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Time to fix the All Star Game!

Tonight is the All Star Game.  It's the only actual sporting event over a three day span.  Unless you count Womens' World Cup.  So, like I said, it's the only actual sporting event over a three day span.  This is the driest period of the sports year, which means that everyone needs something to debate on ESPN talk shows and sports radio.
More often than not, that topic is "How to fix the All Star Game." 
Unfortunately, the people trying to fix the game often do so by looking at the current rules around the game, and suggesting that they be changed. 
"They require a player from every team!  That's a joke!"  OK, show of hands, who's not watching tonight's game because there's an Astro on the roster?  I lived in Philadelphia for some truly dreadful Phillies teams, and the highlight of those seasons was watching Curt Schilling's inning or Mike Lieberthal's at bat in the All Star Game.  The pre-game introductions, with the rainbow of jerseys lining both sides of the field, is some of the best pageantry of any sporting year.
"Is it an exhibition or does it count?  Make up your mind!"  Granted, the idea of having World Series home field depend on the All Star Game is kind of muddle-headed.  This year set a record for most players dropping out due to injury, so clearly, the World Series isn't enough of a carrot to get players to participate, or those that participate to care.  
Here's my solution.  The winning league in the All Star Game gets home field advantage...for all Interleague games the following season. 
Now, suddenly, the game has a major impact on every player in both leagues.  NOW it counts.  Do you think Derek Jeter would skip the game if it meant risking two and a half extra weeks on the road the following year?  Instead of scheduling starts for the Sunday before the break, pitchers might skip starts to be rested and ready for All Stars.
Put Interleague home field on the line and suddenly, the strong league identity All Stars had in the 1970s and 80s (at least the ones from the National League) will return.  Fans will have a strong rooting interest, with the prospect of 20% of their home schedule on the line.  We'll see brushbacks and takeout slides and hear a crowd roar.
It's an easy fix with a huge impact.  And then, next year, we can talk about replacing the Home Run Derby with a game of Hot Box.


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I think that homefield advantage for interleague play, even without carrying it to the World Series, is a great idea and will actually have a bigger impact overall. What last night's game needed, however, was decent pitching from the American League. I'm not saying they would have won with Sabbathia and Verlander, but I'm thinking that it would have been a much better game. As the NFL and NBA have shown us, sports are a business and it's always a delicate issue when when hockey players want to participate in the Olympics, soccer clubs rent players out to European teams or college prospects get hurt. Finding a way to increase participation will ensure that the league puts their best product on the field. If not, I'd rather watch two days of Fielder and Cano swinging for the fences.

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