Keeping the All-Star Game Shining Bright

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated 

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

The Major League Baseball All-Star game and its festivities are not the sole reason behind baseball’s greatness. However, it is something special when you can boast the best showcase that features a league’s brightest stars.

Let’s just be honest, MLB does it right.

Yes the All-Star game itself may no longer carry the significance it once did, but should an exhibition game really determine who gets home field advantage during the World Series? I rest my case.

Even so, the game and the variety of festivities that are included are amazing. Players don’t come into the game to coast. There is a clear sense of pride for being one of the players named the best in their respective league.

The Futures Game brings the names of the game’s most promising prospects more attention. Sure diehard fans probably know their favorite team’s top players on the farm, but that doesn’t mean they know who to keep an eye on league-wide.

Then there is the infamous Home Run Derby.

Last year a rookie you may have heard of, by the name of Aaron Judge, took home top honors in the event. He also would finish 2017 with the most long balls in the American League. It is safe to believe that many people thought this would be the start of Derby dominance by the New York Yankees’ young slugger. Apparently, those who thought that (checks mirror) were mistaken.

Judge recently indicated, however, that he would not return to the event to defend his crown. He told the New York Post “there is no need to do it.”

There is speculation that off-season shoulder surgery and the Yankees deep playoff run last season may be contributing to Judge’s decision. Fatigue certainly factors in, especially when you have your sights set on a spot in the Fall Classic.

A couple of Judge’s divisional rivals, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, are among the league leaders in home runs this season. The Boston Red Sox duo appears to be pushing each other to see who can send the ball over the wall first on a nightly basis. It is exciting baseball, but don’t expect Betts and Martinez cranking them out during the Mid-Summer Classic.

Both players have said they are not interested in participating in the event, which is still over a month away. That is what I find to be concerning.

In order for the MLB to continue being the sports league with the most exciting All-Star event, it needs its biggest stars involved!

Clearly, you cannot force players to be in such events, but if fans begin seeing lesser players as participants then they are sure to lose interest. I’m sure there are players who would be more than happy to be involved, heck, maybe even former players. **Drifts into a daydream of Manny Ramirez and Mark McGwire strapping on some batting gloves**

The question becomes, how can the MLB keep their stars involved? I would love to hear your thoughts. Drop them in the comments section below. Let’s see if we can find a solution to baseball’s Home Run Derby conundrum.

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