MLB All-Star Game home-field advantage debate strong after 10 yr - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

MLB All-Star Game home-field advantage debate still strong 10-years later


Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game celebrates the 10th anniversary of the league changing the format of the game hoping to make it more competitive.

After the 2002 MLB All-Star Game ended in a tie, and with tons of scrutiny surrounding the result, Commissioner Bud Selig decided it was time for a change.

The following year, the league made a rule that whichever league all-star team won the exhibition secured home-field advantage for that year's World Series. Ever since they made the change, baseball fans have been arguing.

Some fans say it is a horrible idea.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Monica Kegerreis, a Chicago Cubs fan.

There are others who really love it. For those fans, the first year could not have been a bigger success. In the bottom of the 8th inning of the 2003 All-Star Game, Hank Blalock stepped up to the plate with the American League down 5-6.

It was Blalock's first-ever at-bat in an All-Star Game and he was up against then-Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, who had not blown a save all season. That quickly changed as Blalock hit a two-run home run that helped secure a win for the American League team 7-5.

The fans who appreciate the change say the last ten all-star games have been much more competitive because of what's at stake.

"By having some meaning as to tack it onto home-field advantage. I think it means a little bit more to the game," said Yankees fan Michael Rembich.

The people who don't like it, say there is too much on the line, especially considering the team with home-field advantage has won 22 of the last 27 World Series.

"They randomly put pitchers in, so there necessarily isn't the best guy on the mound at the end of the day," said Geoff Bickel. "For it to be the deciding factor I don't think it's a good thing."

The skeptics say it wouldn't be too difficult to change the current system.

"Although it's difficult to decide because of the differences between the [American League] and [National League] rules, so I'm sure they're trying to even it out," said Kegerreis. "But ultimately it should be based on the best record."

Even folks who work in baseball are on the fence. South Bend Silver Hawks President Joe Hart doesn't like that World Series home-field advantage can be decided by players who might not even be in the playoffs. However, he says at least it prevents having the game end in a tie.

"It certainly hasn't hurt the game, so if hasn't hurt then obviously it's a positive," said Hart.

While this debate will likely continue for years to come, baseball fans all say the All-Star Game is always worth watching regardless of what's at stake.  

"I do find it fascinating because they are picking the best from both leagues and you want to see how they're going to do," said Rembich.

Next year's MLB All-Star Game will be played in Minnesota and fans will be able to watch the game on FOX28.

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