Growing up I looked forward to the Mid-Summer Classic. The first one I watched was the 1982 ASG in Montreal. It was so simple back then. Just show up and play the game for a few innings, then enjoy a day off of the All Star break before the second half grind.
I remember the 1984 game in San Francisco and the '87 game in Oakland. Again, the game was so simple.
I finally went to my first ASG in Anaheim in 1989. I went to the All Star workout the day before. There were fielding contest, run around the bases contest, then a homerun derby. It was an experience I'll never forget. The place was half empty for the workout. No televising of the festivities, if ya had a ticket you were the only person to see it take place.
The game the next day was amazing and memorable. Everyone remembers Bo Jackson's mammoth homer. I remember President Reagan being there. (The only time I have been in the same building with the President)
Once again the game was so simple. No hype, no mass produced anything presented by a major national corporate sponsor.
I have said it once, said it twice, and I'll say it again. ESPN is the best and the worst thing to happen to sports. ESPN ruined the All Star Game. All because of the hype and mass production of the Homerun Derby. It's hyped more than the actual game is. Now the Derby is presented by State Farm, and the special gold baseballs are presented by Century 21.
Now the fellas are tweeting during the derby. Some of the batters bring their own pitcher to pitch to them. The players are mic'd up so you can hear everything being said. It's too much going on all at once!!
And don't get me started on the voting. I discussed it in a previous post. There is some serious ballot box stuffing going on out there (AT&T Park).
Now with all the Internet voting, it's nothing more than a popularity contest that has gotten out of control. I never liked the fact it's the fans who vote the players in. It should go to the players, managers and coaches. (I hated to see a past his prime Ozzie Fu@king Smith out there. I hated that bastard anyways)
I just feel a lot of undeserving players get voted in because of hype (SF Giants broadcasters, bunch of homers!).
So that's one fix, let the right people get to vote the players in.
Another would be to tone down the festivities. A Red Carpet show for a baseball game? Really? Get rid of that.
Another would be to take away the home field advantage to the winning league for the World Series. I never liked that. We would be talking about the World Champion Texas Rangers if it weren't for that stupid rule. Bring back the every other year home field advantage.
I know I'm just griping, but I remember when it was just a game. It will never be that way ever again.