July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; National League outfielder Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals during practice for the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE
Baseball's midsummer classic is here...and it's the only game on anywhere.
So the All-Star break is upon us. Already the Futures Game happened, the celebrity softball game was played. (By the way, how cool was it to see Bo Jackson take a swing again. That was truly a treat, and the crowd reaction in Kansas City was priceless.) Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby.
My favorite part? The softball game. I can't explain why. The Derby is fun for a bit, but it is boring by the end and the commentary is annoying. The softball game? I just love it. You get to watch Hall of Famers, actors, models and the like just having fun. It's nothing serious, just like how an All-Star event should be. It should be all fun.
Of course, now -- tonight -- the game "counts." It's serious and all. A fake game determines home-field advantage for the World Series.
I will watch, but then again, do I have much of a choice?
Major league baseball is the only thing going on. NFL training camps are a couple of weeks away. The NBA just finished and free agency has not even technically begun. Hockey...well, I don't really watch hockey anyway. College football is still a bit away. And now real baseball is on hiatus because of the All-Star Game.
So as a sports fan, I am sort of hijacked into having to watch the game. There isn't anything else.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the game. I like seeing the best players (most popular players). But the feigned importance of the games grates on me.
I like the fact that in the NBA it is all fun and no defense. I like the Pro Bowl being a fun vacation game.
I don't like how in baseball's game they try to play both the "showcasing stars" card and "getting everyone in the game" while trying to make it a serious game. It can't be too serious when hitters are getting one or two at-bats at best.
If baseball wants the game to be serious, make it serious. Don't require that a player from every team be there. Don't make it a showcase. Make it a game where the best players play. OK, the pitchers will need to be rotated in and out, but that makes for a better game. But keep the best hitters in the game the whole game. Makes strategic offensive moves for the purpose of winning.
Or...just let it be fun. Let it be a showcase for every player -- AND DON"T MAKE IT MATTER FOR ANYTHING.
Now, will any other changes they make alter my viewing of the game? Probably not. There isn't anything else in the sports world to turn on.
So I guess there is no hope. I'm trapped. I have to watch the game. And since I will keep on watching the game, why would the league change anything.
If you were the league, would you?