New Rule Suggestions for the All Star Baseball Game
July 20, 2008
by William Szczepanek
Attention, Bud Selig. I have a suggestion that could provide a much needed lift to the All Star game. Now that the game actually has some meaning, even though slight and not really fair to the team with the best record in baseball, why not put the best players in the game when it really counts ― at the end. I know that the starting lineup has great significance, but wouldn’t it be great to see the first line players take the field to replace the secondary players late in the game. You could call it the “primary lineup”. The greatest reaction to the insertion of a player in this year’s game was when Mariano Rivera took the mound near the end of the game. So, why not end the game with the best players on the field, either as replacements in the field or announced in the lineup. This would also ensure that all players did get to play. Pitchers would be an exception because of the time and conditioning necessary too play optimally and not get hurt.
In 1941 Ted Williams won the All Star game with a home run in the last of the ninth. In recent years having a starter reach the ninth inning is unheard of. Willie Mays finished 11 All-Star games and Henry Aaron nine. When Carlos Beltran went all nine innings at Pittsburgh two years ago, it was the first time a player had started and completed an All-Star game since Ken Griffey Jr., Brady Anderson and Ray Lankford in 1997.
Another rule change suggestion would be that after the 12th inning, free, one-time substitutions of those players who have already played would be allowed. This could present fantastic pinch hitting roles and defensive replacements. Now, how do you make the game meaningful? Give the home field advantage back to the best team in baseball and pay each player of the winning team one million dollars. The losing team gets nothing. I think you’d see some World Series level action and all the players would stay interested. The fans might even stay around until the end of the game.
As far as baseball cards go, wouldn't it be nice if the baseball card manufacturers distributed a set of cards at the end of the year that highlighted the actual game from that year, with starting lineup cards, substitutes and memorable moments.