|Ken Griffey Jr. and Tony Gwynn at the 1992 MLB All Star Game
It's that time of year again. Fans are voting in their favorite players to play in this season's edition of the MLB All Star Game. Voting ends sometime today, and I'm not going to lie, I didn't cast a single vote. This isn't some sort of stance, I just don't want to waste my time clicking "vote" 25 times. There's a much better use of my time.
This year's exhibition will be played in Washington DC on July 17 at the home of the Nationals.
Today on the Twitters, some of us got into a discussion about whether every team should have a representative in the All Star Game. My vote is a resounding YES.
"But wait, aren't some teams horrible? Why should they get an All Star selection too?"
The simple answer for that? Kids.
Do you remember what it was like growing up watching the All Star Game? Back then there was no MLBtv to see all the players all the time, no constant video coming out on Twitter, it was just a newspaper with boxscores and the game of the week on national TV. The mid-summer classic was one of the few times a year you got to see your favorite players from other teams.
If you were a Cubs fan growing up, how else would you see Rickey Henderson or Ken Griffey Jr? The All Star Game was it. The one time a year you could see players from all over the league.
Now I grant you, there's interleague play in today's game and fans get to see the best of the NL in AL parks and vice versa, but it's not every year. So the All Star Game is a way to see baseball's best, regardless if the team you root for is in the NL or the AL.
It's an exhibition game now that MLB has taken away the stupid rule about the winning league getting home field for the World Series. Finally, MLB wised up and is now giving the team with the best record home field advantage. You know, like every other playoff series and sport.
I grew up a Giants fan living in a different city. So as a kid, the thrill of seeing Will Clark on the big stage, or seeing Rick Reuschel start the 1989 All Star Game was something I will never forget. And that's the way it is with kids today.
Kids today are no different than we were growing up. Baseball players get idolized, kids pick their favorite one and try to emulate that player, and just getting a glimpse at your favorite player fills you up inside.
So, yes, the Orioles, Royals, White Sox, and even the Marlins deserve to be represented in the game. To keep them out is to tell kids that their team is not on equal footing with the rest of the league. And that's just not fair.
This is baseball. The rosters for the All Star Game are big enough to accommodate every single team. So, let them play! It is, after all, only an exhibition.
Stick around, this blog is going to be humming again. Join me on July 16 for the first installment of 2-Out Hits: The Podcast. I'll be primarily focusing on NL baseball because frankly, that's what I watch the most. Trust me, you don't want to hear my thoughts on AL teams I know nothing about. I'm going to stay in my lane.