Mid Summer Classic
The Mid Summer Classic lived up to its name. This year?s game was hard fought battle between two teams that wanted to win. Gone is the perception that Baseball?s All Star Game is just an exhibition. This game mattered not only because it determined home field advantage for the World Series, not just because the National League wanted to end the AL?s winning streak, but because its Baseball?s way of saying Thank You to the fans.
The best players in the world played yesterday, with the rosters being determined by the voting of the fans. Many people are critical of that system, and want it to be changed, but I have to object to that. I say no way, I say let the fans vote. We owe them that privilege for their continued love and support of baseball. I have said many, many times that baseball does not belong to the players, nor to the owners, but that it belongs to the fans. They might not always be right, and it?s inevitable that deserving guys will be left off the roster, but generally speaking the fans get it right. Voting gives the fans a chance to show their love for their favorite players. It also gives them a chance to be involved in the game. To take their vote away would be like a slap in the face.
People are also critical of Commissioner Selig for giving home field advantage to the winning league. I think that criticism is unfair as well. When the 2002 All Star game ended in a tie, the commissioner was berated with criticism when in fact the two managers should have taken the heat for playing everyone instead of being prepared for extra innings. After that outcome, he decided to make sure everyone knows that the game matters, and that it is not just an exhibition. The game is at its best when the best players assemble and play hard, and play to win. The fans want to see a winner, and they want to see good baseball, which is what happens when the game is taken seriously. Just look at how great the last two All Star games have been.
I commend Commissioner Selig for this year?s Classic, as it was a tremendous success. I also commend the city of Pittsburg for being wonderful hosts. The player s are to be commended for representing Major League Baseball to the highest degree of class, dignity and character, and for giving the fans the game they wanted to see.
Last, but certainly not least, I commend the fans for their tremendous support, continued interest and love for the greatest game in the world, baseball.