Souhan: Baseball's All-Star Game stands out above others

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2014 - 7:22 AM
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The 85th MLB All-Star Game comes to Target Field on Tuesday.

Photo: Robert Carter, DML -

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This is a very important week for Major League Baseball. The Twins, in conjunction with Commissioner Bud Selig, are trying to prove that not every All-Star Game held in a new ballpark in the Upper Midwest ends in a tie.

But what if it did? What if the once-wondrous, increasingly uneven history of MLB All-Star Games became further befouled by the dreaded deadlock?

We all complain about All-Star games, even baseball’s — which remains easily the best of an increasingly irrelevant bunch — because they’re so easy to complain about.

And the complaints hold enough water to rain out the rest of the Twins’ season.

The players don’t care as much as they once did? True, although this generation seems to care more than the previous generation.

The winner of a midseason exhibition game featuring some players who have no chance of competing in the postseason determines which league receives home-field advantage in the World Series? True. But that change has added urgency to the event.

The rosters are too big and include obligatory representatives from even the worst teams, meaning that even players like Ricky Bones and (sorry to mention this, Coom) Ron Coomer wind up on the field during what should be a relentless celebration of greatness? True. But changing this rule would eliminate any reason for a struggling baseball market to care about the All-Star Game.

The voting is anything but democratic, as fans can find ways to vote an infinite number of times? True … and true.

“Since when, in America, could you vote as many times as you want in an election?” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “I mean, except in a couple of states I won’t mention.”

The managers feel obligated to use as many players as possible, meaning there is the possibility of running out of pitchers and being forced, in the commissioner’s hometown, during the commissioner’s showcasing of his beloved Miller Park, to end a game in a tie.

More than an exhibition game

Therein lies the conundrum of baseball’s All-Star Game: If it’s an exhibition, no one should care much about the score or result. If it’s supposed to be meaningful, it should be treated as such, and never end in a tie. It should be contested like a real game.

Now that the game is in our town, at our beautiful new ballpark, during one of our beautiful summers, perhaps the best response to all of the complaints about it is as apt as it is sophomoric:

So what.

So what if somebody you’ve never heard of from the Padres makes the final out. So what if the winner of the World Series can credit home-field advantage gained by players who won’t appear in the playoffs.

And so what if it ends in a tie.

When you’re the host city, baseball’s All-Star Game does its job. It brings the best players in the game to your ballpark, in an event that has created more drama and poignancy.

Quick, name five memorable moments from any other sport’s All-Star games. Can’t do it? OK, now take five months. We’ll wait.

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San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

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