Tag Archives: all-star games

Baseball strips its all-star game of any meaning


I detest major sports leagues’ all-star games.

National Hockey League all-star matches produce 14-10 results, with players refusing to check each other hard to prevent goals.

National Basketball Association all-star games routinely end in scores such as 160-152, which are the product of dunk fests and zero defense being applied.

The National Football League might produce a 42-35 result at its Pro Bowl all-star game as the players refuse to hit each other with the same ferocity they do during the regular season or postseason.

Now we have the baseball all-star game, which until this week actually meant something. The winning league gets home field advantage during the World Series. That’s a big deal, man!

Now, though, Major League Baseball has just agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union. For the next five years — the length of the new agreement — the MLB all-star game will not determine which league gets home field advantage in the World Series.

That means base runners won’t necessarily try to stretch doubles into triples, or try to score from first base on a single, or try to take out the shortstop with a hard slide into second base.

Sure, occasionally big-leaguers play some serious hardball during these all-star games. Cincinnati Reds infielder Pete Rose in the 1970 all-star game? He barreled into Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse at the plate, bowling Fosse over, injuring him so severely that he never recovered fully. Must’ve been an Ohio rivalry thing.

Oh well. These big-leaguers don’t want to provide further risk to injury by playing an all-star game to a result that actually means something of value to the eventual winners of the American and National League playoffs.

It was nice while it lasted.

NFL Pro Bowl a joke? Well … duh!

When a professional football coaching icon tells you your all-star game is no longer worth playing, let alone watching, perhaps you ought to pay careful attention.

John Madden, the Hall of Famer who coached the Oakland Raiders into their glory years, says the NFL Pro Bowl has become a mockery. He hates it. He detests the new draft system that allows Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to pick the teams.


He’s right.

While he’s at it, he ought to level a barrage at the National Basketball Association for its all-star dunk contest and the National Hockey League for its all-star games that produce 15-12 scores.

The only all-star game worth a damn in my view is the Major League Baseball game in which the winning league — National or American — wins home-field advantage for the World Series.

The NBA all-star game features zero defense. Same for the NHL, where defensemen don’t hit anyone.

Back to the NFL. Football is a collision sport. How in players in good conscience actually seek to hit each other the way they would during the regular season? They risk serious injury. So they go through the motions and produce a game that features tepid blocking and tackling and lots of touchdowns.

These all-star games bore me to sleep.

Coach Madden is right to call out the NFL on this one.