Ten years ago the Major League baseball All-Star Game ended up in a 7-7 tie. The teams ran out of pitchers, the players didn’t really care who won and the league Commissioner in his infinite wisdom stopped the game and called it a tie. The next day fans were outraged, the press called the Commissioner naughty names and the whole thing became quite the mini-scandal.
In a panic the Commish reached even deeper into his vault of clever ideas and decided that it was time to make the All Star Game “really matter.” So it was determined that the winning team would earn their League (American or National) home field advantage in the World Series. That’s right, the location of the potential final and deciding game of the most important series in baseball would be determined by an unrelated exhibition game played about three months earlier.
In honor of that, we thought it might be time to spice up the game a little bit more and even give the rest of the All Star Weekend a chance to ‘really matter.’ With that, here are five more commissioner-worthy ideas to add drama to the exhibition that is All Star Weekend.
1. MVP Decides MLB Amateur Draft Order
We don’t decide little things like home field advantage based on record, so why determine something as innocuous as draft order by record? Let the MVP of the All Star game decide who drafts when. This would inspire All Stars to really put their best foot forward, would get rid of the remaining parity in baseball and it would stop those sneaky cellar dwellers from throwing games on purpose at the end of a failed season.
2. Home Run Derby Winner is Forced to Use Steroids for the Balance of the Season
What better way to reward the weekend’s greatest slugger than by giving him the gift of medically enhanced bat speed and super human healing powers for the rest of the season! He is forced to accept the steroids because we wouldn’t want a little thing like honor or personal integrity to get in the way of a meaningful home run derby. This reward not only helps the slugger’s stats and his team’s run count, it gives the league an opportunity to publicize a chase for the home run record, year after year.
3. Pitcher With the Most Strikeouts Gets to Call His Own Balls and Strikes
This would be another wrinkle to add excitement to the actual All Star game. You encourage the pitchers on each side to bring some serious heat by offering the guy with the most strikeouts an opportunity to call his own balls and strikes for the rest of the season. What more inspiring way to bring creativity to the All Star mound. It enables a star pitcher to get rid of that pesky plate umpire and saves Baseball the annoying cost of having to employ one every single inning that pitcher plays!
4. Winning Players in the Legends and Celebrities Softball Game Are Immediately Inducted into The Hall of Fame
Why should it only be the All Star game that ‘counts?’ If you guarantee that retired all stars and borderline legends earn a free pass into the hall if they manage to win, it’ll make for one hell of a softball game. But why stop there, if celebrities can beat legends, why not put celebrities in too? Kate Upton would look amazing in Cooperstown! What’s more, it would completely undermine the current system of old media voting in players. Win/Win!
5. Winners of the Futures Game Get to be the Kansas City Royals for the Remainder of the Season
Why force these talented kids to play another half year in the Minor Leagues when they could replace what amounts to a Minor League team that already exists – the Kansas City Royals! Not only does the possibility of immediate MLB promotion inspire the hot young prospects playing in this game to give it their all, but it gives the fans of the Kansas City Royals something worth watching!