The Baltimore Orioles will be represented by pitcher John Means at tonight’s MLB All-Star game. Means was selected last week as the Orioles’ representative, and will be eligible to pitch in the game. He’ll be out in the bullpen, at least for the beginning.
There are some who decry the rule, however I support the idea that every team has to have a representative on the All-Star team. MLB and the NFL both have this rule, however the NBA and NHL do not. I’ve always believed that fans in every town should have the right to sit down and watch the All-Star game, and have a member of his or her home team on the roster.
Not only that, but each team should be represented in the game. It’s not enough to just have someone on the roster as a token representative. Managers and coaches should find a way to get that guy into the game as well. If that means using a starting pitcher as a match-up reliever, do it. If it means using someone merely as a pinch-runner late in the game, go for it. Fans want to see their players in the game. Find a way to get them in.
Again, there are plenty of folks who disagree with me. Many prefer how the NBA and NHL do things. If you like watching 13-12 hockey games and 180-170 basketball games, be my guest. Furthermore you have to give people a reason to tune in. Sure people want to see the stars, and for sure the stars are there. But the quickest way to get people not to tune in is to not have a member of their team in the game.
The good news is that the game is once again an exhibition. The era of the game deciding home field advantage in the World Series is over. So enjoy the game tonight, Birdland, and riot on John Means!