Is there a more universally mocked idea in all of sport than the winner of baseball’s All-Star Game earning home field advantage for its league? It’s hard to pretend that Mike Trout would be removed from a game of such impact in favor of Brock Holt. Except that he was.
Many have pre-approved the notion of crowning that season’s cummulative interleague winner with HFA, and that’s perfectly fair–and a better barometer than the ASG winner. But I like these two ideas better:
1) One lone weekend of strictly interleague games to determine HFA. It could have been a weekend like this past one, after the ASG, where the spotlight is clearly on MLB after the conclusion of the NHL and NBA playoffs. Pitching rotations would be set-up with aces galore, and an increased sense of value would be placed on the weekend. Scoreboard watching would be intensified, especially in the cities of playoff-bound teams. If there’s any momentum to be kept from the All Star Break, this sure beats 18 innings of Mets baseball.
2) Give HFA to the teams with the best record at Labor Day. Since logistically MLB can’t wait till season’s end to prepare for home sites, make it a day late in the season that all teams know well in advance. This too would intesify that weekend’s schedule, and especially the full slate of Labor Day Monday televised games. Imagine the Dodgers and Cardinals are tied in record heading into that weekend, as LA hosts SF, the Cards are in Atlanta. The league can dictate that weekend’s schedule to be like a boxing card. Even if that doesn’t do much for you, surely it provides more incentive to watch/care relative to how much you’d otherwise have cared for a Dodgers-Giants game in early September.
There are better ways, Baseball. We love you for your deep rooted history, but resting on that comes with the opportunity cost of evolving.
What do you think, Bud? Should Rob give these a try?