MLB: Sorry, But If You Make The All-Star Team, You Better Well Be There

Carlos Correa Jose Altuve Skipping All-Star Game

The annual MLB All-Star Game is billed as baseball’s showcase, with its best talent on display. Stars bow out freely, though, and it must stop.

By now, MLB has most of us warped and down on the mat with its ever-present need to tinker with the game, spinning us tales that all of it is in our best interest as fans.

Somehow, they’ve convinced us to accept seven-inning separate admission doubleheaders is a good thing when postponements occur.

Never mind the fact that when I purchased a ticket at the local movie complex, I thought  I would see the whole movie.

MLB: As Fans, We Are Disenfranchised

Rob Manfred giving everyone a headache (USA Today)
Rob Manfred giving everyone a headache (USA Today)

As fans, we are at the behest of Rob Manfred and his collection of suits who occupy offices at MLB headquarters in New York City.

In brief, they have us by the “you know what’s,” whether it be blacked out games, different baseballs in different seasons, and meandering “sticky stuff” rules; it’s our lot if we want to be a fan of major league baseball.

Seldom, however, do I find myself having an itch to scratch with the players, and for the most part (idiots like Trevor Bauer excepted), I find them to be a dedicated, entertaining, and very rich group of men who are “entitled” with the fortune to play a boys game.

So, with what I see now, with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and soon-to-be others deciding to “sit out” this year’s All-Star Game, I am appalled, and I’m equally appalled that MLB gives them a pass to do so.

Aside from MLB’s false advertising that “we” pick the All-Star team, and I did vote for Altuve as a die-hard Yankees’ fan, aside from injury (which he has none), I expect him to be there at Coors Field.

MLB All-Star Game: It’s All About The Introductions

MLB All-Star Game Intros
MLB All-Star Game Intros

For me, and I suspect a good number of fans, The All-Star Game is all about the first hour of the telecast when FOX does its interviews with a few key players – with a build-up to the introduction of the players.

The game itself – maybe for a few innings.

But I want to see Jacob deGrom on the field for what should be the wildest and longest tribute to any player. After that, for all I care, he can hop on Steve Cohen’s private jet, returning to New York to spend time with his family.

I won’t say deGrom owes me that, but surely MLB does as the center point of the game it promotes.

Pie-in-the-sky, would the Player’s Association ever go for it, agreeing to players being in attendance (though not playing) if they are voted or selected in?

Probably not, because they also have interests not in alliance with ours, as fans.

Some Get It, A Few Don’t

Let me put it another way, and I’ll go out on a limb here with nothing to back it up. I will not be surprised if Mike Trout hops a flight to Denver to make an appearance, even though he is rehabbing and cannot play.

Trout is that type of ballplayer, as is Fernando Tatis Jr., who was recently seen during rain delays popping out of the Padres’ dugout wearing shorts to (endlessly) sign autographs and chat with fans – and mind you – this was in Philadelphia.

MLB: Some Get It, And Some Don’t

As they say with anything, some get it, and some don’t.

I’m not sure about Correa and Altuve yet (Correa is reported to have a leg injury), but my respect for deGrom, who announced he is skipping the All-Star Game “to get ready for the second half”, will not relinquish.

That being said, Jake, I’m very disappointed you won’t be there to enjoy the reception you have earned this year as a baseball God, and as a fan only, I hope you will not look back years later – saying – “Shoot, I should have gone”…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Abel Rosario Jr No. U don’t have to. Stop

Steve Semple Rofl. it’s a meaningless game.. NFL players do it all the time for the Pro Bowl.. who watches the game anyway???

Drew Shew If they force it, players will start faking injuries. Author’s Note: They already do, and they’re allowed to get away with it.

Jim Schofield I don’t see this as a “cut and dried issue”. I think players should have, as part of their contract, a monetary incentive for All-Star participation. If they fail to play, other than a medical exemption, they would forfeit that incentive.

Mike Arp If you want top-notch talent to participate in an exhibition game the league must incentive the game better. Asking players to play for basically nothing and give up their only week off in a very long season is not a great practice.

Jeremy Kennedy In the NHL if you blow off the All-Star Game you have to miss either the game before or the game after. Maybe MLB should do something similar.

Ellen Clancy Interleague play took a lot of the shine off the “star” because it’s no longer unique to have the leagues playing each other. The timing, in the middle of a long season, is also tough on the players, whose ultimate responsibility is their own team. I would suggest moving it to the end of spring training, the week before opening day (or move opening day a few days later) and make it a big preview of the season…or AFTER the World Series in a domed Stadium or alternating somewhere in warm climates. I, too, mainly watch the intros. This year, my main interest is the Futures Game. I can’t say I blame players too much on this one. And this year, just an aside, Colorado has had rising Covid rates.

Matthew Bailey It’s really the only true break guys get throughout the year. Can’t say I don’t blame them.

Robert Kachelreiss I’m Sorry but the All-Star game should be at the end of the season. Why have a play risk injury and the effects that would have on his team

Jim Power It’s a compliment to be voted into the ASG. Not showing up is giving the fans who voted for you the finger. Pitchers are picked by the manager so that not going only gives him the finger.

Matthew Bedford Maybe the ones that don’t go are just unavoidably detained…?

Chris Shivers Same thing as the Pro Bowl. Guys rather just have the time off. I don’t like it but I understand it

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

This will close published comments on this article.

Fans point out something I didn’t and it’s a good thought. The timing of the ASG is terrible, and MLB should give thought to moving it to after the World Series.

The reaction has been swift and furious, and as usual, fans are divided, but I’m sticking to my guns – show up!

This Is A Good Read, So I’m Adding It

The All-Star Game used to be a source of wonder. Superhero ballplayers from each league meeting on the field, perhaps for the only time that season. AL v. NL. Mantle v. Mays. Seaver v. Palmer. These players were legends during their playing careers, and we didn’t see or hear much of them if we lived in other regions — only national weekly TV broadcasts, local AM radio broadcasts, and daily newspaper box scores. These men were giants of our imaginations and The All-Star Game put them on the same ball field at the same time. It was a spectacle.
Now, we see and know everything about these ballplayers, even their salaries and off-the-field peccadillos. We have a deluge of highlights on the Internet, 24-hours of sports coverage, revolving door free agency, and interleague play. Players are no longer titans. They’re just extremely well-paid athletes. The mystery and imagination are gone. The wonder is lost. It’s just an exhibition game — a sales and marketing weekend filled with a home run derby and corporate sponsorships to sell merchandise for MLB. The thrill is gone for many players and fans alike. Like the NFL Pro Bowl, it has outlived its purpose.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.