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Last week, Major League Baseball's owners unanimously approved Commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to give the league that wins the All-Star Game home field advantage in the World Series.

Last week, Major League Baseball's owners unanimously approved Commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to give the league that wins the All-Star Game home field advantage in the World Series. In the official release announcing the vote, Selig proclaimed, "This change is designed to re-energize and give greater meaning to the All-Star Game."

This wasn't a problem before 1997. Until then, the All-Star Game had plenty of meaning. It was the only time before the World Series when AL and NL players competed against one another. However, in yet another Selig-era obsession with the short-term "fix," the owners not only wore out the novelty of interleague play in short order, but took the bloom off their own midsummer showcase by scheduling all those interleague games within three weeks of the All-Star Game. MLB's antitrust exemption might protect the league from a lot of things, but it doesn't protect it from the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The move will surely be applauded by Fox, which has TV rights to the next three All-Star Games. And MLB's current proposal could improve the quality of the game, especially if players from contending teams appreciate the impact of a win.

Still, the move has been met with considerable skepticism from the players. As NL player representative Tom Glavine told the New York Times: "It's an exhibition game. That's how it's approached. What other games do we play where we have the starting pitchers wearing microphones? If you want to do that, it's going to be hard for players to have the mentality that this is a win-at-all-cost game." As the MLBPA must approve the proposed change before it takes effect, Glavine's comments suggest that the issue is far from resolved.

Home field advantage in the World Series has never been more important. Consider:

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[Just after midnight Eastern time Friday morning, the Prospectus staff starts discussing the coming agreement] Derek Zumsteg: It appears that if the owners gave in right now, just said "sure, we'll take your last offer", they'd have won more in this negotiation than in any previous one since free agency. Why did the players move so far? Are they that afraid of the NLRB and implementation? Do they believe that if they give in this time, they'll be able to win it back in four years when it's apparent none of this did any good for competitive balance? I'm baffled.

[Just after midnight Eastern time Friday morning, the Prospectus staff starts discussing the coming agreement]

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In 1994, I never did believe there was going to be a strike. I was wrong, of course, and in the process of being wrong learned a lot about labor relations, economics, and how those things apply to baseball.

In 1994, I never did believe there was going to be a strike. It was inconceivable to me that such an amazing season could be interrupted, or that the World Series could go unplayed. That was the kind of thing that happened in the formative days of baseball, certainly not something to worry about in the latter part of the 20th century.

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Two weeks ago, newly-retired Jose Canseco claimed that 85% of major-league baseball players were steroid users.

Let the piling on begin.

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