Changes in All-Star rules help manage game better

Published 2:32 am Monday, May 3, 2010

It’ll be better. It’ll be easier. It’ll be more inclusive. It just won’t be worth it.

The rule changes in the Major League Baseball All-Star game will help the game in a lot of ways, but it still doesn’t solve Bud Selig’s thought process.

The All-Star Game will now have a designated hitter every year and not just the years it’s played in an American League city. The rosters have been expanded by one player to 34 to accommodate the change.

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In the past, only the catcher could re-enter the game to replace an injured catcher. This year each manager may designate a position player who will be eligible for re-entry to the game if the final position player at any position is injured.

The expanded rosters over the past few years from 28 to 33 was to allow for 13 pitchers and help avoid a situation like the 7-7 tie after 11 innings in 2002 when both teams ran out of pitchers.

What’s the problem with using the high school rule that allows a manager to re-enter a starter one time? Baseball is different from every other sports such as football, basketball and hockey that allow re-entry substitutions. Why not baseball, at least just for the All-Star Game.

After all, this is just a glorified exhibition game to let fans see all the big stars in the game.

Ah, yes. An exhibition game.

Managers are trying to get all the players in the game and if they win, that’s great. But Selig decided to make the game mean something. He decided that the league team who wins the All-Star Game will earn that league home field advantage for the World Series.

That’s right. An exhibition game is going to help determine the champion of the league.

Other sports let the team’s regular season records determine the home field advantage. The NFL has a neutral site for its championship game.

But baseball, it lets a game of Who’s Who give the advantage toward winning the MLB world championship.

Now there’s a rule that could use a change.


Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.