All-Star Game: A Showcase for MLB

NY Mets Michael Conforto at bat and Yankees Gary Sanchez. Credit: Mira Soto behind the plate  - MLB All-Star Game 2017

NY Mets Michael Conforto at bat and Yankees Gary Sanchez. Credit: Mira Soto behind the plate – MLB All-Star Game 2017

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

The ballgame did count Tuesday night in Miami.  It had nothing to do with home field advantage in the World Series and that’s a good thing because the traditional way to decide the Fall Classic in October is home field going to the team with the best record.  Beyond all that, the annual Major League Baseball All-Star game was a showcase.

The game in Miami was a good place to showcase the young and future stars of the game that included the Yankees Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.  There were some deserving players left out of the picture and some that were there because they had to be, because Major League Baseball knows how to put on a show.

Robinson Cano 10th Inning Homer - MLB All-Star Game 2017. Credit: Mira Soto

Robinson Cano 10th Inning Homer – MLB All-Star Game 2017. Credit: Mira Soto

The show was the two home runs hit by Robinson Cano and Yadier Molina, veterans on the American League and National League squads and placed there by MLB to fill in the rosters. They became the showcase. Molina, with the game tying home run in the sixth inning and Cano with his extra inning long ball that gave the AL their 12th win in the last 15 All-Star contests.

Yes, this was baseball as it is now. They want the home run ball that is displayed in the home run derby. They got that with the dramatics of the Yankees Aaron Judge and the game was decided by the home run ball. But pitching is dominating the game of baseball and this one once again was low scoring because of the strike outs and dominance that was displayed on the mound.

NY Yankees All-Star Aaron Judge at the home run derby. Credit: Mira Soto

NY Yankees All-Star Aaron Judge at the home run derby. Credit: Mira Soto

And in this era of dominant pitching, the All-Star game lived up to expectations. You can say that this is just an exhibition, and, more so, now that the annual mid-summer classic has no bearing on who owns home field advantage in October.

There are those who don’t care about the outcome. Ratings for the game have declined over the years and this game was no different as preliminary overnight data from Nielsen showed 2.0 on the ratings scale, similar to the game played last year in San Diego.

So that is not good news for MLB but there was a game changer.

And it was entertaining, which makes sense because this is once again  an exhibition game and a cause for MLB to showcase its future stars. Alex Rodriguez, working as a FOX Sports analyst, went out to the infield and interviewed players between innings. The FOX Sports production, included outfielders fit for sound with a microphone. And, at one point in the festivities, Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz took a selfie with the home plate umpire.

All of this made for perfect entertainment and a showcase for MLB. Don’t ignore the 14-strikeouts thrown by NL pitching or the lack of runs scored. The game has changed and is dominated by the home run ball, strikeouts and a fastball thrown at an average of 97 mph.

Yes, this is baseball as it is today and it has to be accepted. Major League Baseball is a billion dollar industry and the players are rewarded with big time contracts. You, the fans, are the recipients of a different game and pay the price when purchasing a ticket and visiting the concession stands.

So, enjoy the young stars that are taking the game to another level.  As for the All-Star game, it is just another exhibition showcase that Major League Baseball wants fans to enjoy as they continue their advantage of America’s Favorite Pastime becoming the richest game in town.

 

Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

 

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