7 tie game that happened in his backyard in 2002. It was disappointing that the game ended in a tie for sure, but in the end who cares? These are freaking exhibition games, if he sent a memo down to the Managers that they were expected to play to win the game, and not to play ever position player - then it would be a no issue like it was for the previous 40 years. If that were the case - David Ortiz would have been pinch run for, and A-Rod would have batted for Buck. It would have been treated more like *gulp* a real baseball game.
Before 2002 the last (and only) All-Star game that ended in a tie was in 1961 at Fenway Park, and how often do you hear people bitching about how the fans were "robbed" that night? Never - because in the end, these games are just like the Home-Run Derby. They don't really mean anything, and they're just for the pure joy of the game. Watching the best players on the planet play to win a game should be enough for everyone, that's all the game should really "mean".