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Yu Darvish and David Freese win The Final Vote, and now baseball needs to fix the All-Star Game

Jul 5, 2012, 4:58 PM EDT

The suspense was killing you, I’m sure:

Good for them. Even better for Bryce Harper when, inevitably, a member of the NL squad goes down with an “injury,” requiring MLB’s most marketable young talent in decades to have to go to Kansas City for next week’s game. Purely by coincidence, I’m sure.

And once again, let me note the wonderful, over-the-top disconnect between Major League’s official position regarding the All-Star Game — it determines home field advantage for the World Series and thus, by definition counts for something truly important — and its practical approach to it: the All-Star Game is a marketing, public relations and philanthropic opportunity, and the Final Vote’s greatest utility comes from driving traffic to MLB.com and followers to its Twitter account:

To be sure, there is nothing wrong with baseball using the All-Star Game this way. Indeed, in a day and age in which fans can see any player whenever they want and the distinctions between the National League and American League are approaching non-existent, that may very well be the highest and best purpose for the Game as opposed to some actual semi-serious competition like it was decades ago.

But given this, it is high time baseball take away the one thing that doesn’t fit with all that is today’s All-Star Game: actual baseball consequences.  Take the World Series home field advantage out of the equation. Let the 98% of how Major League Baseball approaches the All-Star Game — fan-friendly fun, promotional event and money maker — rule, and stop making something that matters like home field advantage in the World Series be decided by things that do not matter:

That’s fun and all, but seriously guys, it should have no bearing on the World Series.

  1. darthicarus - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    #EveryVoteCounts #ItMatters #HashtagsForDummies #StopItMLB

  2. vansloot - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I want that jersey for purely non-baseball reasons. I just want a shirt that says “American” with a crown on it.

    • kopy - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Monarchy forever! God save King George!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        Truly dreadful news kopy, but the most recent King George, the 6th, has died. Yes it’s true. Just 60 years ago. But on the bright side, his daughter Elizabeth has taken over and seems to be doing a pretty nice job, if one can make such a judgement after only 60 years.

  3. bigleagues - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    THANK YOU CRAIG!

    #commonsense over #MLBnonsense

  4. e5again - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    What? The Japanese guy won the online vote? Weird.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      The Japanese? Those sandal-wearing goldfish tenders? Ha ha! Bosh! Flimshaw!

    • Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      Both of these comments were ignorant and racist as hell and to top it off, offensively unfunny.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        Are you saying “Boo” or “Boo-urns”?

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        Dear Hoss:

        I recognize the long standing stereotype of the Japanese people as goldfish tenders, and apologize for any hurt feelings this has caused you. In my defense, I was attempting to mock e5again’s statement by pulling a ridiculous statement about the Japanese people from a rather obscure episode of an unknown TV show.

        http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,417748~3~0~25bestand1,00.html

        My assumptions that this should have been obviously, especially since very few people use terms such as “bosh” or “flimshaw” after making racist statement were obviously false. I thank you for pointing out my ignorance on this subject. But you are correct, sometimes people are stupid enough to not notice such things.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        Hey, that link didn’t work.

        It was intended to link to Entertainment Weekly’s list of the greatest Simpsons episodes, in which “Last Exit Springfield” was ranked #1.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I agree with almost everything here, except the idea that Harper should automatically be in. The kid is good, and I am sure he is going to be great, but there are lots of guys who have done better in the first half, and even more if you (correctly) give just a smidge of weight to how guys did in the second half of last season as well.

    Bourn would be great in there. He could swipe a bag late in the game and be a stellar defensive replacement. I am not sure what value Freese adds, but I was kinda hoping to see a late game OF defensive alignment of CarGo, McCutchen Bourn.

  6. Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Who gives a shit? The playoffs are about “fucking luck” too. At least they try to make the All Star game watchable. The real problem is just the player selection, let players and coaches ONLY decide the rosters. That way the players actually care.

  7. metalhead65 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    take the home field out and expand the rosters!

  8. metalhead65 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    expand the rosters so the person in charge can’t use there is no room excuse for his personal vendettas!

    • Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      So nobody gives a shit about the game (players and fans alike) and it becomes a huge masturbatory display? They need to make it way more exclusive and only have people who play the game choose the rosters.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Metalhead:
      Let. It. Go.
      There is nothing to see here.
      You have to know how absolutely rediculous it is. I mean…seriously? Come on Man…

      • metalhead65 - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        right,so if baker was in charge and decided he did not have room for molina or carpenter and picked somebody else on the cards who while good was not as worthy as who he left off you and cardnial nation would not be feeling the same way?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 6, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      “right,so if baker was in charge and decided he did not have room for molina or carpenter and picked somebody else on the cards who while good was not as worthy as who he left off you and cardnial nation would not be feeling the same way?”

      That’s just it Metalhead. Redlegs fans (or the team, coaches, etc…) are the ONLY people I see and/or hear talk about the brawl. That is a fact. It’s like they can’t get themselves mentally prepared and absolutely crave that drama to get themselves fired up. It’s like they need validation or otherwise have some sort of inferiority complex. My buddies on the other hand…they don’t even bring the subject up anymore. I have the brawl recorded and I very quickly show them the slow motion replay of little Joanie’s bitch ass hoping around the scrum trying to sucker punch someone. Then…his 4′-11” ass gets swallowed up in it and ultimately pinned against the fence. What about the Cardinals rookie pitcher who was on the mound when it happened? You know…Jaime Garcia. What happened with him? Oh…that’s right. Adam Wainwright quickly goes to the mound and escorts him off the field before he can even think of retaliating.
      Wainwright = Leadership. Cueto = Thugery

      • metalhead65 - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        happen to be in st.louis this weekend and that is all they were talking about. how larussa was still sticking it to the reds and the media going nuts with freeze making the team,.it will make dusty’s head explode come on cards fans vote freeze. and their broadcastors are beyond homer friendly and diss the reds all the time. maybe you and the fans you hang with are not true fans at all if you don’t feel the same way. either way don’t say cards fans don’t care or talk about the brawl.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      “happen to be in st.louis this weekend and that is all they were talking about. how larussa was still sticking it to the reds and the media going nuts with freeze making the team,.it will make dusty’s head explode come on cards fans vote freeze.”
      Simply put…I do not believe you. Fib alert!

      “beyond homer friendly and diss the reds all the time.”
      Riiight. Very different than Marty, Thom and Cowboy huh?

      “maybe you and the fans you hang with are not true fans at all if you don’t feel the same way.”
      I don’t even know what in the hell this means.
      I was born and raised in Central Indiana!
      You know that. You and I have discussed it.
      We have also discussed the fact that (being from Indiana) all my buddies are Reds fans (with the exception of a couple of buddies who are Cubs fans).
      So again…I don’t know what the hell you mean.

  9. savior72 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Great now maybe Freeze can win the All-Star MVP. Haven’t done that yet.

  10. seeinred87 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Why did the guy win an AL jersey for voting for Michael Bourn?

  11. stairwayto7 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    How about no fan voting for 1 year, let the manager pick the team and see who they pick! The media will still be outraged!

    • rooney24 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Well, it shouldn’t be just the manager making any picks. Not to say the fans make great picks, but no one person should be deciding this either. I am fine with the fans picking the starters, but the players and managers of all teams should pick the rest of the team. And, don’t worry about the one from each team (unless it is the host team, then they should have at least one).

  12. sjb48 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Was hoping Peavy got in, he deserves it!!!

  13. itsmekirill - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Can anyone explain to me why the old way of the World Series alternating home field each year is better? I would understand if you wanted to give it to the best record, but I haven’t seen Craig make that argument.

    • rooney24 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      The old way was just as bad. But, that doesn’t make the current way better. It should be based on record, especially as there will be more interleague play to even out records.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        “Nearly” no one gets that correct or “almost” no one gets that correct?
        Sorry Rooney. I couldn’t resist.

  14. needtoplay - Jul 5, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Logical solution: All-Star game stays as an exhibition; you cannot have a game where the position players are voted by the fans determining home field advantage for the World Series. The LEAGUE with the best inter-league record wins home field advantage.

  15. bigtrav425 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    i disagree…i like that the winning league gets homefield advantage.i like it to be competitive and makes it more interesteing and likely i watch it and watch the whole thing! if its just a promotional event then its less likely i watch it and/or stay up and watch the whole thing.Also if its just a promotional thing/tool you cannot have it on a tuesday at 8pm or whatever time first pitch is.you gota make it 7pm and should be 7 regardless so ppl,more so the kids can stay up and watch most if not al of it

  16. bigtrav425 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    anddddd the Jap shouldnt of won! Hammels,Broxton or Peavy..any of the 3 should of

    • dondada10 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      Hammels pitches in the National league.

      • rooney24 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        Nope. You are both wrong/poor spellers. Hamels pitches in the NL. Hammel pitches in the AL.

        By the way, it is “should have” or “should’ve”, not “should of”. Sorry to be grammar police, but it seems like nearly no one gets that correct.

  17. hushbrother - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    I couldn’t agree more. Last year’s World Series was fantastic, but there was one thing that bothered me: why did the Cardinals have home field advantage? They were a wild card team. They had the worst record of any team in the playoffs. They only got in thanks to the epic choke of the Atlanta Braves. Meanwhile, the Rangers were a division champion. Giving St. Louis home field advantage made no sense, and ended up playing a huge role in the outcome of the series.

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