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 - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Boston
Washington 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

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