Posted 07/06/2009 at 02:15 AM
I guess this is where Iím supposed to build my case for the guys I feel may have been snubbed for inclusion in this yearís All-Star Exhibition Game. Fact is, I just donít care. Donít get me wrong, I think the All-Star break is fun. The HR Derby, or whatever itís called these days, is a hoot. And the game itself is a pleasant enough diversion. Itís just not a real game, and everyone except Bud Selig and a few other sadly out of touch folks knows this to be true. Unfortunately, Bud decreed a few years back that this game must have some meaning, so now we have an absurd scenario where home field advantage for the World Series hinges on the outcome of the All-Star Exhibition Game.
This is, I truly believe, the single dumbest thing in the history of sports. Iíll challenge anyone to find something that tops it. I didnít think it was possible for anyone to come up with an idea more absurd than the ridiculous NFL tuck rule, or college footballís insane taunting penalty (which officials en masse somehow have construed to include virtually any celebration of a touchdown). Bud Selig managed to accomplish this feat following the All-Star tie a few years ago, which only Bud and a few others got all hung up over. The result is that we now have importance attached to a completely insignificant event that is still played like an exhibition. Not only that, but the fans actually get to choose who starts. Like I said, if you can find anything in sports thatís sillier than this, let me know about it.
The irony here is that Selig apparently hasnít figured out that thanks to Interleague play, the All-Star Exhibition Game is less interesting than itís ever been. At least there was some intrigue back in the days where the entire 162 game schedule was contested within each individual league. Now, thanks to Interleague action, we get to find out which league is genuinely better on a year to year basis. Itís a far better barometer than one stupid game where the idea is to make sure everyone plays.
So like I said, this was supposed to be the piece where I dissected the selections of the fans and the reserves selected by the managers. But the truth is I canít pretend to care about any of this. I imagine Iíll watch like I always do, but my primary interest will be on the HR thing on Monday, plus the player intros on Tuesday, which are always pretty cool. After that, well, wake me when the real games get started on Thursday. No matter how you slice it, this one doesnít count.
Big series for the Rangers and Angels with things being so close right now in the AL West. The scheduling dynamics here favor the Halos, and theyíre also out to avenge the recent series loss at Texas. The Angels are also absolutely clobbering the ball right now and Vlad Guerrero is suddenly getting hot. With Weaver throwing the opener, I will side with the Angels.