Should the All-Star game decide home-field advantage in the World Series?
Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss Tuesday night's All-Star game and the effect it will have on the World Series in October. Check back for more responses throughout the day and weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
Alternating home-field advantage in the World Series worked pretty well for a century. And I'm sure it would still be working well if Bud Selig hadn't overreacted when the 2002 All-Star game in his hometown ended in a tie.
That wasn't the first All-Star Game to end in a tie, by the way, yet somehow baseball -– and the World Series -– survived the first time it happened.
The most fair thing to do is go back to the old method of alternating between leagues. Or at least base home-field advantage on the results from real games, say, by awarding home-field advantage to the league champion with the best regular-season record. That would cause no end of logistical problems because the league champions aren't determined until just days before the World Series opener. But problems and all, it's a better method than the one we have now.
At the end of the day, baseball isn't about leagues; it's about teams. Home-field advantage should go to the team that has earned it over the 162-game season. That means teams should be seeded according to their regular-season records, with the low seed always getting home-field advantage.
But the World Series is MLB's Super Bowl, largely underwritten by corporate events that must be planned months in advance. That's why the best way doesn't work. So with that caveat, it's smart to use the All-Star Game to determine which league gets to host Game 1 (and a potential Game 7). It's a lot better way than simply rotating years, as was done through 2002.
Tom Housenick, Allentown Morning Call
There are multiple ways to determine home-field advantage for the World Series. The outcome of the All-Star Game isn't one of them. How about baseball's best record as the deciding factor? The Phillies carry the majors' best mark, and few could argue they are not the best team at this point. Despite injuries taking away Chase Utley and Placido Polanco for stretches and blowing up the back end of the bullpen, Philadelphia has baseball's best record.
How about the league with the best interleague record? This year, that would be the American League. (Then again, interleague play needs to virtually disappear -– but that's for another day.) If interleague play continues, leave a three-game window in the schedule to make sure the AL's best plays the NL's best for that home-field edge. Because until something changes, replacements for the replacements in the All-Star game are determining who gets home field.
Steve Gould, Baltimore Sun
The result of the All-Star game is perhaps the worst way to determine home-field advantage in the World Series.
Because All-Star selection is largely a popularity contest and rules dictate that each team must be represented, it's all but certain that deserving players are left out.
If the All-Star teams aren't made up of the best players at each position, it's nonsensical for the game to have postseason implications. Or, as a colleague recently said, "It's like saying that because a chicken is white, it's going to rain on Friday."
It also seems evident by the number of All-Star selections -- even those on contending teams -- who have backed out of the game that its result isn't all that important to the players. If the ostensible incentive of home-field advantage in the World Series isn't actually an incentive, then what's the point?