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.

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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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Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

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