Analysis: "Winner Take All"-Star?
By Jay Sorgi
What do you think? E-mail Jay your thoughts.
I know that the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee which turned into a debacle (and not because it was in the city where Commissioner Bud Selig sleeps) caused baseball's head honcho to create the incentive to have the winner of the All-Star game gain home field advantage for the World Series.
Perhaps it's time to change that idea to something a little more tangible, something which talks to players making multi-million dollar salaries.
Cash. Cold, hard, and lots of it.
Since the commissioner added the home field nuance to the Midsummer Classic, the American League has won that distinction all seven years.
Three of the previous six World Series, it didn't matter one bit, as the National League team won the Fall Classic.
Therefore, the new incentive for the All-Star game may have built a little more juice for players, but it didn't matter much in the final result.
Additionally, as Associated Press poll shows that the majority of fans believe the All-Star game shouldn't decide home field advantage in the World Series.
But as has been proven, not having an incentive to the All-Star game can prove not only to build a boring game with disinterested players, but to offer games that prove both teams to be fit to be tied.
How to solve that?
Well, Mr. Commissioner, my proposal is something that may be hard to implement in the short term in our current economy, but it's definitely worth sticking in your back pocket for a future time.
It's the idea of lining the pockets of the winning team's players with cash: $1,000,000 of it per player, manager and coach, winner take all.
A million bucks per guy, for winning one game? Aren't they making more money than they need to already?
Absolutely. But as we all know, money talks, and if you tell an All-Star player or manager that if their team wins, they will take the entire pot of $1,000,000 per player, you know he will give the kind of effort that made him an All-Star in the first place.
Where's the cash going to come from? Don't know at this point. I don't have $36 million to pony up for MLB to create the Jay Sorgi All-Star Classic.
Nor do most companies, which is why I would say it's a hard sell now.
However, given the eventual economic recovery, you know a company would be more apt to invest that kind of money into a game where players will be going all-out like Pete Rose crashing into Ray Fosse in 1970. - a television spectacle fans would be more in tune to watch than even the current game, which still brings in good ratings but could be a ton more.
The caveat: a player cannot be named to the All-Star team to win the $1 million. They actually have to sit in the dugout during the game and stay there, not necessarily get on the field, but not pull a Barry Bonds and catch the next flight back to Frisco after their one at-bat.
Still, I truly believe this idea would give players, managers, and fans much more reason to pay attention to the Midsummer Classic and give it back the juice it had for so many years in the pre-interleague play days.
It would also free up Major League Baseball to give home field advantage in the World Series to the team with the best record.
Mr. Commissioner, again, I would never expect you to guarantee you could sell this to a sponsor by 2010.
But someday, I know this idea would work.