As the National Football League season quickly draws to a close, we have now reached the week in which the most pointless game is played, the Pro Bowl. Thinking about the silliness that is the NFL’s All Star Game, a question came to mind; do any of these games do their sports any justice? The resounding answer is yes, but only one, the Major League Baseball All Star Game.
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Last season, the Minnesota Twins had the privilege of hosting the All Star Game, the first of which I have attended. In being their live and in person, the sport was able to confirm feelings I have had for a while. This game doesn’t matter at all, but it still counts.
No, not in the way of holding a home field advantage for the World Series, it counts in more significant ways.
Sure, two teams feel the benefit and the hurt of their respective league not winning the World Series. The bigger spectacle however is that the game counts as a real sporting event. In looking at the Pro Bowl, we watch as players play a more aggressive version of two hand touch while teams score at the pace of the Oregon Ducks. In the NHL, goaltending becomes optional, and the NBA All Star Game is a glorified streetball fest. Looking at the field, Major League Baseball stands out from the rest.
Considering that the vote is fan dictated, and merit isn’t always the highest consideration, it’s more than fair to argue that the MLB All Star Game doesn’t matter. In looking at the way the game is played, the competition that takes place, and the events that unfold however, MLB’s All Star Game definitely counts.
There is no way to dumb down the game of baseball. You must always be ready in the batters box, no pitcher is soft tossing beach balls to batters. In the field, dogging it is always frowned upon, and the game remains in tact even in the midst of being a fan driven spectacle. Whether it’s Torii Hunter robbing a Barry Bonds home run at Miller Park, or Derek Jeter taking his last special run out to short, the MLB All Star game always delivers in the moment.
While we may not all love baseball to the same extent, there is no denying that the Midsummer Classic has a place in the sport. Should you choose to watch the Pro Bowl this weekend, take heed and know that the Major League Baseball All Star Game from Great American Ballpark is just a few months away.
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