A few weeks ago Major League Baseball and the players’ union were able to successfully come to terms of a new CBA. This new agreement fixed one thing I really hated about baseball. The All-Star Game.
Since 2003 the All-Star Game determined home field advantage in the World Series. The theory was that by making the game count it would change the way that it’s played, and hopefully, make it more exciting.
That didn’t happen. Players still weren’t playing their hardest. They didn’t want to risk injury. What good is home field if you’re not even healthy enough to play?
But the bigger problem was that the teams on the field were rarely the best that the respective leagues had to offer. Instead they were often filled with the most popular players. And that was really the problem with the fan vote and making the game count. The two just didn’t mix.
Now, player’s have a bit of a different incentive. They’ll be playing for money. Whichever, team wins the game will be able to split a pool of money between the team. So, we’re still getting some incentive, but it’s a more personal one. And one that doesn’t even attempt to have any significant impact on the season’s outcome. That’s a change that I’m happy about.
In the larger picture it makes the regular season more exciting, as well. Now having the best record means something. The league’s best teams will be hesitant to coast, hoping to secure that fourth home game in the World Series, should they make it. It gives more teams more to play for. September could become even more exciting.