MLB All-Star Game changes will ruin the game’s significance

While the new agreement benefits players, fans lose out on baseball's most famous game

On Wednesday November 30, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association finally reached a new collective bargaining agreement, which among other things stipulated, that home field advantage in the World Series will no longer depend on the outcome of the All-Star Game. Major League Baseball will remain uninterrupted and both the league and players are happy, however, baseball fans everywhere should not be happy.

While the agreement gave players a few more rest days, under the new collective bargaining agreement, home-field advantage will be decided by the World Series team with the better regular season record, not the score in the All-Star game. While this makes some sense, it destroys the competition of the All-Star Game and will make one of baseball’s most anticipated games less fun and essentially meaningless.

As seen in the NHL, NBA and NFL, the pace of play and overall quality of the All-Star Game is drastically different when nothing significant is on the line. Unless there is a different incentive presented by the MLB, this decision will undoubtedly decrease the competitive nature of the annual midsummer-classic.

In the past few years, few players have decided against participating in the All-Star Game and it’s festivities due to the risk of getting injured or re-injured. This new decision gives players one less reason to compete in the All-Star Game, making it less likely that the All-Star Game participants are actually the best players in the MLB. If more players opt out of participating in the All-Star game, this will eventually defeat the purpose of having an All-Star Game, as inferior youth players will have to replace them. 

[the deal] destroys the competition of All-Star Game and will make one of baseball’s most famous games less fun and essentially meaningless”

— Jack Feyereisn

Of course, having a team’s record decide home field advantage provides a huge advantage for teams in weaker divisions. For example, last year the American League East had a very tight race going into the last few weeks of the season. At the end of the year, the Red Sox took first place in the division, while the close behind Orioles and Blue Jays both competed for the remaining spot in the playoff picture. On the contrary, the Indians of the American League Central had a much easier path, playing terrible teams like the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox.

Although many fans watch the All-Star Game for other reasons other than seeing who gets home field advantage, this decision will undoubtedly deter many fans from attending or watching the game, which in turn will in turn decrease the popularity and have a negative impact on the All-Star game. Despite owners and front offices being in favor of this change, baseball fans should not feel the same.