2012 All Star Selections Arenít Bad For a Change and Other All Star Stuff (Suggestions)
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the fans selections for this year’s All Star game. Usually fan selections are nothing more than a local popularity contest punched in by people who last looked at a statistic in their month of March pre season prediction publications. You know the ones whose analysis concludes that whichever team won their division last year is certain to win again this year. More years than not, if a player has had a good career, has a good reputation or played well the previous season, he’s in.
Certainly no one will ever agree with all the selections for this game but those players voted in and those who were runner-up are difficult to argue with. Finally the fans seem to be paying attention and maybe there is hope yet.
The fan selections closely mirrored my own (that’s not the reason for my complimentary nod to those fans who voted with their heads) and I voted only the one time. I didn’t face book my vote nor did I twitter my feelings. Yeah I know I may be missing out on the social norms of today but I don’t even own a cell phone. I still own a turntable and there is likely a cassette or two lying around the house somewhere.
This year’s game should be the classic matchup of power pitching vs. power hitting. I’m anxious to see if the arms of the National League can figure out a way to stop the monstrous Josh Hamilton or if doubles machine Joey Votto can be stymied by the young arms of the American League.
It should be fun to see Tony LaRussa back in uniform one more time (well not fun for Cincinnati fans who feel snubbed by Tony) and it will be our last look at future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones in an all star game.
Fox along with the Joe Buck will be back again so once again my finger will be twitching on the mute button more times than I will care to remember. Maybe Joe might even talk about baseball for a change this season. One can only hope.
I used to like the All Star game Home Run Derby but now I find it kind of boring after the first 30 home runs or so. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. Maybe having the player throw the ball up in the air and hit it and if a fan catches the ball in the stands or outside the park a la Wrigley field it’s ruled an out. Kinda like the old wall ball games of our youth. Better yet, let’s make it exactly like the wall ball games of our youth, we’ll put up a brick wall behind the batter and draw a strike zone in chalk. Hit it out or you’re out. Three outs the teams change sides. And use a slightly used and hacked up rubber ball now that would be a home run derby.
Let’s bring back the outfield arm competition. Of course, the problem there is that there aren’t that many outfielders who can throw in the game today but we can have them throw from 50 feet behind second base and see if they can reach home plate on the fly. Maybe have a fan stand at home plate and if the catch is made the throw doesn’t count in the final point total. Maybe have a runner sliding into the fan just to make the catch all the more interesting. Any balls caught by the fan will become autographed keepsakes and auctioned on EBay that day with the player who threw the ball having first dibs.
One more thing please. Continue the tradition of players wearing their uniforms, No league jerseys with stars all over them. The baseball All Star game is the only one holding any interest for any fan. There-I finally agreed with Bud Selig.
By: Doug Bird