With the All-Star game fast approaching, there is a lot of attention going to this year’s changes to the ASG as a result of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The CBA outlines various adjustments across the board with modifications occurring to the minimum and maximum salary, season length, revenue sharing, team luxury taxes and most notably the All-Star Game.
Alterations to the All-Star Game
The first alteration to the Mid-Summer Classic is that it will no longer determine which league has World Series home field advantage. Home field advantage will instead be given to whichever Pennant Winner has a better record. Rather than home field advantage, the winner of the All-Star game they will be receiving $640,000 to split evenly among their players.
Many may be saying that the $20,000 reward per player is basically pocket change to most on each roster. But at the end of the day, money is money. For players that are on teams that have no shot at making the World Series, it incentivizes them more.
Ultimately, this money leads to a more competitive game from all the players on each team, not just the select few on the more successful teams. Every player on the roster has skin in the game.
The second alteration to the All-Star game is the roster, which will change in two ways. The first change comes from the overall size of the roster; it is reduced from 34 players to 32.
The second change comes from the how the last few members of the team are selected. Instead of the Managers of the National and American League teams choosing the last seven players (four pitchers) for the NL and five players (four pitchers) for the AL, the Commissioner’s Office will pick them.
This does not change the rule that a player from each team must be selected, but it takes out the controversy of a less deserving player that is on the Manager’s team making it over a deserving player.
Other Potential Modifications
While the most recent modifications to the All-Star game are a step up, they are far from perfect. The process of how the starting line-up is selected needs to change. As of right now, the starting outfield for the National League would be Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Jason Heyward, with Ben Zobrist being the fourth outfielder. I agree that Harper and Blackmon should both be starting. However, I am not content with Jason Heyward (.258/.315/.714) or Ben Zobrist (.223/.321/.715) making the roster in general.
It’s a joke that players like Marcell Ozuna (.324/.391/.974), Matt Kemp (.326/.365/.917), and Dexter Fowler (.254/.344/.844) get snubbed from the starting line-up for popular players that are simply having sub-par All-Star years. I agree that fan voting is a necessity in order to keep excitement around the game. But I don’t think that fans should determine the starting line-ups.
In an ideal world, the fans would vote for one player from each position onto the roster. From there the World Series Managers would determine the starting line-ups as a reward for their success last year.