All-Star games are a unique thing in sports. Some people like them and some people hate them. Every All-Star game has their own way of doing things. In NBA, it is East against West in a different NBA arena every year. The NFL does something similar except it is at the end of the year and it is held annually in Hawaii. The NHL over the years has mixed it up. At one point, it was North America against the World. A few years ago the altered it and went to East against West. Since then the NHL has went to an old fashion street hockey game where two captains pick the players they want. In addition, the last player picked wins a car.
The MLB All-Star game is different in its own way. Ever since 2003, the wining league of the All-Star game would receive the honor of having home advantage in the World Series. The decision was triggered after the 2002 All-Star game at Miller Park ended in a tie.
At first, I thought it was a great idea. After all, the original way of determining who would have home advantage in the World Series was also a 50/50 thing. In the odd years the National League winner had home advantage while in the even years the American League representative had home advantage.
For years after, the American League dominated the All –Star Game. At one point they had won every game from 2003-2009. Therefore, from 2003 to 2009 the American League had home advantage. In 2010, the National League ended the drought by defeating the A.L 3-1 at Angels Stadium.
In 2011, the N.L. All-Stars started a two game winning streak when they won 5-1 in Arizona’s Chase Field. Again, the National League won the honor of having home advantage. Up until this time since the World Series rule was changed, there had been no Game seven’s of the World Series.
In the World Series it was the heavily favored Texas Rangers against the Cinderella St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals needed a miracle to just get into the playoffs. Luckily for them, the Cards caught fire and won the Wild card on their way to winning the Pennant. With the N.L. winning the All-Star game, the Cardinals had home advantage instead of the Rangers.
As things unfolded, the Rangers took a 3-2 series lead back to St. Louis. In Game six, baseball fans may have witnessed the most intense game ever. The Texas Rangers were one strike away (multiple times) from capturing their first world series in team history. Ultimately, St. Louis like they had done all September battled back to force the first Game seven under the new “home advantage rules.” The Cardinals won Game 7 6-2 shattering every Ranger fans heart around the world.
Who knows what would have happened if the Rangers had home advantage. In the NBA and NHL the team with the best record gets to have home advantage. If that were the case the Rangers would have had it. Something so small in July should not impact something so big in October.
At the end of the day, I don’t think its fair that the winner of the All-Star Game, their respective league gets to have home advantage in October. One teams treasure will be another team’s trash come the fall. More importantly, the team that has the home advantage might not deserve it.
The rule was good for awhile, now its time for a change. Lets do it the right way. Let the best record have home advantage come October.