Trying to make the All-Star Game Fun

Who actually cares about the All-Star Game? Come on, I know the ratings have gone up in the past couple of years, but honestly: is there anybody out there eagerly anticipating the July 15th contest in New York? Sure, there are reasons Major League Baseball want us to watch: the game is in Yankee Stadium during the final season of the “House that Ruth Built,” it will feature a parade of 40 Hall of Fame players (the largest gathering outside of Cooperstown), and it will determine home-field advantage in the World Series. But in this era of modern sports (and modern baseball), the All-Star Game might be obsolete.

Yes, it will be interesting to see the game in Yankee Stadium, and the idea of having 40 HOFers is one that appeals to me. But I’m not the average baseball fan. I’ve been to Cooperstown, I drool over seeing Hall of Fame players, and I love nothing more than going through the record books that hold baseball history. But I’m going to watch the All-Star Game anyway (and so will other fans like me). What baseball needs is to reach out to the fans who aren’t so obsessed. We’ve already seen that home-field advantage in the World Series doesn’t mean enough for people to care about the game (2003, the year MLB introduced “This time it counts,” the game’s ratings didn’t change). If this All-Star Game, with all of the glamor being tacked onto it, fails to draw a big TV audience, we’ll know that all hope for the mid-summer classic is gone. But, and I want this to be the case, if people are drawn to the game by the history that is being smothered onto the contest (or, God forbid, the idea of the seeing all the best players in the game on one field) – there just might be hope for the All-Star Game.

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