The media tells us that fans don’t really care about baseball’s All Star Game.  I’m the counterpoint to that – I loved the All Star Game as a kid, and I still enjoy it today.  The ability to see all the great players congregating in one place makes the event bigger than the Super Bowl for me.  I’m not particularly interested in ancillary activities like the Home Run Derby – I’m all about the game.  Here are my reactions to this year’s game.

Rockies Representation

My Colorado Rockies will send three players to the game.  Troy Tulowitzki was the runaway leader at shortstop, despite losing a month to a broken rib.  Tulo will start a rehab assignment tomorrow and might play in the game.  Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is having a tremendous year and was also voted a starter, as Justin Upton’s lack of May/June production caused him to plummet in the late voting.  Finally, outfield Michael Cuddyer was elected by the players.

Yasiel Puig

The single biggest story surrounding the All Star game is whether or not Dodgers rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig will be in the game.  Puig has only a month of service time in the majors, but he has been arguably the best player in baseball during that time.  That has sparked a lively debated.  Proponents of adding Puig to the roster argue that he’s clearly a star.  Those opposed to his inclusion say that he hasn’t paid his dues.  At the moment, he’s a candidate on the Final Man vote and will most likely be added to the team.

Roster Size

Each team will have 34 players who will be eligible to play in the game.  Additionally, there will be several players who don’t count against that total – players who are injured, or pitchers who pitch in a regular game next Sunday and opt not to pitch in the game.  This means that each team will have around 40 players in uniform for the game.  Have 80 “All Stars” stretches the meaning of the term a bit.

I’d be in favor of a small roster of 25 active player and a hard cap of 30 players suited up for each side.  To accomplish this, MLB would have to do away with the rule that every team must be represented.  Their argument is that fans are more likely to watch if they can watch one of their team’s players.  Of course, as the roster has swelled, a lot of these players sit on the bench for the entire game.  It’s simply not feasible to work 34 players into the game without making the game six hours long and pretty much making a mockery of the process.  If you want to force the inclusion of all teams, make it a rolling 2 or 3 year schedule, where each team is guaranteed a player in specific years.

Prediction

Who is going to win the game?  The National League, of course.  (Naturally, that’s my prediction every single year)

 

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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