The result of the All-Star Game is perhaps the worst way to determine home-field advantage in the World Series.
If the All-Star teams aren't made up of the best players at each position, it's nonsensical for the game to have postseason implications. Or, as a colleague recently said: "It's like saying that because a chicken is white, it's going to rain on Friday."
It also seems evident by the number of All-Star selections — even those on contending teams — who have backed out of the game that its result isn't very important to the players. If the ostensible incentive of home-field advantage in the World Series isn't an incentive, then what's the point?
Better way than original
At the end of the day, baseball isn't about leagues; it's about teams.
Teams should be seeded according to their regular-season records, with the higher seed always getting home-field advantage.
But the World Series is MLB's Super Bowl, largely underwritten by corporate events that must be planned in advance. That's why the best way doesn't work.
So with that caveat, it's smart to use the All-Star Game to determine which league gets to host Game 1 (and a potential Game 7). It's better than simply rotating years, as was done through 2002.
Plenty of other options
There are multiple ways to determine home-field advantage for the World Series. The outcome of the All-Star Game isn't one of them. How about the World Series team with the better record? The Phillies carry the majors' best mark, and few could argue they are not the best team at this point.
How about the league with the better interleague record? This season, that would be the American League. Then again, interleague play needs to disappear — but that's for another day.
If interleague play continues, leave a three-game window in the schedule to make sure the AL's best plays the NL's best for that home-field edge. Until something changes, replacements for the replacements in the All-Star Game are determining who gets home field.
Revert to old method
Los Angeles Times
Alternating home-field advantage in the World Series worked pretty well for a century. And I'm sure it would still be working well if Bud Selig hadn't overreacted when the 2002 All-Star Game in his hometown ended in a tie.
That wasn't the first All-Star Game to end in a tie, by the way, yet somehow baseball — and the World Series — survived the first time it happened.
The fairest thing to do is go back to the method of alternating between leagues. Or at least base it on the results from real games, say by awarding home-field advantage to the league champion with the best regular-season record. That would cause no end of logistical problems. But it's still a better method than the one baseball uses now.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun