Terry Francona nails the central problem with the All-Star Game
The beauty of job security: you can tell the truth from time to time. Here’s Terry Francona, pretty much hitting the nail on the head:
The incentives are the issue here. What will make players actually show up and play hard, what will make managers manage like it’s a real game and what will make fans actually want to watch? You likely can’t make it perfect -- it will never match game 162 between two teams tied for the final playoff spot -- but there has to be a way to change the incentives, because the current ones don’t work.
Cable and the Internet have killed the original incentive -- showing us players we rarely get to see -- because we see everyone all the time now. Home field advantage in the World Series hasn’t caused anyone to treat the game differently. The All-Star Game is operating on eighty years worth of inertia at the moment, and eventually, inertia runs out.
I know the game isn’t going anywhere. And I know that, as long as Bud is in charge, we’re not going to see too many changes, because he loves the home field advantage thing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t think about it some.