Thursday, July 12, 2007

All Stars?

Watching the All Star game was nightmare. The problem I have with it is this: they don't play with the fundamentals, they play for the individual. The game is for home field advantage in the World Series. With the win the other night, the American League will host and have the first two games at home, four of the seven in their home park. Big advantage, but everyone didn't play as if that were the case.

I love Junior, but if A-Rod didn't stroll home, I think he makes it. In the Bonds' at-bats, he failed to advance Reyes to third. He was trying to score 5 runs with one swing. Ichiro, what can you say? He hustled and got a lucky bounce. It happens.

The National League left 18 men on base to the AL's 10. The NL left 5 on with two outs to the AL's 2. The NL struck out 9 times to the AL's 1. That is damning. That's what I mean by fundamentals. If you don't move the man over with a gaping hole on the left side, you failed. If you have the guy in scoring position you have to get the ball in play, not strike out. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen, failure is part of the game. A guy hitting .333 fails 7 out of 10 at-bats. He is considered an All Star caliber player.

The question is if the game matters, why are you playing like it doesn't? Or better yet; Should it matter? The NBA, NHL, and NFL (not counting the Super Bowl) as well as most organized sports in the world give home field advantage to the best record. They freely admit that their All Star games are for fun. Go ahead, take the shot when your not open, or don't play defense. Jog, I don't care. It doesn't mean anything, and there is a clock that can stop the madness. Which is not the case in baseball - only outs.

Weird sport this thing we call baseball. There is no time limit, and the Defense controls the ball. You can't ignore the ball, because you would never get the outs to get off the field. You have to throw strikes, or you walk guys around the bases, and no one but you can stop the madness. You have to play the game. If your going to play the game, at least play to win. That said, the All Star game wasn't played to win, but for the individual, which is the thing that baseball doesn't have.

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