Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, June 16, 2006

This time, it would count

Earlier this week, I was disheartened to read that this time... it might not count. Baseball's All-Star Game, that is. The players' union and Major League Baseball still haven't agreed upon whether or not home-field advantage in the World Series will once again be decided by who wins the "midsummer classic."

The parties involved say that resolving the issue is merely a formality, so home-field advantage will likely still be the prize when the American League and National League "clash" in Pittsburgh.

But while the decision's still up in the air, I'd like to take this opportunity to raise the All-Star Game stakes a bit. I'm not cool with home-field being decided by an exhibition where the fans decide the starting lineups. Not when teams play 162 games for the right to play at home in crucial postseason games. Yet I love the idea of keeping the game competitive, so there's a bigger concern during the game than whether or not the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' representative gets to play.

So here's my proposal. I should be flying out to New York to give you this stuff personally, but I'd prefer to share it with my brothers and sisters in Blogville. Bud Selig, Bob DuPuy, Donald Fehr, Gene Orza, and anyone else who might have a say in the matter, pull out a pen and a notebook. Get your secretaries to take dictation. Because if you want the All-Star Game to matter, you'll jot this one down.

The loser has to wear shorts for the rest of the season.

That's right. If you don't win the All-Star Game, you and your league-mates have to rock out like the 1976 Chicago White Sox. You would have to endure the embarrassment of playing out your remaining 75+ games with your legs exposed and socks pulled high. And they would be pulled high, lest you leave a layer of skin on the basepaths.

You think you'd like that? Look at Chet Lemon in that picture. Dude is trying to hide his legs. I remember him smiling when he played for the Tigers. He ain't smilin' there. That would be you, if you didn't play to win this July.

And don't think the fans would like it either. Sure, we'd get a kick out of the shorts for one or two games, but after that, it wouldn't be fun to watch. I don't think we'd be seeing too many "Web Gems" on "Baseball Tonight" if infielders weren't wearing pants. The days of diving for balls in the hole between third and short would be over. No more going to the knees to snatch a ball down the line.

A few rookies might think showing the imprint of the seams seared onto their flesh when an in-between hop sends a baseball rocketing up into their exposed inner thigh could score some chicks. But I'm betting the majority of major leaguers would get the hell out of the way instead. With the exception of a few true gamers, of course. You could give Miguel Tejada all the short hops you could muster. He's not coming out of the game.

It could work for FOX, too. Have your little cartoon baseball, Scooter, explain what happens when skin meets dirt, and why no baseball player would want to put himself through that. Oooh, that looks like it could hurt, kids! Wheee! Anything but baseball to jazz up the telecasts, right?

No, the players' union probably wouldn't go for it. Until you showed them the windfall of endorsement dollars that would come from some athletic apparel company shelling out big cash for authentic MLB legwear.

They'd be hugely popular with the kids. The adults, too. We all love wearing shorts in the summer. This way, fans could go to games in complete uniforms - just like the players! And what better way to show which team you root for than by combining your St. Louis Cardinals short pants with that Hawaiian shirt you love?

Losers wear shorts. Think about it, Major League Baseball. Nothing motivates better than potential humiliation. The All-Star Game would matter. It would really, really, really count this time.



  • At June 16, 2006 2:32 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    I agree with you totally, I remember when Selig announced that he was doing this I thought "What a joke!" Like you said, if the game is going to decide home field then it better be the best players, not the most popular. I think it is a damn shame when a team works real hard all season long to get there and they don't even get the fourth game because their league lost the mid-season exhibition that they play. Plus it is an injustice to the fans of the teams that meet in the World Series, that is the team with the best record, those fans may lose out on an extra home game because of it.

    I always thought that if this is how it is going to be then the coaches should pick the starters and the fans vote in the reserves, that way for sure you get the best possible starting nine there is.

    Or, how about this Bud, the winning league gets next years all-star game. You pick two possible cities for the following year, one AL and one NL and the winning league determines which city gets it.

    I mean the only thing that would be more cheesy is to say something like the winner of the home run derby automatically gets added to the roster of their leagues world series team. That is almost as stupid and it is time that the rule goes and the game goes back to normal... a meaningless exhibition. I don't feel insulted that it "doesn't count", in fact I feel more insulted that it does.

  • At June 17, 2006 10:21 AM, Blogger Greg Eno said…

    Don't get me started on how home field advantage is determined in baseball...

    Anyhow, how about some trivia fun? Ian, any idea who the two players are BEHIND Lemon in that pic? Or the two players in the B&W pic?

    FYI, it's Clay Carroll on the right, behind Lemon. Not sure about the other gentleman.

    The B&W pic, if I had to guess, is Jack Brohamer on the right and Kevin Bell on the left.

    Then again, we'll probably never know, will we?

  • At June 18, 2006 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    People can complain about the All Star game deciding home field advantage. But, you have to remember that before this, home field alternated every year between the two leagues. Record meant nothing in deciding the home field for the World Series. Now THAT'S ridiculous.

  • At June 19, 2006 9:42 AM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Greg, I only know because I saw it when I found the photo: The other guy is Bucky Dent.

    Anonymous, you're right: The old way certainly made no sense, either.


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