When was the last time the midsummer classic was, you know, a classic?

For years, people have been pointing out that nobody bothers to play defense in the NBA’s All-Star Game, and a shocking number of NFL greats get “hurt” right before the Pro Bowl (where they play even less defense), making the game’s about as competitive as the Globetrotters’ season opener, but is the baseball showcase of stars all that much better? It may be harder to tell from the final score, but the symptoms are much the same. Here’s what’s wrong with the All-Star game.

The players don’t seem to care – The first sign of how bad it had become came in 2002, when the commissioner ended the game in the 11th as a 7-7 tie because teams ran out of pitchers and didn’t really want to continue. They don’t even do that during meaningless late August games between between the Astros and Indians. Why would you do it in the showcase of the game’s best talent? Oh yeah…

Fear Of Injury  – The specter of serious injury has hung over the game ever since Pete Rose absolutely blew up Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse on a play at the plate in 1970. The combination of injuries derailed the promising career of the young catcher, and made playing hard in the game decidedly less cool. Still, for many years it was a treat to see the best players in the American League on the same field as the stars of the “senior circuit.” Sadly, even that exhibition value began to tail off when interleague play was introduced and…

People Stopped WatchingSports Illustrated points out that the numbers for the midsummer classic dropped significantly right around the time interleague play was introduced (1997), and have fallent to about 11 million in 2013, that’s well behind your average Sunday NFL regular season game, and most of those aren’t in prime time. Despite valiant efforts to restore interest…

It (Still) Doesn’t Mean Anything –After the 2002 tie game debacle, MLB introduced the idea of basing home-field advantage in the World Series on the All-Star Game, which theoretically provides the needed incentive to get players to put forth their best effort. Has it worked? Well, the National League eventually stopped getting stomped every single year, and five of the recent games have been one run affairs, but we had both stopped watching, so you may not remember that. What you might have missed is the fact that…

Several Notable All-Stars Have Been Busted  – A little over a month after being named MVP of the 2012 game, Melky Cabrera (then of the Giants) was banned 50 games for using performance enhancing drugs. Other stars busted since the end of the so-called steroid era? Alex Rodriqez, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun, to name a few. Can you really trust that the people having All-Star season’s are getting there without help from the pharmacy?

What do you think? Is it still worth having the game? Take the poll  or leave a comment below.




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