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No More Home-Field!

Posted by AB on July 15, 2009

Most baseball fans can remember the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee.  That was the infamous tie game.  The embarrassment of that night sent MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, searching for a solution to prevent the same from happening in the future.  What has ensued since has been an experiment that was well-intentioned, but has now run its course.

I must admit, the idea of awarding home field in the World Series to the league that wins the All-Star Game was one that I thought about even before Bud Selig installed the rule.  The previous rule for home-field advantage, before 2003, was an absurd, arbitrary, alternating system.  One year the American League Champion would have home-field advantage, the next year the National League Champion would host the majority of games.  It was an attempt at killing two birds with one stone:  ensure that the All-Star Game would not end in a tie, and provide a system for determining home-field advantage in the World Series.  Even though the intention was honorable, it has been proved to be a bad idea from my point of view.  It is time for it to end.

The best way to determine home-field advantage would be to simply award it to the team with the best overall record.  This system has been avoided for far too long, and it’s difficult to see why.  The argument has always been that one league is better than the other in a particular year, making it more difficult for the team in the more competetive league.  Even if there was an accurate way to judge the quality of each league, which there isn’t, those thing have a tendency of leveling.

That would still leave us with the problem of the All-Star Game.  Major League Baseball would need to come up with a new set of incentives for the winner.  Even multi-millionaires like more money.  The winner could get a larger money bonus, or the winning team could all get new cars.  I’m sure that they can come up with something to keep the competition level high.  And I know that everyone deserves to play in the All-Star Game, and the 2002 tie happened because all of the pitchers were used.  Teams, understandably, do not want their pitchers used-up in the All-Star Game.  Maybe they should allow re-entry after the ninth inning, if all players have been used.  They could also add a pitcher or two that would only pitch if all other pitchers have been used and the game is in extra innings.

These are just some not-so-well thought out ideas.  All I know is that the current system is getting old and needs revision.  There are many brilliant minds working for Major League Baseball; it is time to utilize them.

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