We, as a society, have All-Star fatigue. The fans, the players, the announcers, even the host cities. What was once a novelty is now an obligation. Especially the homerun derby.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll hit you a damn homerun. Now get out of my face.”
And it’s not just baseball. The basketball all-star game is just a bunch of millionaires alley-ooping each other uncontested dunks (or is that the regular season—hey-o!). But at least they pretend to play. The football pro-bowl game is just an excuse to send players and corporate sponsors to Hawaii—I’ve seen flag football games with more contact. I don’t know if hockey has an all-star game or not; I don’t follow it.
So how to fix them? I have two solutions. Yep, not just one solution: two. And if any organization implements them, I want a flat fee of $10,000 US. A regular player price to pay for All-Star solutions.
Solution #1: Hold it every four years.
You know why people love the Olympics and the World Cup? You guessed it: absence. The slam-dunk contest with Michael Jordan was epic. The slam-dunk contest with Brent Barry performing Jordan’s free-throw line dunk was tragic. The same goes for the homerun derby—if you can’t get the big dogs out there, don’t hold the contest. By holding the event every four years, you make it special again. Players don’t race to back out or get “sick”. And you could even rotate all of the major four, so that baseball is year one, basketball year two, etc.
Solution #2: The Non-Star™ Game
Go in the opposite direction: have all of the players who are about to get cut play to save their positions. Add some bona fide consequences. “This time it counts” Ha! THIS TIME it counts.