MIAMI — Rejoice, baseball fans. Gone are the days in which the All-Star Game “counted.”
Starting with Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Marlins Park, MLB has lifted the rule that says the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage in the World Series. It was one of the most controversial rules in baseball when ex-commissioner Bud Selig installed it after the fiasco that was the 2002 All-Star Game. It was debated every All-Star Game that followed.
So it’s gone, now what?
Will MLB All-Stars approach the game differently now that the World Series doesn’t wait in the balance? Could it lead to a looser All-Star Game, like we see in other pro sports? Or will baseball players stick to the competitive spirit they use the other 162 games of the year?
To find out, we asked a number of All-Stars in Miami. See what they said in the video above. We also wanted to know this: Now that the game is strictly an exhibition, what might they change about it?
Bryce Harper had an idea worth chewing on. What if MLB decided that the AL won’t play the NL anymore, and the two top vote-getters would be captains and pick teams schoolyard-style. So teammates could get broken up for the day. Or guys in different leagues — say Bryce Harper and Mike Trout — could play on the same All-Star team.
Intriguing, right? Watching that schoolyard-style draft would be must-see TV.
Ultimately, we won’t know how much different the All-Star Game will be until the players are on the field and they decide whether they’re going to loosen up like Bryce Harper hopes they do.
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