MIAMI — This year the All-Star Game returned to its roots, meaning it didn’t count in any tangible way.
As part of the collective-bargaining agreement reached in December between MLB and the Players Association, World Series home-field advantage no longer would be awarded to the league that won the All-Star Game, the case from 2003-16.
And heading into Tuesday night’s game, few dissenting voices could be found.
“It was nice having home-field advantage last season,” Andrew Miller said. The Indians were awarded it against the Cubs, who had the best record in the majors, by virtue of the American League’s victory in San Diego. “I don’t want to say it was silly, but this is an exhibition game.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon, here managing the National League, certainly didn’t object to the change.
“Of course, the object is always to win the game and get that National League pride going, winning for the sake of winning, which is a wonderful method,” Maddon said. “But I’m fine with it. I’m good with it.”
As is commissioner Rob Manfred.
“Whenever we make a change, we pay very close attention to see what the result of that change is,” Manfred said Tuesday. “I feel pretty good, given the package of changes that were made around the All-Star Game, that you’re going to see a real ly well-played game, consistent with the games that we’ve seen in recent years.”
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto’s only surprise from his first All-Star Game has been how quickly the time passed.
“Just how quickly everything has flown by, I can’t believe we’re going to have tonight and then be done with it all,” he said. “It’s pretty humbling for me to be here. I’m just trying to soak up everything I can. I’m ecstatic to be here.”
Conforto got into the game in leftfield in the sixth inning. He had a single in the seventh and struck out with two men on to end the home half of the ninth inning.
Remembering No. 16
Clayton Kershaw dressed before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game directly across from the memorial for Jose Fernandez, whose former locker has his Marlins uniform and other personal items preserved behind plexiglass, a shrine not unlike the one dedicated to Thurman Munson at the old Yankee Stadium.
“It’s sad to see it,” Kershaw said.
Fernandez, the Marlins’ ace, died at age 24 last September in a late-night boat accident that rocked South Florida and beyond. There was little doubt he would have pitched in this year’s All-Star Game, a somber footnote to this week’s events. When Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria walked through the NL clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, he spoke about the beloved pitcher.
“He’s on my mind every single day,” Loria said. “It’s something that just doesn’t disappear, I’m sorry to say.”
Yankees let Carter go
The Yankees announced the release of struggling Chris Carter, who hit .201 with 76 strikeouts and only eight home runs in 62 games. Carter, 30, also was a liability on defense, with four errors in 56 games at first base.
Last season, Carter tied the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado for the NL lead in home runs (41) and led it in strikeouts (206) with the Brewers.