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Should the All-star Game Decide Home Field Advantage?

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A few years back, the MLB came out with a new rule stating that the All-star game would forevermore determine home field advantage for the World Series. My question is this: Should the All-star game really play a factor in the World Series? The answer? NO!!!

Whereas all-star games of old were taken very seriously (remember Pete Rose’s famous collision at home plate?), nowadays, the All-star game serves more as a night of entertainment and honor for those deemed worthy of inclusion. Much like the NBA’s dunk contest and three-point contest, the MLB’s home run derby and jovial, paparazzi-laden atmosphere have cemented the MLB All-star game in the minds of the fans and players as a fun, middle of the season activity, not a competitive game. So, why should one night of lackadaisical baseball trump an entire season of hard work? Imagine this - The Mets give it their all for 162 games and end the season with a hard-fought and well deserved record of 104 wins and 58 losses. The Yankees, on the other hand, squeak into the playoffs with a 50-50 record as the wild card and luckily make it to the World Series. Also, adding to the luck that got them to the World Series, the Yankess, not the Mets, get home field advantage because the American League won the All-star game. Doesn’t that seem a bit unfair? Nevertheless, that is the reality of Major League Baseball today.

Ok, even though it seems as if the rule is completely pointelss, let’s say that the players go along with it and accept the fact that they have to win the All-star game to gain home field advantage. The result? The players who actually have a chance to get to the world series will likely be at their best. But others won’t. Just think about the Barry Bonds of the world. Yes, he is going to get the invite, because, steroids or not, he is a homerun machine. But, how long do you think he is going to stay in the game? Maybe for one or two at-bats in order to please the crowd. For the rest of the game he is going to do just that – rest. And so too will many of the best players in the league as they do not want to run the risk of injury. As a result, even if a player is trying hard to win the game so his team can have home field advantage, doing so will be difficult seeing as how the other players will be anything but reliable, taking the opportunity for some mid-season R&R..

Furthermore, why should a player from one team have to rely on players from opposing teams who have nothing to do with his team or his success? From where I’m sitting, the rule just doesn’t make sense. Do you see any other respectable league do what the MLB is doing? No. Because they understand that you reward the teams who put in the effort and win, not the team who by sheer chance is lucky enough to be on the winning side of a throwaway tribute to the best players in the league.

In sports, rules are a must. Without them you can’t really play. But this is one rule that just doesn’t make sense and should be done away with.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales at Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Basketball Uniforms, Gym Bags, Portable Scoreboards and Track Uniforms.