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An idea for a better All-Star Game

Jul 14, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

All-Star Game Getty Images

Hang with me for a little while.  What follows involves some incredibly heavy math, and to be honest, you might as well just step away now if you didn’t take (and pass) at least two statistics courses in college.

OK, here we go…

My idea for a better All-Star Game is to make the break four days long and play the game on Wednesday.

I know, it’s revolutionary.

But half of the teams in baseball invariably seem to have a four-day break anyway.  There are just seven games today.  There were also seven on the Thursday following the break last year.  There were eight in 2009.

So, extend the break one extra day and play the game Wednesday.  Suddenly, every pitcher who threw on the Sunday before the break is again eligible to pitch.  That would have brought Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Cole HamelsMatt Cain and James Shields back into this year’s game.

Really, it seems like an easy call for baseball and I expect it to happen at some point within the next few years.

  1. Andrew - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Too revolutionary. We can’t do it.

    – Bud Selig

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I can’t figure out how to link to a previous comment, so I am reposting my comment from this morning on the Francona thread:

    Here is an idea, though I am sure it will be unpopular with many fans: extend the break to 5 days for every team. Half the league already has 4 days off, so it is not that big of a jump.

    The older players would generally prefer to rest instead of playing in an exhibition, the pitchers are not allowed to participate if they pitch the day before, and team managers are asking the All-Star manager not to play their guy. If there were a longer break, everyone could get a little rest, still play the game, then rest up again before the real games start. Of course, this means almost a week with no ‘real’ baseball, but if the idea is to add importance to this game, having a strung-out and needy fan base might actually drive us to do something desperate like watch the All-Star game!

    • joshfrancis50 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      No team wants to give up the gate for either a Sunday or Friday.

  3. aarcraft - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    The best part of this revolutionary idea is that it allows the Futures Game, which in my opinion is the jewel of the All Star Weekend, to be played on Monday night, where it could actually be seen.

    • scatterbrian - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      Indeed. I was also thinking they could make the Futures Game the Sunday night game on the ESPY channel, but I that will probably never happen either…

    • Scooter - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      Way more interesting than the HR derby.

  4. phukyouk - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    you forgot to carry the 1

  5. easports82 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    I think I heard Buster Olney say the same thing this morning. So on that basis, no.

  6. youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    my two cents and three solutions:

    a) Home-Field Advantage – get rid of it or make fan voting count for less.

    b) Make it still count for something, just not Home-Field. How about DH Advantage. Considering the two leagues have different rules and its the AL vs the NL, let them play over the one aspect thats different across the two leagues.

    If the AL wins, the DH is there ALL 7 games. If the NL wins, no DH in any of the 7 games.

    I bet then the AL/NL would treat this real important then.

    c) Treat it for what it is, an exhibition game of all-stars for the fans, voted by the fans. And if a player rather take those days off, then so be it. There are plenty of “All-Star Snubs” every year anyway.

    • 12strikes - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      I like your thinking.
      Problem is… in a moment of honesty, every manager would rather have the DH.
      1. Power hitter over Pitcher
      2. Don’t have to take the pitcher out if runs are needed.

      So basicly the NL would never win the all star game again.

      • youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        i don’t know about that.

        As an NL manager, sure I would like to have an extra hitter over pitcher. But if I could make the AL team not have this option, I would go for it.

        Like…Would i rather play all 7 WS games facing Gonzo @ 1B and Ortiz @ DH

        or would i rather force them to play Gonzo @ RF and Ortiz @ 1b all 7 games?

        Sometimes strategy is not what you wanna do but what you want your opponent to do. .

  7. Jonny 5 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    I’ve always had an idea for home field advantage for the WS but not sure if it would work. Game 1 will be home to the team with the best record, and the victory gives you home field advantage for the rest of the series. I know it could cause schedule issues, but it could be so it only gets in the way of the final game scheduling which could land on a weekend anyway and should.

    • youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      game 1 should NEVER be the most important game of a series.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        Because the all star game should be more important than game 1 of the WS?

      • youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        i said get rid of it or make fan voting count for less?

        btw, your idea is basically let the team with the better record have home-field advantage.

        Home team wins game 1 – they have home field advantage, they stay at home for game 2, go on the road for 3, back for 2 if necessary

        Home team loses game 1 – they stay at home for game 2, go on the road for 3, back for 2 if necessary but they’ve lost home field advantage.

        are you saying if home team loses game 1, they gotta go on the road for game 2, 3, come back home for 4,5,6 and game 7 on the road?

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 14, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Firstof all, yes it gives the team with the better record an advantage because game 1 is in their home . Bad thing? Na.

        Then, if they do win it’s a normaly scheduled series. No harm no foul.

        If the team with the better record loses game 1 then home field advantage going to the other team kinda makes things exciting doesn’t it?

        The series could be 2-3-2 if team “A” wins and clinches Home field adv.

        The series changes once they do not clinch. It then goes 2-3-2 for team “B” from a clean slate. A possibility of an extra game in the end. A possibilty for more $ to be made. Call it crazy, but the team with the best record has a chance to have the advantage, or they can blow it, wiping the slate clean and throwing the home field advantage in the other direction. I like it better than the all star game, it makes it exciting and could be good for the game. Scheduling problem? maybe. Anyway, I’m just throwing it out there, I’m not going to argue for it or anything.

      • youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        pretty much go back to the way it was and get rid of the ASG determining home-field advantage.

        i have no problems with that.

        There wouldnt be any scheduling problems since the outcome of game 1 has no effect on the locations the rest of the games will be played.

  8. paperlions - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Make it a 3-game All-Star Series (Monday through Wednesday), that way each pitcher would get a change to throw a few innings during one of the games….and if they are going to “make it count”, best 2 out of 3 is better than best of one.

    • youngyankee - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      …because pitchers are complaining they cant pitch more than 1 inning?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      All star rosters would be 75 people long. There would be fewer snubs!

  9. nick5253 - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Great idea. Move the game to Wednesday with another off-day Thursday.

    Also, change home field advantage to the better interleague record. At least with that you could have a better argument (our league is better than your league overall, not just our ‘stars’, but our teams are better over a bigger sample size (not just 1 game), so our champ should get home field advantage).

    And if you want the game to still ‘mean something’, attach All Star Game location to the winning side. The next ASG (that isn’t selected yet) must be selected from the league that won. That brings economic impact to the league as the ASG is a nice benefit to the host city.

    *** All ideas stolen from other posters (none are original), I take no credit (or ridicule).

  10. 12strikes - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    If Bud wants the game to count for home field here is the changes he as to make.
    1.Have the managers with the best records in each leagu manage the teams.
    1a. The assistant coaches are the managers with the 2,3,4th best records in each league
    2. Weights the selection process. The better you records is the more players you get on the team. This way you have players that actually care about home field in the world series. You can’t tell me that players from the twins and the nationals care.

    Now you have 2 all star teams, with coaches and players that care.

    • yankeesgameday - Jul 14, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      I don’t hate this idea at all.

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I like the captain idea they used in the derby, even though Fielder sucked at it. Come up with a captain selection process, let the captain pick the team, and the players all get fat cash bonuses. That is probably the only thing that will motivate them to play.

  12. skyjo - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Novel idea to fix All-Star game. This has probably been suggested elsewhere, perhaps even earlier in this comments section, but I can’t be inconvenienced by Googling or reading.
    Have the All-Star game at the beginning of the season. The All-Stars will be the best players from the previous season. The SP for each team will most likely be the Cy Young winners from the previous year. Have it 4 days before the regular season kicks. Have the HR derby the day after the All-Star game. Have the Futures Game the day after that. Have a day off. Kick off the season. The opening day would be more like an opening night, with two teams squaring off. The geniuses at the scheduling office would make sure to pick teams that don’t have All-Star starters for pitchers. Thus, when the rest of the league plays the next day, the starters from the All-Star game will be on full rest. Limit the rosters to 20. Or 25. but understand that not everyone is going to play. Presumably, the SP goes 4 or 5 innings. Bring in another starter for 2-3 innings. Have the best closers pitch the last two innings. Maybe a couple extra relievers if the managers wanna mix and match in the late innings for platoon purposes. The game won’t decide home field advantage. Or maybe it will, since I’m implying that managers should manage as goodly as possible, none of this ‘everyone gets to play’ stuff.
    Everyone will be excited to watch the best of the best at the beginning of the season. We’re anxious to see ANY baseball, right? I bet the Future’s Game would get more viewership if it was played 2 days before the regular season kicks off. Would there be a break in the middle of the season with no baseball? Meh. I’ll let you figure that out.

  13. Loren - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    My suggestion:
    Reduce the rosters to 25 with guidelines (but not mandates) to leave starting position players in for 6 or more innings.
    Teams that have a sub-.500 record when reserves are selected are not guaranteed a representative.
    One AAA starter and one AAA catcher are assigned to each team in case of extra innings/injuries.
    True stars playing more innings = more watchable.

    The Wednesday game idea sounds good too. And no home field.

  14. yankeesgameday - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Fine idea, but this is all Titanic and deck chairs. No one cares about the all star game so much anymore. Francona was right, they pretend it’s a day off and throw parties when it’s very important. Too many mixed message around it and over hype. People are just plain apathetic about it. Cc for one inning would not make any real difference.

  15. bigtrav425 - Jul 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    i didnt think those guys not being there made a difference at all.Wouldnt of made one for me.Love seeing the new and young stars.Makes it kinda fun and not being able to play in the game becasue of a sunday start is nothing new by any means just happens alot of the top pitchers had a sunday start this yr unlike in yrs past where its only been 1-2 for the most part.People make to big a deal out of little shit

  16. mrznyc - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I’m sure the arguments about how to fix the All Star game started in 1934 – It’s no more exciting now than it was when it was just an exhibition – Here’s my suggestion – Go back to a fans exhibition game and stop talking about it.

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