By: David Lamm
I’ve changed my mind often over the years about how Major League Baseball should choose its all-star teams.
At first, I was gung-ho about the players having the best seasons being picked. They’d earned it, right?
Then, I accepted the fact the midseason classic was simply an exhibition to showcase the sport’s biggest stars. So what if some of them were having mediocre seasons or well past their prime? Give the fans what they wanted.
But MLB changed the all-star game from an exhibition to a game that mattered. Home-field advantage in the World Series was at stake. Give me the hottest players, not the best known.
Now it’s back to being an exhibition, a showcase for baseball. If more fans will watch to see Aaron Judge, sidelined for most of the first half, than DJ LeMahieu, the league’s leading hitter, then give them Judge.
Most of the best players at midseason will be on the squad anyway. They’ll get their chance to shine. It won’t take many seasons of excellent play before these guys become attractive stars.
It’s more important now than ever that baseball gives the fans what they want. Attendance and TV ratings are down. Younger fans are going to football, video games and X Game sports. Anything baseball can do to attract these fans is worthwhile.
When the season’s over, put the best players for the season on an all-star squad when no one is asked to watch.