Has the All-Star Game lost its luster?Posted: Tuesday July 09, 2002 9:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday July 09, 2002 9:22 PM
We asked readers to react the question, "Has the All-Star Game lost its luster?" Here's a sampling of what you had to say:
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Luft. The All-Star game is still a great
event. I am looking forward to it this year as I have for so many. The
only tarnish on this classic is the looming strike. However, for a few
hours tonight, I won't be thinking about that; I'll be watching my favorite
interleague clash of the titans.
The ML All-Star Games is still the best ASG going! The real problem is the way the players are picked. The stars should be picked by professional baseball people and some "knowing" sports writers. Fans should be just that -- "Fans" -- and stay out of the selection process. What's next? Fans picking Hall of Fame inductees?!!!
I think it is still amazing 'cause those players tonight have shown as good
they are by braking some of the all records established by the players in
Dan George hits it out of the park. Jacob Luft? Pure fluff!! George gives real arguments right from the get-go. Luft uses a lot of cutesy language and never really makes an emphatic point. The two essays head to head are the equivalent of a 21-2 game. George wins, hands down.
I couldnít agree more with Georgeís article. Not only has interleague play destroyed the novelty of the former Midsummer Classic (and the World Series, some might argue), but with all of the impending doom surrounding baseball in the form of contraction and work stoppages, I canít see how this Some-Star game has any relevance at all. The day that Paul Lo Duca, Larry Walker (the NLís leading hitter for Godís sake!), Jim Thome and Magglio Ordonez are chosen in favor of Benito Santiago, Damian Miller, Scott Rolen, Robert Fick, Robin Ventura and Randy Wynn, please give me a call. Iím also disgusted that Joe Torre even makes the pretense of taking the best players regardless of what position they happen to play (and not taking a backup 2nd baseman) if he can justify taking his own boy (Ventura) over any of the other candidates that I mentioned earlier. The only reason that he chose five shortstops was so that he could also select the four that were better than Jeter and still take pretty boy along as well.
Won't be watching it. Couldn't care less about these spoiled prima donnas who are malcontent with their multimillion dollar contracts. How about we can the entire lot of 'em and invite people who want to play for the love of the game to do so for a reasonable base salary plus performance-based pay like the rest of us? The current crop of players are equivalent to the crooked CEOs who rob their shareholders (fans) blind for their personal gain. By the way can you say steroids?
I agree with Dan, "It ain't what it used to be." But not just for his reasons
of interleague play. Also because these "stars" aren't what the real
baseball stars were made of. When I think of baseball stars, I think of
Babe, Joe and Hank. They played with natural power and agility. Now, it is
so boring, so predictable. Who wants to watch a bunch of jocks on steroids
and other sport-enhancing drugs, thinking they are God, doing what they
could not do as much without those "drugs"? The thrill is gone, we have
seen it over and over. I look forward to watching a few boys of summer who
have the natural build and agility baseball was once created for. One of
those is Ichiro Suzuki. He may not hit the ball out of the park, but he is
the fastest, quickest, gutsiest, bravest player to walk these leagues today.
I am only 30 so my viewing of baseball is limited from the late '70s on. Even in that short period of time the game has changed. When Dwight Gooden faced Winfield and Rickey Henderson in the '88 All-Star game, it meant something to this Mets fan. I see the yankees six times a year now, and with Extra Innings on DirecTV and ESPN. I see every player, every team. The All-Star game doesn't have the same importance anymore.
Although both have some very valid points, I gotta go with Dan George here.
The game will be entertaining, but all the guys with their camcorders
idolizing each other, it seems to me the All Star game has turned into a
millionaires lovefest. I really believe they could care less who wins in the
end as long as noone gets hurt. There will be individual achievement, but
no real competition.
I agree with Jacob, whole-heartedly. I have yet to see Curt Schilling go up
against A-Rod, or Ichiro go up against Pedro. Sure there may be some
overlapping as far as players going mano-a-mano is concerned, but who cares?
For the most part the matchups are firsts, and if not firsts then they are
far betweens, that me as a fan can say, "Hey, the last time this guy faced
that guy, this happened. Will it again?" Interleague play is not ruining the game. The game's self destruction falls on the shoulders of people like Dan who refuse to realize that Baseball needs an update. BIG TIME.
Baseball has lost its true All-Star Game. But interleague play is not the only thing to blame. The excitment of the All-Star Game has been lost to subjects as: Contraction, strikes, steroids, and salary caps. I think the All-Star Game can regain its excitment if Bud Selig just does something or anything about these stupid subjects. The All-Star game is a great and big deal, and players (such as Randy Johnson), comissioners, and the fans need to realize that
We went to Atlanta for the All-Star Game two years ago. All we heard
the whole week before the game was who was not coming that had been voted in
by the fans. To us, it wasn't about the interleague play. We wanted to see
all the best players in baseball on the same field. However, Mike Piazza,
Cal Ripkin, and Mark McGwire, the biggest names in baseball, opted not to
even show up. Barry Bonds was injured and couldn't play, but he was there
watching the game with his kid, and said something to the effect that if the
fans voted you in, it wasn't an option to stay home for a long weekend. You
owed it to the fans to be there, and he was having a great time. I think if
a player is voted in as an All-Star and doesn't show up, he should be banned
from future voting, or at least from receiving bonuses as a result of being
elected. My boys had a great time at the Home Run Derby and the Fanfest,
but were disappointed that the biggest stars of the game didn't bother to
come. I understand about not playing when you're injured, but they could
have been there for the opening ceremony and signed autographs or something.