The All-Star Game Incentive?

(Photo: Loren Javier)

The Tigers (bravo!) and Giants are in the World Series, with possibly 4 of 7 games to be played in San Francisco. The majority of games will be played there because the extra game (if necessary) goes to the team representing the league that won the All-Star Game. The purpose of the rule (adopted in 2003) is to offer players and managers an incentive to provide more effort in the All-Star Game. I’m doubtful that this incentive matters much. First, with large teams each player is to some extent a free-rider — why risk injury, why strain yourself, if your efforts have little effect? That is especially true if by July you realize that your team has no chance of making it into the Series. Second, and even more important, I doubt that any player or manager’s effort is very responsive to this kind of incentive.

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  1. Aaron says:

    This is one of Bud Selig’s many dumb ideas. During his tenure, baseball has shifted from a model of efficency (single round playoff as a practical solution to expansion) to gimmicks designed to milk more money out of the market (multiple playoff rounds, small divisions, one game play-in, interleague play). The all star game was popular in my father’s childhood, but I had at best mild interest if several players from my team were involved. Selig put in the dumb rule to attempt to revive interest in a once popular event that had lost popularity. A logical solution would have been to award home field advantage to the team with the best regular season record (which likely would have flipped the result of the 1987 WS). Selig lost me with interleague play. I have ceased caring about or following baseball since 1997. All of his dumb ideas since then have further validated my decision.

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  2. Doug says:

    Normally, I would agree with you that the all-star incentive is a little silly. It was especially silly in the first year with the “This Time It Matters” campaign. However, as the MVP was a Giant, and the losing pitcher was a Tiger, this year the players who made a difference in the All-Star game represented the teams that were affected by the outcome.

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  3. Mark says:

    Yes, but it matters to fans, and thus makes the game more fun to watch.

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