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July 16, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Fixing The All Star Game After Saying It's Not Fixable

by Matthew Kory

Today I took an untimely look at the All Star game and suggested that we all stop trying to fix it because it’s fundamentally flawed and not fixable. Now watch as I try to fix the All Star game! The premise of my article (which you can find here) is that the All Star game is an exhibition and because it doesn’t count in the standings and is played by multi-millionaires who don’t care about the difference between the winning team’s check and the losing team’s check, there isn’t anything that can be done to create a competitive game. Baseball tried by putting home field advantage in the World Series on the line, but, to obnoxiously quote myself:

The outcome of the game has precisely no impact on the remainder of the season for every single player involved. There is no way to infer from the game’s outcome that a single player or franchise is any better off than they were before the All-Star Game was played. Plainly put, winning the game doesn’t matter for any player.

Winning the game doesn’t matter because even though Baseball says it counts, the game doesn’t really count.

So here’s my idea: what if the game did count? Like what if it counted in the standings? The franchises represented by the players from the winning team would get a win while the franchises represented by the players from the losing team would get a loss. That would create genuine incentive to win the game because, for the first time ever, it would make the All Star game an actual baseball game and not an exhibition.

As with all suggestions of this nature, it comes with its own set of problems. The first is that if everyone in the American League gets a win and everyone in the National League gets a loss, who cares? That won’t impact the standings at all. So, to get around that, the players would have to be divided into two teams irrespective of their league. That creates logistical concerns that I have no intention of solving here.

We’ll leave it at this: the only way I can come up with to create a genuine game atmosphere played between All Stars is to make the game actually count in the standings. So, what am I missing? Why is this a bad idea?

Matthew Kory is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matthew's other articles. You can contact Matthew by clicking here

Related Content:  All Star Game

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