There’s been a lot of conversation regarding the MLB All-Star Game lately, and regardless of your beliefs in terms of the decision to move the game, I think we can all agree it’s time for MLB to take the All Star Game up a notch. Other than the Homerun Derby, “All Star Weekend” is really just the game and not much more. Sure they have a celebrity softball game, but does anyone really watch that? It’s time for baseball to get with the times and start to truly showcase the talents of MLB players .
Before I get into my suggestions for growing All-Star Weekend, I want to discuss how major league baseball has managed to screw up one of the best events of any All-Star Game, the Homerun Derby. Other than the NBA Dunk Contest, the Homerun Derby is one of most anticipated events surrounding an All Star Game, but somehow the clowns overseeing the event have done their best to turn it into a circus. At the peak of its popularity (I’m talking Griffey, Sosa, McGwire, and Hamilton), the event was simple, hit as many homeruns as you can until you get 10 “outs”. But for some reason, they’re tried to incorporate all these new stipulations to try and make it more interesting…….swing and a miss. Most recently, they got rid of the outs, and now gave each player a time limit. The result of this “speed derby” is that players don’t take time to collect themselves and launch moon balls. Instead, you have more cheap homeruns just barely clearing the fence. Then they decided to have a one-on-one matchups based on seedings that eventually led to a championship matchup. With they method, you didn’t even have the top homerun hitters making the finals, in this scenario, some players can actually get lucky if their opponent puts up an egg. Why the clowns in the MLB office decide to tinker with a proven event, I’ll never know.
But the good news is that there is hope, and I’m here to provide it. MLB needs to take a note out of the NBA playbook by adding more events into their All-Star Monday Night event!
- MLB Long Toss: One of the most impressive feats that we see over the course of the baseball season is when we watch an outfielder throw out a runner at home from deep in the outfield. Why not make this an event? Similar to the long drive contest in golf, why not have a contest to see who can throw a ball the farthest? Rules would be simple, throw the ball as far as you can, just need it to land inside a lane. I’ll never forget watching the original Vlad Guerrero throw a ball from the 3rd Baseline over the right field wall at old Yankee Stadium.
- Fastest Pitch: I think this contest speaks for itself, let’s see who the hardest thrower in the big leagues is these days. Similar to how the NHL has the fastest slapshot, we setup a target at Homeplate and pitchers get three tosses to throw their hardest and hit the target. If they miss, their speed doesn’t count.
- Best Baserunner: Speed always rules on the base paths, so let’s find out who the fastest player around the bases is this year. Rules are simple, start at home, and circle the bases. Fastest time wins the title of “Fastest Player” in the Majors.
It’s time the MLB do a refresh when it comes to their All star Weekend because the luster of the All Star Game is lessening year over year. I expect a fat commission check when I see some of these ideas incorporated in the Mid-Summer Classic this year.