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Seven Ideas, Ranging From Sensible To Terrible, For Fixing The MLB All-Star Game

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 02: A general view of signage promoting the 2024 MLB All Star Game is shown outside the ballpark before the game bw at Globe Life Field on July 02, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The MLB All-Star Game starters were named on Wednesday, and nobody much noticed. This is not good, because the only actual value of an all-star reveal is to see who got named, and is doubly not good because the starters are named four days before the rest of the rosters (Sunday evening) because the only angle any producers seem to whisper into their talent's ears is who got snubbed.

So if that's the upshot of all this, maybe all this needs yet another rethink. We've done players-pick-the-teams to the point where we only want those general managers fired too. We've done last-guy-picked-gets-a-car to the point where every candidate can buy 10 so what's the big deal? We've even changed the rules of the Home Run Derby again because that's Rob Manfred's goal as commissioner: to look through the rulebook for things to scrap like some ascetic mid-level lunatic in the Marlins' front office.

So what can be done to avoid the fate of the Pro Bowl (ruled justifiable homicide in every court in the land) or NBA All-Star Game (sizing the bribe to get the players to care)? Maybe nothing, in which case the world is a blank canvas that allows for failure because it isn't replacing anything of note. In other words, screw it. Throw everything at the wall and don't expect anything to stick because let's face it, history is just your grandparents' attic after the will's been read.

For example, maybe next year they could put an age limit on all-stars—say, 26. That way they can force-feed us all the new faces they currently decline to promote, both in marketing and service-time manipulation. Every time someone announces that a top prospect is being brought to the big club (like the Dodgers and Justin Wrobleski), Willie Mays grants an angel its wings, and how much more Freddie Freeman do you honestly need to see? That's not realistic, of course, but an average age of 26 per position wouldn't be unreasonable. That way, the older coots like Jose Ramirez can be leveled off with a younger coot like Jordan Westburg and baseball can skew ever so slightly toward the younger audience they so desperately crave but can't seem to get a handle on. In other words, free Elly De La Cruz.

Maybe MLB could accept the essential truth of Remembering A Guy—that is, selecting players and formats based solely on surnames. Have the nine Rodriguezes (Carlos, Grayson, Jonathan, Josely, Julio, Manuel, Randy, Yariel, and Yerry) play the nine Smiths (Birch, Cade, Dominic, Drew, Josh, Kevin, Pavin, Will, and Will). Or have them play each simultaneously with the eight Garcias, the eight Thompsons, the seven Martinezes and the seven Millers. Or a side game with Bae (Ji Hwan), Baz (Shane), Lux (Gavin), Ort
(Kaleb), Pop (Zach), Puk (A.J.), and Rea (Colin) playing against Schwellenbach (Spencer), Schneemann (Daniel), Strzelecki (Peter), Zastryzny (Rob), Winckowski (Josh), Waguespack (Jacob), and Woods Richardson (Simeon). All if only to see if Fanatics can be broken once and for all.

And speaking of which, how about no longer issuing ASG uniforms that look like they were made by the folks who killed uniforms in conjunction with the people who outfit mechanics. Adult slow-pitch softball is suing for copyright infringement, and if you can't do dress-up right, what's the point of playing at all?

Do not show us the stars of upcoming Fox shows. They don't want to be there and we don't want to see them, and that's assuming we know who they are, which we don't. "Hey, it's that guy from all those police procedurals and he's doing another police procedural.”

Name nine A's to the American League team so they can prove to their families and friends that they do so play in the major leagues.

For definite sure, do not run out of fireworks the way the Pirates did the other night because they used them all on a seven home-run evening. If you're going big, go too big, and anything you can't shoot off during the game can be fired off afterward in a pyrospectacular tribute to excess that will upset Arlington’s family pets well into Wednesday morning.

And if none of those things appeal, there is always the KBO solution of using players' children as props because it takes a lot to boo a child. Not that we're not up for that, but since the temperature in the Metroplex may well be into the upper thousands next Tuesday, few people will have the energy to bother.

Hey, we're just trying to help. Especially the uniform thing. That's got to get fixed yesterday.

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