In March, I was critical of ESPN Radio’s Steven A. Smith for his remarks that the Chicago Blackhawks 21-game winning streak did not compare to the Miami Heat winning 14 games in a row and his assessment that three of Chicago’s wins resulted in ties. The NHL has not had a tie game since the 2003-2004 season. I thought, “what is a guy who knows little about hockey doing commenting on the sport?”
I am now a hypocrite because much of this blog will focus on my ideas for improving the Major League Baseball’s All Star Game.
Unlike many people, I think it is great that every team is represented in the All Star Game. However, since the Marlins and Astros have a player in the game doesn’t mean bigger stars should not be omitted. Why not have 28-man rosters for each league with the best players available and when the rosters are complete say, “We need an Astro, let’s add an Astro, or whatever team(s) does not have a rep.”
Another solution would be for each league to have 40-man rosters and play a two game series with a day-night doubleheader with proceeds from one game going to a charity. If MLB insists on continuing to have the All Star Game determine which league gets home field advantage in the World Series; make it a three-game series with an afternoon game on Wednesday following the Tuesday doubleheader.
By the way….why does MLB continue to let the ASG determine which league will have home field advantage in the World Series? This idea was put into motion following the 2002 mid-summer classic in Milwaukee when the managers said they are running out of pitchers and the game ended in a 7-7, 11-inning tie.
What if manager A and manager B have a huge personal rivalry? Say manager A takes his team to the World Series but the following season is decimated by injuries and is 16 games out of first place when all star time arrives. If manager B’s team leads their division by 13 games and has won 11-games in a row, would manager A really want to help his rival possibly get home field advantage in the World Series?
Baseball is a sport designed for all star games. Everyone (except the DH and pitcher, but that’s another story) can display their skills offensively and defensively on an equal basis.
In hockey, football and basketball defense is almost non-existent and scoring is highlighted in all star games.
When broadcasting Mavericks’ games, I absolutely love describing a huge hit by defenseman Dave Pszenyczny, or forward John-Scott Dickson dropping to his knees to block a shot on the penalty kill. In hockey all star games, everyone wants to score and the goalies are at the mercy of the best shooters in their league. Penalties are rarely called in all star games.
Players who are selected to play on an all star team wouldn’t be there if they couldn’t play a strong defensive game or grind it out in the corner but, by mid-January they are beaten up and sore. In the NFL Pro Bowl, the players may as well play flag football since there is very little defense. There’s no big hitting anyway.
As popular as the NFL is, very few people watch the Pro Bowl. I think I am the only person who remembers the game taking place at Arrowhead Stadium in January, 1974. What do I remember most of that day?........getting lost trying to find my brother’s car after the game.
Maybe I should forget writing the book “Memorable Pro Bowls.” I was hoping to sell it to the airlines for passengers to read on flights between KCI and the Wheeler Downtown Kansas City Airport.
Most of us may not remember the score of ANY Pro Bowl game but I am looking forward to calling Missouri Mavericks games most of you will remember for a lifetime. The season begins in October with the home opener at the Independence Events Center set for Saturday, November 2. See you there!