Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Monday, January 20, 2003

All Star Game

Okay, anyone else who is a major baseball fan knows that Commissioner Bud Selig (as Rob Neyer is prone to call him, Beelzebud) has decided to make home field advantage decided by who wins the Midsummer Classic, hoping to avoid the embarrassing situation from last season (a tie in 11 innings. A FUCKING TIE!) Now, as I said, baseball will be discussed in this blog, therefore I thought I'd pull in my two cents.

Sans interleague, I'd be all for it. But let's face it, interleague is here to stay as long as it provides an attendance boost every June. I have mixed feelings about interleague. As a purist fan, and there's some of that in me, I'm against it. The 2001 World Series was an exciting one, and part of that was that the Diamondbacks and Yankees had NEVER in their histories (all 100 years of it for New York, and all, uh, four years of it for Arizona). Then they face off, and they go seven games, and man it's exciting, and so on. Then the following June, Arizona plays a 3-game series in Yankee stadium. Sure, it's rather exciting to see a rematch of such a heated World Series, but that doesn't change the fact that it's merely 3 games of a 162-game season, and the general meaninglessness of it kind of tainted the memory of the intensely meaningful, and hard-fought World Series the previous October/November. Suddenly the World Series is considerably less cool, because these teams see each other in the regular season.

Still, every summer, I'm sure to go down to Phoenix for at least one interleague game (and you'd better believe I'm going down to see the White Sox this next season). I guess my point here is, I love interleague play in June, I hate it in October.

And July, because the Midsummer Classic has been rendered a meaningless exhibition by the homogeny of the of the leagues. No longer do you have the exciting, down-to-the-wire games of the 60's, now you have AL pitchers giving big fat pitches down the middle to Barry Bonds and 11-inning ties. It's like a little league game where everyone gets to play. I mean, really, do you think Barry Bonds would be taken out after 2 at-bats in a meaningful game?

And, you know what? Making the game determine home team advantage isn't going to change anything, except in October. I think Joe Sheehan puts it best (and you should all e-mail sheehan_newsletter@pacbell.net right now and subscribe to his newsletter, so long as I mention it)

Bud Selig got exactly what he wanted—a complete erasure of the lines between
the two leagues—and now he doesn't like the effects of that and wants to undo
them. The changed nature of the All-Star Game is the natural outcome of an
administration—actually this goes back to the Peter Ueberroth and Fay Vincent
administrations—that has gone out of its way to put everything under an "MLB"
banner, from eliminating league presidents to bringing about interleague play.

It's because of that—because of his own work—that Bud Selig got himself
embarrassed last summer, and rather than look at the real reasons for what
happened, he's going to pretend that making the home-field advantage for the
World Series dependent upon an exhibition game is some kind of genius.

There are lots of reasons to do away with interleague play that I don't want to get into now, this is merely one of them. But it's far more important at this point to just do away with Selig.


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