Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Fate Saves Bud's Bacon... Or Does It?
2008-07-16 13:23
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The fascinating thing about watching the All-Star Game last night in extra innings, after making such a furious point of not watching it at all, was the extreme knife's edge upon which the game's fate rested after the eleventh or so. If the managers ran out of pitchers and a tie was called, it would be one of the worst All-Star Games ever. If one team managed to scratch out a run in the nick of time, it would be called one of the better ones in the cable TV/ESPN/overexposure for everything era.

Baseball got lucky. Or was it luck? Was it some force or forces unknown acting in favor of the game, as many observers have seen to happen at earlier points in baseball's great history?

Then again, didn't everything seem to work out a little too well? Looking again to the past for guidance... well, they did fix a World Series once. They could surely fix an All-Star Game.

Just thinking out loud. You'll have to excuse me, as I am a little out of sorts after prolonged withdrawal from meaningful baseball.

2008-07-16 14:41:15
1.   standuptriple
It was good to see Corey Hart playing the role of "company man" at the end there (and really his whole night...Braun too). He didn't look like a guy who might want to give his 1-2 SP punch home-field advantage in the World Series. I suppose it could have been past his bedtime though.
2008-07-16 16:17:28
2.   Woden325
As one of commenters on Bronx Banter put it: it's not a real game, the problem comes when they pretend it is. Or words to that effect.

This is what I'd do if I was the Commisioner.
Solve the World Series home field advantage in one of three ways:
1) Coin Toss by the managers of the previous year's world series teams. Or by the previous league MVP's. Or the League Presidents. Either at the ASG or at the end of the season.
2) Odd years: AL, Even years: NL. (my preferred choice)
3) Goes to World Series team with the better season record.

Then play the ASG as a fun exhibition game. Everybody plays, the game ends with a win or draw at the end of the 9th.

2008-07-16 16:24:27
3.   Gagne55
I don't think fate or fixing had anything to do with it. The AL scored a run in the 15th. Plenty of games have reached the 15th and ended there. Just because Joe Buck kept repeating over and over about Kazmir being limited didn't mean that any mysterious forces made the game end.
2008-07-16 16:46:12
4.   Ali Nagib
I never really warmed up to the "32nd man" online voting, even though I've voted a few times in the past, but I think I've come up with a replacement that would kill two birds with one stone: fan voting for the "Emergency Pitcher." (We can probably find a better name) You pick the best swingmen, like Jon Lieber, Hong-Chih Kuo, etc. and let the fans vote. You deliberately pick guys who could pitch 5 or 6 innings and no one would care (as opposed to every other pitcher on the roster) and don't let them come in until after the 12th. The managers could still hold back 1 or 2 relievers just in case regardless, but it would be totally frivolous, almost never come into play, and be totally awesome.
2008-07-16 17:12:18
5.   therickdaddy
Selig released a statement saying there would not be a tie. JD Drew was lined up to pitch.
2008-07-16 18:10:36
6.   Schteeve
For crying out loud. The pitchers sure didn't look like they were tanking anything last night, neither did the defense.

I don't know if ol Sunglasses at Night could have made a better throw, but it was a hell of an entertaining game in my opinion.

2008-07-16 18:13:22
7.   Schteeve
Here's what they should do.

1) Expand the roster to 35 per team.
2) Dispense with the "everyone has to play" nonsense.
3) Allow teams to make any starting pitcher they want "unavailable" and then that guy, while being on the team and in the dugout, doesn't count against the roster and can't play no matter what.

doesn't seem all that hard to me.

2008-07-16 19:38:04
8.   Vishal
why would the game need to be fixed in favor of the dominant league? that doesn't make sense.
2008-07-17 05:54:19
9.   Todd S

Why stop at 35? Let's make it 45, with all of those extra players pitchers. That should solve everything.

2008-07-17 20:36:19
10.   chuie
2 what about using the overall interleague record to decide home field advantage in the series? (since i doubt they'll go back to alternating any time soon.) i know the AL has had the edge, but at least it'd be based on games that count.

you know, the rule i'd REALLY like to see changed is the one that requires the broadcasters to only talk to/about red sox or yankees players.

2008-07-17 20:56:03
11.   Suffering Bruin
One of the fun things about fantasy baseball on Yahoo (I'm in the JuiceBlog league) is following the games on "stattracker" or whatever the hell it's called. Anywho, I'm following the Rockies game because I've got three Rocks active--Hawpe, Ianetta and Fuentes.

According to StatTracker(?), Fuentes was a bad man on the mound tonight. Bad as in very, very good. Just sayin'...

2008-07-18 09:01:31
12.   Woden325
10 That seems like a reasonable idea, too. Basically, I'm in favor of anything that stops turning the All-Star Game into a nightmarish hybrid of a real important game and a fun collegial game.

And as for your second rule: that's just crazy talk, man. Don't you know that those are the only two teams that matter?

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