Mid Summer Classic
I just returned from the All Star Game in Detroit, where I had such a good time. The atmosphere was great because of the tremendous support of the fans. They packed the place for the Home Run Derby, and of course the game itself.
I would like to applaud the commissioner on his decision to give home-field advantage of the World Series to the winning league. Many people are curious about that decision.
In the past few years, the game has lacked the intensity the fans crave. The players didn?t look as if winning was important, and the managers were concerned about playing everybody. Consequently, the games lacked excitement, and, even worse, since everybody played one of the games ended in a tie.
The commissioner was criticized heavily, and bore the burden of the blame. For an All Star game to end in a tie is just wrong, but the commissioner did not have any other choice.
Bud Selig felt he has to inject energy into the game and give the fans the game they want. He understands people go to the game to pull for their league and see the best players in the world compete against each other. He understands the fans want to see the splendor and spectacle of Major League Baseball. So he had to create importance for the players and coaches.
Baseball?s all star game has been so far superior to those of other major sports. Because of how the game was played, fans eagerly anticipated the Mid Summer Classic every year. I was fortunate enough to manage in four all star games, and in each, I told the players that I was not there to play everybody; I was there to beat the American League.
The players realize they are all-stars. They represent the game of baseball at its best, and know they have to perform their best at all times. They have to play the game with all the drive and determination in their hearts.
The results have been tremendous. The last couple of years, the intensity has risen, as the players and managers want home field advantage. We represent the greatest sport in the country. We must do everything in our power to continue baseball?s growth and prosperity.