The Cincinnati Reds are back in action following the All Star break earlier this week. It was another All Star week of camaraderie and tradition. It was also another All Star Game where the ratings were lousy. The All Star Game for most people went by in a quick, unnoticeable and seemingly irrelevant flash. It would be a fair statement to say that the MLB All Star Game has lost it’s luster.
There are several reasons why the MLB All Star Game’s fallen in popularity over the years. Those issues continue to kick the Midsummer Classic in the backside. The first issue deals with the times. When the All Star Game was first played in 1933 Major League Baseball was in another world. There was no inter-league play in Major League Baseball unlike today. Meaning the All Star Game & the World Series were the only chances to see the best of both leagues playing each other.
Technology is another reason for the MLB All Star Game’s collapse in stature. Forty years ago, people weren’t able to watch much baseball as they can today. Aside from their hometown MLB franchise; Even then not all of their games were televised. Aside from the MLB Game of the Week, the All Star Game and the postseason was the most baseball fans could get nationally. Now it’s much different thanks to cable, and the internet.
If you have the willingness to get cable or stomach paying for MLB.TV; Baseball fans can watch several games, any day of the week. As a result the All Star Game’s fall from it’s previous prominence was practically inevitable.
Another reason why the All Star Game has fallen in stature; people don’t care that it counts. It’s been 13 years since World Series home advantage became the Midsummer Classic’s prize. All these years later, people still hate the idea that it counts. World Series home field advantage doesn’t seem to motivate most of the players. After all, most of the players on the field won’t even play in the World Series. Jay Bruce probably didn’t think that the Reds would be the ultimate beneficiaries of a National League victory.
Lastly, Major League Baseball is struggling to market it’s stars. Individual franchises, including the Reds have found ways to do so. Even when the Reds haven’t been playing well. The All Star Game is supposed to showcase the MLB’s stars. The game still does this today; although the buzz around the stars have fizzled over the past few years.
Major League Baseball doesn’t have to resort to exploiting the Pokemon Go craze to do this. What they can do is learn a lesson from two years ago. When baseball went bonkers over Derek Jeter’s last All Star Game. Major League Baseball harnessed that enthusiasm, but only for one star. If they can find a way to harness that energy for many of their stars, the All Star Game will be in better shape. While not forcing stars into retirement to do so.
The MLB All Star Game is still the best of the big four sports league’s all star exhibitions. The NBA’s All Star Game continues to be mocked for it’s lack of defense. Meanwhile, the Pro Bowl garners less notary than a week 3 NFL game. All while the NHL’s All Star Game goes mostly unnoticed by the public. The MLB All Star Game could be better, but it’s not the worst all star game around.