Posted Under: Johanna's View
Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins lone All-Star had successful knee surgery yesterday. But the Marlins brass is upset that instead of replacing their lone All-Star with another Marlin, a guy from another NL East team, one not expected to do as well but instead leading the division was chosen, leaving the Marlins without a representative.
Reading the comments left in Joe Capozzi’s blog, one can see at least one fan that has made the trip to Kansas City, shelled out the money for the All-Star game ticket and yet will not see a player from his home town team standing on the line. And while, I believe many of us, may not think it matters having someone from each team represented, it might just matter to the fans of that team.
The problem is that since MLB has decided that the game will decide home field advantage for the World Series, each league wants the best team possible on the field, but they also want to make the fans happy, giving them a chance to see a representative from their team. All week, sports talk radio programs have been debating what is really important here and which should take precedence. On top of that, you get the question of the fans vote for the starters, where one team may stuff the ballot box for their home town guy, rather than look at who is best for the game.
So, here is one new idea. Fans continue to vote for the starters at each position, but they also vote for their team’s ambassador to the All-Star game. The Ambassador position is honorary and does not mean the person will play in the game- though the All-Star managers are able to pull from the ambassadors to complete their roster, they do not have to. The managers also then do not have to pick a player from each team. The fans have chosen the representative of that team who will be introduced at the start of the game and who will ride in the parade. Perhaps those that aren’t playing in the game have one other duty at FanFest as well. Then the Marlins and their uniform are represented, but that doesn’t affect the outcome of the game. This would also give an opportunity to send players like Chipper Jones, who may not deserve to play in the game any longer, one last chance to go, and fans to say they thank you.
Hopefully, players will see that being tabbed to be the team Ambassador is as much as honor as being chosen to start. It is a way for fans to say ‘I want this guy to represent me’ during the week- and perhaps not just for his play on the field. Those players that connect with the fans well get rewarded for that, and perhaps get a once-in-a-lifetime experience because they understood their role in the game. We reward the players for their unique talents on the field. This would be a very nice way to reward the less physically talented but the players we love for everything they do. Its also a way to allow this game to count, without hurting one side or the other.
Lastly, the team Ambassador tag would allow fans of other teams to see a little more into opposing players. Instead of knowing the player is there because he has a good ERA, or because he is just the best player on his team, it would allow fans to see a few players are deemed good characters. And wasn’t that the idea of the All-Star game to begin with- to allow fans to see players they hadn’t had much chance to see before in a new light?
So let’s make this happen. Lets let MLB know that they don’t have to represent every team during the game, but they do need to represent every team during the week.