Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Should the MLB All Star Game Determine World Series Home Field Advantage?

The winner of the MLB All Star Game determines which league gets home field advantage in the World Series. But if the All Star game is going to count, shoudn't it be managed that way? And should Tony LaRussa, who's team is under .500 and 7.5 games out of first place, be making the decisions that affect World Series home field advantage?

There has been a lot of debate on the topic of whether the MLB All Star Game should determine home field advantage in the World Series. Critics of this policy believe that something as potentially crucial as home field advantage in game seven of the World Series should not be determined by what is basically an exhibition game. What these critics have to keep in mind is that previously, before Bug Selig decided that the All Star game “should count”, World Series home field advantage alternated between the AL and NL every other year. At least this way, it is determined by the winner of a contest that includes the best players from both leagues.

The one change I would make to the format, is who manages the All Star Game. If the game is going to count, then it should be managed that way. Currently, the teams are managed by the skipper of the two teams that played in the World Series the previous year. The problem is that these teams may not be in contention for the World Series this year. And when that is the case, the manager does not have the proper incentive to try to win the All Star game. If your team is not going to be in the World Series anyway, then why would you care who gets the home field advantage?

Take Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals as an example. The Cardinals played in the World Series last year, so Tony LaRussa got to manage the NL squad in this year’s All Star Game. But the Cardinals are under .500 and 7.5 games out of first place at the break. So where is LaRussa’s incentive to win this game to get home field advantage for the NL?

Instead, the team should be managed by the skipper of the teams with the best record in either league as of June 15. These managers would then gave great incentive to win the game, since it could potentially give them home field advantage in game 7 come October. And if Padres manager Bud Black or Mets skipper Willie Randolph were managing this years’ NL team, do you really think Albert Pujols would have been sitting on the bench in the ninth inning while Aaron Rowand was flying out with the bases loaded to end the game?


Anonymous said...

A big Fat "NO" The way in which the players are chosen is a joke, by fans, baseball writers and the two managers? How stupid! Half the players don't belong there in the first place. Most are picked on popularity alone, not stats for the current year.To give the Home field advantage in the the World Series to the winner of such a flawed game is ludicrous. Can you imagine if they did that in Basketball or Hockey?