The game has lost some of it's appeal and there is a very good reason that the Home Run Derby has taken over the excitement of the all-star break. Originally, the game was meant to showcase the stars of the game and show off their unique skills to the fans. If you lived in an American League city, what chance did you have to see National League stars and vice-versa? How would Whitey Ford pitch to Willie Mays? (Not well, if I remember correctly) Can Mickey hit a homer against Warren Spahn? (Mantle could hit a homer against a howitzer.) Baseball games were on National TV once a week and they usually featured big-market teams like the Dodgers or the Giants, Yankees or Cubs. The lowly Kansas City Athletics could have played in their skivvies and still not get those TV cameras in their stadium. So the only place to see these players and match-ups, was the All-Star game.
But now, it's all different. ALL teams have their games on TV. Inter-league games are quite common. ESPN and Fox Sports will show you every exciting play wherever it took place. You can see every team and every star play every single day. Where is that unique opportunity that created the all-star excitement? Plus, it's still not a real game. Almost everybody plays. Pitchers pitch one inning or to just one batter. Position players change almost before you realize they were in the game. It used to be that the starters played at least three innings. Even the starting pitcher would often go three innings. As Jacques Clouseau (Pink Panther series) would say: "Not any more." A lot of the players aren't really all-stars anyway, just the best player a particular team has. Don't get me wrong, the players try hard. That professional competitiveness is inherent in them, but that's the only motivation. It isn't the money (never thought I'd write that about professional sports), because they don't get any cash for winning or losing. They do get perks that are worth more than a factory worker makes in a year.
So forget the actual game. Make it skills contest only. A home run derby. Who has the most accurate outfield arm? Who runs the bases the fastest? Compare their paychecks. That will excite those $12-an-hour fast food workers.
It'll never happen.
Congratulations to those fans who witnessed another Yankee-Red Sox classic marathon. Sixteen innings and just a tad short of six hours. And just to see who has the stamina, the two teams will play a double header today. 34 innings of baseball in the space of about 30 hours. We could see two brand new teams on Monday.
***THEY SAID IT***
"Titans cornerback Logan Ryan wed former Rutgers softballer Ashley Bragg. I’m guessing he allowed her to complete a few passes and she let him get past first base." -- RJ Currie
"So forget politics, let’s get a real argument going – should the SF Giants pick up Pablo Sandoval since the Red Sox are paying his salary?" -- Janice Hough
" Los Angeles is expecting to host the 2024 or 2028 Summer Olympics. By that time, Trump’s border wall should be built and Mexico will be favored to win gold in the Pole Vault." -- TC Chong
" Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said when he was a kid that he drank paint because he thought it’d make it harder to tackle him. Actually, this makes as much sense as Wheaties." -- Brad Dickson
"Before Aaron Judge was given the starting right fielder’s job with the Yankees, before he became the star of his team, the star of this Yankee team was supposed to be its bullpen.How’s that working out for them?" -- Mike Lupica
" MLB commissioner Rob Manfred – NY’s Aaron Judge “can become the face of the game.” Yankees fans are going, “You mean he isn’t already? -- Janice Hough
"A good question for which there is no good answer: A reliever who enters the game in the ninth with a four-run lead is then destroyed [for four runs]. But he has not blown a save because he’s not eligible to blow a save. Who thinks this stuff up?” -- NY Post reader Ronald Wieck
"A Cleveland artist created a bust of LeBron James from dryer lint. The painstaking effort took months to perfect. Then LeBron shaved his head and so the artist has to start over." -- Brad Dickson
"LPGA rookie player S. Santiwiwatthanaphong of Thailand, who finished 11th in last week’s tournament was almost assessed a 2 stroke penalty for taking too long to sign her scorecard. Not only that, but she also managed to crash the “Spellcheck” app on the LPGA computers." -- TC Chong
"Packers TE Martellus Bennett’s top five QBs had Jay Cutler above two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning. At the risk of dating myself, that’s like ranking Phyliss Diller above Farrah Fawcett for best hair." -- RJ Currie