The Midsummer Classic has lost its luster. The All-Star game used to be an event every summer that pitted the best competition in one league against the best competition from the other league. It was the best players on a big stage playing for bragging rights. It meant something. Being an All-Star had a sense of pride with it and the players respected that feeling and played the game the right way despite the game having no real meaning.
Now, it’s a corporate event more tied to making money and promoting the game's most popular players rather than the players that actually deserve to be in it. Sure, the game means something; after all, it determines home-field advantage for the World Series. But, does it really mean something? It seems apparent that a lot of players don’t necessarily treat the game with the respect it deserves. Sure, it’s not the NBA All-Star game by any stretch (which is an absolute joke in my opinion) but it’s not what it used to be.
If Bud Selig wants the All-Star game to matter and for it to be played the right way then what should change? For starters, fan-voting needs to be completely revamped somehow, someway. If the game is about home-field advantage for the World Series then the best players should be on the field. Period. There should never be a less deserving player that is voted in simply because he plays for a larger fan base. Can this ever happen with fan voting? Probably not, but at least change the rules, such as allowing only one vote online, or only allow a state to vote so many times.
An example could be that every state gets 2 million votes. If the state reaches that many votes, then they can’t vote anymore and if a state is under the allotted vote total then those extra votes just aren’t utilized. A method like that could at least give every fan base a fair chance. Or, the voting could be nixed all together and the players could be selected by peers or by the managers. In either case, the teams representing each league would likely have the best players on each team rather than an undeserving fan vote.
Another idea is to take away the rule that each team has to have an All-Star. This rule makes no sense to me. Why do the Astros and Marlins have to have an All-Star? If they don’t have a deserving player then they don’t have a deserving player. You want the game to mean something Selig? Then find a way to make sure the best players are on the field from each league.
The problem with the All-Star game is that it wants to be meaningful and it wants to make the most amount of money for baseball as possible. Only, it can’t do both well. If they want it to just be a corporate money grabbing event, then take away any meaning from the game. Let home-field advantage be decided by the team with the best record. But, if you want the game to have a real genuine sense of purpose, then change the way the players are selected. It is still a huge honor to be an All-Star and most players are still grateful for the opportunity, but it has certainly lost its luster.