MIAMI — This time it doesn’t count.
Again. Just like before.
For those who hated the concept of an All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage for the World Series, congratulations. It’s back to being a meaningless exhibition Tuesday night at Marlins Park, with Bud Selig’s grand vision finally kaput after enduring the backlash of players, managers and everyone else not affiliated with a television network who never wanted the Midsummer Classic to be more than a pleasant July diversion in the first place.
The Selig Initiative, put in place after the 2002 All-Star Game ended in a 7-7 tie in the commissioner’s home ballpark, Miller Field, had a solid run. And Selig’s intentions were good. The former commissioner hoped to increase TV viewership for an event that was losing more eyeballs each year, and also hoped to have the players take the game itself more seriously.
But that can’t be artificially done, and for whatever reason, the result of this exhibition did seem to factor into how the World Series played out. The American League emerged victorious in 11 of the 14 All-Star Games during this stretch, and the home team won nine of the 14 World Series. Coincidence?
It’s a moot point now. So what’s at stake? Just cash. The winning players receive $20,000 each, and there is no consolation prize. The losers get nothing. If you’re an All-Star from the Padres, Giants, White Sox or A’s, that payout means a heck of a lot more than home field for a World Series that you’ll be watching on TV anyway.
As for those looking to be at Marlins Park for the week’s festivities, it’s not exactly a hot ticket. Based on information provided by TicketIQ.com, the current price on the resale market for tomorrow’s Home Run Derby is $136 and Tuesday’s All-Star Game is $159, relatively modest for this event and 48 percent below the prices for last year’s Midsummer Classic at Petco Park in San Diego.