All Star Changes Open Letter to Rob Manfred
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.????