As much as baseball fans (and most of its players) don’t want the All Star Game to count towards home field advantage for the World Series, it most certainly does.
Just look at the numbers from the past five years, all AL victories in the All Star Game.
In games 1 & 2 of the Fall Classic the AL holds an 8-2 advantage, that’s huge!
And more, in the World Series that have reached a game 7, the home team has won the last eight contests.
Need more evidence? How about realizing that the team with the home field advantage has won 18 of the last 22 world championships!
Obviously, the numbers speak to the importance of having the home crowd behind you in October.
Thus, it’s utterly ridiculous that an exhibition game determines which league begins the series at home, no matter what Fox Television tells us.
My solution is to reward the team with best overall record home field advantage in the World Series.
After all, the whole point of the season is to win more ballgames than your opponents.
And better, it makes more sense for a team to have earned the right to play at home vs. the current system.
Sure, it’s convenient for baseball to know which city will host games 1 & 2 of the World Series, but it’s not worth it to compromise both the fans and players wishes for a new “home field” policy.
Although, don’t expect any changes to the current system which is under contract until the 2011 season.
And remember, this is MLB we’re talking about, the caboose on the forward thinking train.
So, it seems inevitable through the next three seasons that this format will remain in place, no matter what baseball fans or its players think.
But hey, as Mr. Bud will gladly remind us, attendance is up, small market teams are competing and baseball is even testing for steroids these days.
I guess there’s no room for improvement.
So who plays the lead in the inevitable Josh Hamilton movie?
I’ll take Dennis Quaid who did a fine job with his portrayal of Jim Morris in The Rookie (2002).
Plus, Dennis is a natural lefty and has some resemblance physically to Hamilton as well.
Not to mention, Quaid, like Hamilton, also battled his own addiction to cocaine in the early 1990s.
My runner up is Edward Burns (27 Dresses & The Gift).
Not sure what Ed can do on the baseball diamond, but I think he can pass for Hamilton in Hollywood.
Anyway, thanks to Hamilton’s national breakthrough in tonight’s Home Run Derby, poor Justin Morneau will simple be a foot note in the contest by next year’s Mid-Summer Classic.
And, 10 years from now (if that) naming the winner of tonight’s derby will be an easy bar bet for those who can remember the actual winner of the contest.
Jesus shows his approval of Hamilton's 28 HRs during the first round
What’s also interesting is Morneau admitting his participation in last year’s derby threw off his timing at the plate during the second half of the season: 24 bombs before the break and just seven afterwards.
This is eerily similar to what happened with Bobby Abreu after his immortal performance in the 2005 derby at Comerica Park in Detroit: 18 home runs before the break and just six the remainder of the season.
Furthermore, a year later the Mets’ David Wright finished second in the derby and then capped off the second half of the season swatting a mere six home runs the rest of the way.
So, is Hamilton in for a power outage during the second half? Who knows?
Although, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Instead, my money is on Hamilton winning the MVP honors tomorrow night.
After all, it’s an even numbered year meaning a Rangers’ player is due: 2004 MVP – Alfonso Soriano & 2006 MVP – Michael Young.
- Notes: Hamilton has a stolen base in a career-high three straight games.
- Wednesday night Hamilton hit his first career walk-off home run against the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez.
- He also ranks among the AL leaders:
- Tied for 1st with 9 sac flies and multi-hit games (38)
- Tied for 4th in hits (117), extra base hits (46) and slugging percentage (.588)
- And he became the first player in AL history to win the league’s Player of the Month Award (April & May) for each of his first two months in a season.
- “I remember seeing him taking BP with the Devil Rays in 2000 during spring training, and I was like, Who’s that?” “He was 18 years old and hitting balls farther than anyone else. I went up and introduced myself, and I said, ‘That’s one of the greatest swings I’ve ever seen.’ I don’t think I’ve ever done that [with anyone else] my whole career.” – Boston 1B Sean Casey
- “The ball just sounds different coming off his bat, almost like a gunshot,” “You watch him track down a ball, you watch him throw a guy out at third. Then he hits a ball down the line and gets a triple, and it’s like, The guy can run too?” – A’s LHP Greg Smith