The all-star game has become an outdated tradition. Here are five reasons why:
1. THE ORIGINAL REASON FOR IT IS NO LONGER VALID
The All-Star game was started in 1933 as another way for the American League and the National League to compete with each other. At the time there was an actual rivalry between the two leagues and the only other way to see stars from both leagues play against each other was the World Series.
Fast forward to today and things are vastly different: the two leagues are no longer separate organizations and we have interleague games that happen throughout the whole season. So what exactly is the point for the players to risk injury in a meaningless game in the middle of the season?
2. IT’S A POPULARITY CONTEST THAT REWARDS AND PUNISHES PLAYERS UNFAIRLY
It gets worse….players often receive financial bonuses for all-star game selections and have them listed as part of their achievements, but these selections are actually popularity contests where many deserving players are often overlooked.
Take a look at this year’s selections:
Eddie Rosario wasn’t selected but Nelson Cruz was. George Springer was selected over Andrew Benintendi, Max Muncy wasn’t selected but Joey Votto was despite a down season. In fact, there’s actually a long history of All-Star snubs.
3. THE RESULT IS MEANINGLESS
There is no competition between the two leagues, in fact they’re leagues in name only. In reality they’re no different from conferences in the NFL and NBA. The only real league is the MLB. Players also switch leagues all the time, so there’s no “league loyalty” where it matters which league wins and which one loses.
4. IT RISKS INJURY FOR THE PLAYERS
Why should the players risk injury in the middle of a season during a pointless game? Imagine a contending team’s key player getting injured in the all-star game, and then missing the rest of the season? What about the extra innings on pitcher’s arms? The risk of hitters getting hit by pitches? There’s a reason why so many teams put clauses in player contracts that keep them from playing sports in their spare time.
5. THE ALTERNATIVE IS BETTERWhy not give the players time to spend with their families and rest instead? Wouldn’t that benefit the players more? They could still have the home run derby, but only let the season’s top home run hitters participate and don’t put it to a vote.
The only argument to keep the all-star game seems to be tradition and despite how great this game’s tradition is, this is one that is no longer worthwhile.
What do you think? Let me know on Twitter @NeilfromNYC and in the comments.