Saturday, July 08, 2006

You're An All-Star Because You HAVE To Be!

The Tigers are sending three players to Tuesday's All-Star game in Pittsburgh. This season, they're all worthies. Very unlike the recent past, when the team's lone representatives haven't exactly read like a Cooperstown-bound bunch.

Damion Easley.
Tony Clark.
Robert Fick.


When the teams in MLB numbered but 26, the rule mandating that at least one player be represented by every team in the All-Star game was OK, and at least do-able. Rosters were slightly expanded to accomodate this, and it was a good PR move as well.

Now, there are 30 big league teams. Four more clubs, meaning four more mandatory All-Star slots going to teams that, frankly, have no one that's truly an All-Star.

The talk about the "every team must be represented" rule gets louder and louder every year. Why should roster spots be taken away from more qualified players, just to placate the bottom feeders?

Why, indeed.

The spirit of the rule was that fans in every big league city should have at least one player for which to root, when they watch the All-Star game on TV. Apparently, the suspense of wondering whether certain players would get an at-bat, or pitch to even one batter, was supposed to trump league pride.

I've always believed that you root for your team's league -- not just your team's player. Growing up in the 1970's, the NL consistently kicked the AL's rear end. Eleven straight times, the NLers beat the ALers (1972-82). It bothered the heck out of me. And I can tell you, my motive to watch the game wasn't to see whether a Tiger would get into the game -- it was to see if MY league could FINALLY beat those evil NLers.

What's the name of the game, anyway? THE ALL-STAR GAME. And, in case there's still some confusion, let's emphasize the words "All" and "Star."

Can "all" the players on both rosters be genuine "stars" if some teams are playing wretched ball?

Is Mark Redman a star?

He's the Royals' rep. And Kansas City will do great just to avoid 100 losses this season. His stats in 2006: 6-4, 5.27 ERA, 87 hits allowed in 82 IP.

Yes, you read correctly. There's an "All-Star" with an ERA of over 5.00.

Francisco Liriano of the Twins is 9-1 with an ERA of around 2.00. But he will sit at home and watch Mark Redman be introduced as an All-Star.

It's time to change the rule.


Blogger Ian C. said...

Travis Hafner also has a major gripe with the current rules. It's INSANE that he won't be in Pittsburgh, with the season he's been having.

3:04 PM  

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