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Defending the All-Star Game

That's a really stupid title. No one should have to defend the All-Star Game. The world isn't short of curmudgeons, though, so here's my attempt in resolution format:


WHEREAS, all week, the MLB Network has been running All-Star Games from the past, and I can't get enough. Check these lineups out. Sure, there's a weird Manny Trillo inclusion, but for the most part, this is a lineup that's still fun to watch more than 25 years later. Rickey leading off for the AL; Raines leading off for the NL. George Brett, Reggie Jackson, and Cecil Cooper for the AL heart of the order; Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt, and Gary Carter for the NL. Pick any year from the past, and the lineups are always going to be impressive.

Shane Victorino's an obvious candidate for the obligatory Manny Trillo WTF Memorial Award in 25 years, but the idea's the same: the best hitters of a generation vs. the best pitchers of their time. Ichiro! v. Lincecum on a national stage. Hating that is like hating ice cream. There's no law against it, but the odds are that if you hate the All-Star Game and/or ice cream, you're a disagreeable malcontent from Elitistville, USA, and you probably hate puppies too. Uh, maybe that's a little strong. Maybe you're just a bad person. I don't know. Either way.

WHEREAS, there are obvious problems with the All-Star Game, such as the lunkheaded selections from the fans and managers, the every-team-gets-a-gold-star roster setup, and the "This Time It Counts" buffoonery of home-field advantage, the problems don't cancel out the awesomeness of the All-Star Game. I have a friend who, upon the first time he heard "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys, said, "What's with the tamborine?" Years later, that friend will study a grainy 8MM video of a man in a point suit walking across a campsite, and he'll think, "Wait, was that the point?", but he'll never be sure because the point has eluded him up until then, and he doesn't want to get laughed at by skeptics who consider the point to be a myth, so he keeps quiet.

Being indifferent towards the All-Star Game because of some of the stupid rules is kind of like that. Don't be that guy.

WHEREAS, it's the only all-star game in sports that a) people care about, and b) actually comes close to recreating the style and strategy of a regular-season game, just with better players. It isn't a 163-131 hockey game, it isn't a joke like the Pro Bowl, and it isn't a defenseless NBA exhibition. It's baseball with the best players in the world. The only difference is that the pitchers aren't stretched out, but other than that, the dynamics of the game are the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that you will sit down, shut up, and like the All-Star Game. If you were planning on enjoying it already, note that this post isn't for you. This post is for the curmudgeons -- the it's-only-an-exhibition-what's-on-the-Food-Network grumps. It's a crime that Pablo Sandoval isn't in the game because the game should be for the greatest, most compelling players in baseball. But you don't want to watch the rest of greatest, most compelling players in baseball play against each other because you disagree with the selections? Because you think Bud Selig is a ghoul?

Nah. It's probably because baseball secretly bores you. That's okay. Your secret is safe with us.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the All-Star Game is rad and super sweet. Neato, too. I'm looking forward to tonight.