Let’s talk baseball.
More importantly, the All-Star baseball game that’s fast-approaching.
Everyone is talking about it now that the fan voting is completed, and there are many names that should be on an All-Star team that are not.
Conversely there are also players that have no earthly business being 1,000 miles from Target Field (where the game is being played) in Minnesota.
With all the talk already hitting the airways about who should be in, who should be out and all the reasons why or why not, let me remind you of one simple truth.
The players are chosen by the fans, which makes baseball’s All-Star Game for the fans.
Forget about the tie back in 2002, which started the whole “winner gets home field advantage” era of the games.
Forget about the fact that fans get to vote for players, too. They have had control of who gets to play since 1970 (although there was a small window in the 1940’s and 50’s where they could vote as well).
Baseball pundits have said for years that it’s unfair for the fans to vote because they don’t see everyone, but with the growing cabilities of television allowing people to watch every game every day, that argument really shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
Then there’s the “every team gets one player” rule, which has drawn both criticism and praise for forcing an undeserving player to the game but allows fans of that team the chance to cheer for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the one on the back.
However, the reason why the All-Star Game exists, and why any sport’s iteration of it exists, is for the fans.
For some fans it’s the one and only chance to see their favorite player on their favorite team, even if it’s the only player from the team.
For others it could be the venue, and the opportunity to go see a stadium they never have before.
Or it could be just for the home run derby, where the best power hitters get a chance to show fans just how easy it looks to hit a ball over 400 feet (this year it’ll have to be over 411 feet, the farthest distance from home plate at Target Field).
The entire three-day affair is for the fans. From the home run derby to the All-Star Game to the pre-and-post-game festivities, it’s all done for the fans.
So even if the fans got it wrong at certain positions, this shouldn’t deter baseball fans from watching the game.
I’ve always tried to enjoy the game for what it is, a game showcasing (mostly) the best players available.
Fans may not get it right or leave someone out that’s more deserving, but it’s not always about what’s right and wrong in sports.
It’s about enjoying what’s being put in front of you and taking in the game for what it is.
Watch it, enjoy it, and prepare for the long home stretch that is the second half of the season.