Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Matters

By Nick McCann

Now that the All-Star Game matters, it has become even more frustrating than it already was because it means I get sucked in more easily. It is an exhibition game, but it affects the end of the season and this has added more annoying elements to an already annoying annual discussion that can’t seem to stop from happening. In the weeks before the game, people get really upset about who makes it, and who doesn’t make it, and then the game happens, and usually sucks.

Before the new rule about the postseason, when the game happened to be good, it always felt disappointing that it didn’t really matter. It should be cooler now, because it does “matter”, but it isn’t, because the managers never treat it that way. Now, the manager has to try to win, and still hold onto the old code of how an exhibition game-involving other managers’ players-should be handled.

The All-Star Game just needs to happen a week after the World Series in Hawaii. The players would love it, fans would watch, and nobody would miss the Mid Summer Night’s Dream that never goes away, because it would be one less thing shoved down our throats.

Want to read about things I hate about the All-Star Game? Good!

It is half way through the season and the fans get to vote on who starts.
In a perfect world, fans would take into account the performance of the players in the second half and postseason of the previous year. Hot shit rookies usually overshadow performances from late in the season before and Asia apparently has discovered that they can vote on the Internet (Fukadome? Okay, maybe that frustration is carried over from Yao Ming being a starter for the West in the NBA as a rookie). If things were fair, 7 members of the 2007 Rockies would have been on the team after their insane winning streak last September. If you look at the NFL (which apparently you do), their All-Star Game is at the end of the season and it doesn’t matter. The NFL could also buy and sell MLB about 4 times over if it wanted to.

Within the game, the managers always use the best players first and take them out too early.
It’s fine if you want it to be a fluff game to let little kids see the stars, but if it is going to matter, they should somehow be forced to manage the game like they would if they had-I don’t know-a team of All-Stars and it-I don’t know- was supposed to MATTER if they won. Last night Terry Francona took A-Rod out in the middle of an early inning just so he could wave to the New York crowd. I guess he is a true Yankee now. What a lucky star!

Moving on.

Tim McCarver
Should be put down Old Yeller style.

If a team is going to burn all it’s pitchers early in the game, they should be forced to make a position player pitch if it comes down to that.
Last night, as the game went on and on, the one thing that held my attention to finish watching the game was that the American League was running out of throwers. The announcers kept stressing that Scott Kazmir was the last pitcher the AL could use and that he had a very set pitch count to stick to. It was captivating television because it forced me to wonder what Terry Francona would do. If he pulled Kazmir, would he forfeit and give up a home field advantage for his Red Sox club that has a good chance of being in the Word Series? Would Bud Selig find a new way to make one of his own mistakes even worse? I really wanted to see JD Drew come in from right field and try to strike out Adrian Gonzalez. But that would never happen in an All-Star Game because the game is the ultimate display of confident and prideful dudes’ dudes, where the underling theme for all participants is that nobody wants to embarrass them selves. Nobody really wants to play, but nobody wants to be left out of the fraternity. If Jose Canseco was in the game this wouldn't be a problem, because he would gladly embarrass himself. But it would be a problem because the All-Star Game creates problems compounded by problems that never go away.

This bitching probably isn’t fair. I wanted to watch a Netflix movie last night, but sticking with a 15-inning game that matters, will always matter to me, and I will probably be back next year.

1 comment:

Seagull Steve said...

I liked how Yogi kept calling Joe Buck "Jay" and "Jack", anything but Joe.

Forget Tim McCarver, I hate Joe Buck with all my soul. That Uggla guy is not much better.