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All Star Changes Open Letter to Rob Manfred


Doc Munson

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OK Twins fans, lets see if we can get some unique ideas on how to improve the MLB All Star experience.

You are the Commissioner for a Day, You can make unilateral decisions on the All Star Game (OK I know he can't, but let's pretend).

Here are a couple of mine.

1) a hitting "skills" competition.  MLB has the HR Derby which is the equivalent to the Slam Dunk contest. But what is MLB's Skilsl Competition?

How about a point based challenge with team and individual winners. Batters get points based on if they would have gotten a hit. How do you do that?  First you take teh average size of each MLB position player. Second you take the average range of each MLB position player. You use these dimensions to develop "blacked out areas" which would be outs. on the infield you could build mini walls or nets that encompass the space a typical infielder would be able to cover, and as high as the typical infielder could leap for a liner. Thos are placed in the infield. You hit them your out, you get it past them and you get a hit (insert point total here) For the outfield you could either do the same, just create markings on the ground, or even funner yet, have baskets on wheels with remote controls to position and chase after balls. these could be controlled by the opposing teams. for each ball caught it subtracts points, and fo reach base hit they get points.  (or you could just put live players in the outfield but that could just create potential for injury. You could then add all sorts of fun things.  you could have "Money Balls" where a section of the field is identified JUST before each pitch, where if the batter is able to get a hit to that area of the field they get bonus points.  This would help reward the players like Arraez and other hitters who are PURE hitters, and put the ball where it is needed based on skill. Heck could even raise money for charity by having each of the sections or nets sponsored corproately.

 

OK so nto completely fleshed out, but something different from a "skills"  perspective would be fun.

 

2) A community involved HR Derby.   

Fans can come and pay like $10-20 to get a bucket of 10 balls. fans also register as a fan of a specific team. the fans HR then get put into either an NL bucket or an AL bucket. whichever bucket ends up with the most fan HR has that team with the tiebreaker advantage. This eliminates the extra inning games, which while can be fun, are pointless in an exhibition. ALSO having to prepare for extra innings means some players are "kept in reserve" in case it goes extra and do not get to participate in what may be their ONLY All Star game appearance.

This makes the fans feel part of the game. PLUS you can do a "Split the Pot" type thing, where all of the money goes into a pot. for each HR hit that fan gets an entry into a drawing to Split the Pot. When the winner is drawn they get half the money in the pot, and the team that they registered as a fan for gets the other half to go their Team Community Fund. You could have a children's HR fence and an Adults HR fence.  The children's HR fence still counts towards the tie breaker, but obviously under 18 cannot get entry to win money. Can you imagine being a 10 year old and you hitting HR could help your favorite team/player win the All Satr Game!!!  How cool would that be!!

 

As far as the game goes... inning by inning, not sure I would change it, I like that it is as close to a real gaem as any All Star game is.

 

So those are my goofy thoughts.

 

What would you do to change the All Star game... the actual game, the weekend experience, the selection process, etc.????

 

 

 

 

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As much of a minority as this will probably be, I would have all selections made by the people in the game.  Players and managers of all 30 teams pick the rosters and the managers of the game itself choose the pitching order and batting order.  The vast majority of fans are not qualified to pick the players; the honor of being the elite at your position that particular year should come from your peers.  It is the only way the honor means anything.

As for the before game fun contests, again, let the players decide what competition they want to compete in; it's their day(s).  Although I, personally, would like to see a mini game of nothing but rookies, again, chosen by their peers.  Maybe 3 innings or so.  Would be nice to see the future of the game up close and personal.  
 

 

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3 hours ago, Mark G said:

As much of a minority as this will probably be, I would have all selections made by the people in the game.  Players and managers of all 30 teams pick the rosters and the managers of the game itself choose the pitching order and batting order.  The vast majority of fans are not qualified to pick the players; the honor of being the elite at your position that particular year should come from your peers.  It is the only way the honor means anything.

As for the before game fun contests, again, let the players decide what competition they want to compete in; it's their day(s).  Although I, personally, would like to see a mini game of nothing but rookies, again, chosen by their peers.  Maybe 3 innings or so.  Would be nice to see the future of the game up close and personal.  
 

 

Have the Futures Game as a part of the All Star festivities?

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9 hours ago, Mark G said:

As much of a minority as this will probably be, I would have all selections made by the people in the game.  Players and managers of all 30 teams pick the rosters and the managers of the game itself choose the pitching order and batting order.  The vast majority of fans are not qualified to pick the players; the honor of being the elite at your position that particular year should come from your peers.  It is the only way the honor means anything.

As for the before game fun contests, again, let the players decide what competition they want to compete in; it's their day(s).  Although I, personally, would like to see a mini game of nothing but rookies, again, chosen by their peers.  Maybe 3 innings or so.  Would be nice to see the future of the game up close and personal.  
 

 

100% agree with Mark. Fans should not have a say in the All Star game rosters if we truly want it to be an "All Star" game. Otherwise let's be honest with ourselves and call it a Popularity Game.

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9 hours ago, Richie the Rally Goat said:

Have the Futures Game as a part of the All Star festivities?

👍  I would put it the day before.  The other contests are TV fillers anyway; they can be put on any other day during the break.  

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23 hours ago, Mark G said:

As much of a minority as this will probably be, I would have all selections made by the people in the game.  Players and managers of all 30 teams pick the rosters and the managers of the game itself choose the pitching order and batting order.  The vast majority of fans are not qualified to pick the players; the honor of being the elite at your position that particular year should come from your peers.  It is the only way the honor means anything.

As for the before game fun contests, again, let the players decide what competition they want to compete in; it's their day(s).  Although I, personally, would like to see a mini game of nothing but rookies, again, chosen by their peers.  Maybe 3 innings or so.  Would be nice to see the future of the game up close and personal.  
 

 

In other words, the way they did it back a few years ago, except the beat writers from each team also got a vote and each team must be represented. I agree with you, as that way is probably a better way to truly get a representation of true all stars. I do think its important to have at least 1 player from each team.

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I like where you are going, but I have to say I tuned out the all-star team a decade ago.  In the old days of Ted Williams and Willie Mays they played the game to win and it had some classic moments.  Now we just have a turnstile that puts players in and out so they can get their tv moments and when the game is decided it is not the starters but the extras that are on the field.

If you want a skills contest put a bucket in RF/LF/CF.  Each batter gets six attempts to hit to the bucket - the one that gets the closest to each in the winner.  

The problem with other skills, like fielding and pitching is the chance for injury and no one wants to lose a player from an all-star injury.  

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1--Get rid of the every team gets a rep requirement.  No one is watching to see if the guy from their team pinch hits in the 8th inning, or throws one inning in the 5th.

2--Rosters are selected by a panel of national writers.  Each writer is required to submit their slate before the panel convenes to select the roster.  Concurrently, the BBWA membership submits their slate (writers will not be allowed to include players on the team they primarily cover); writers on the panel who fall below a certain threshold in terms of agreement with the BBWA roster are removed from the panel to ensure legitimacy

3--All players selected give up 5 game checks to a pool, which is matched by MLB.  The winning team splits 75% of the pot, the losing team 25%.  All players with less than 4 years of service team get 1 extra year if service time for being on the winning team, and half a year for being on the losing team (to compensate them for the fact that 5 game checks is a bigger deal to them.  To prevent teams from keeping players down so they won't be on the all-star team, for every player with less than 4 years of service time who makes the All-Star roster, the team he plays for gets a comp round A pick in the next year's draft).  Players who are selected for the game, but opt out must surrender 8 game checks or be on the IL for at least the first 5 games after the All-Star game.

4--Starting pitchers go for 2 innings--after that, each pitcher goes one inning, and is selected by fans for innings 3-7 (a vote is held during each team's half inning in the field, with the vote ending with the third out.  The winner of that vote will be the next pitcher, and will come out exactly one inning later (example, the AL is in the field for the bottom of the 2nd; fans will vote on which NL pitcher they want to see next.  The pitcher with the most votes when the bottom of the second ends will appear in the top of the 4th, giving that pitcher a full inning to get warmed up).

5--Position players are eligible to re-enter the game starting in the 8th inning for one at bat.  This way the best players in the game will be hitting when the game matters.

6--Starting in the 11th inning, if the game is tied at the end of a half inning, the team that just finished batting loses.  This means the away team must score in the top of the 11th, or they lose.  If the away team does score, the home team must outscore them in the bottom of the 11th, or they lose.

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I like this development. It still isn’t enough to get me to tune in though. All star games in any major sport does absolutely nothing for me. The only thing baseball has going for them is the game doesn’t fundamentally change. You still need to pitch, hit, and field. Whereas in other sports there is zero effort and zero defense being played. 

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Agree, all-star games are meaningless regardless of sport. Only reason why baseball made the home field advantage rule in the WS to the winner was to try to change that. It did nothing to entice fans to become more interested. Todays game is nothing like it was years ago. It has become boring. Starters have no incentive to pitch a complete game. Years ago a starter took pride in pitching a complete game now they're lucky to go 6 or 7 innings. That's what most high-school players do. Years ago hitters would hit to all fields and knew how to bunt. High-schoolers still do that. Most big-leaguers can't bunt and only try to pull the ball and hit a HR everytime. Maybe if all the fences in every ballpark were 450 feet away from home plate the real game of baseball would return. Seems to me if you want to watch a HR derby all you have to do is tune into any regular season game and watch as every batter swings for the fences. 

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Go back to the original idea of players wearing their "Team" jersey---home or away.  They also wear their team cap and batting helmet.  Does MLB really NEED to sell some ugly, weird looking ALL Star Jersey ?!!??  Are they THAT desperate for a little bit more money ?  One of the things that always made the Baseball All Star Game so magical was seeing Koufax in Dodger Blue, Clemente, Aaron and Mays, Gibson, Killebrew, Bench, in their TEAM uniforms.  It made them stand out.  

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Your hitting skills competition idea sounds a little bit like hitting against the shift and we all know guys don't like that.

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