MLB Needs to Abolish the “Every Team Needs an All-Star” Rule

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets

The MLB All-Star rosters were announced over the weekend, and, naturally, people are mad online. Every All-Star roster announcement in any sport is always met with scorn and the opening day of #SnubSZN, and it’s usually pretty stupid considering, and this might blow your mind, there are a ton of great players and not all of them can make it. But baseball typically has the most snubs, and that’s because they’re still clinging to the archaic rule that every team, no matter how bad or how irrelevant, needs at least one representative in the Midsummer Classic. As such, more deserving players are left off the rosters far more frequently than in other sports, many of whom are merely being punished for having good teammates (wait, did bitter NBA fans make this rule in the early 1900s?). Frankly, I’m sick of it, and you should be too.

I can’t track down the origins of the rule (that’s called Journalism, folks), but, putting on my thinking cap for a second, I’m going to guess it was created in the early stages of the All Star game as a way to expose fans to different teams and players, try and fight the inherent regionalism that has always (and always will) existed in baseball, sell tickets, and generally grow the game. Well it’s 2018. We have the internet. If you care enough about baseball to actually watch the All-Star game, you already know the Tigers stink and are way too boring to have a representative. But there’s everyone’s favorite middle reliever Joe Jimenez taking up a roster spot. Awesome. Gotta get J.A. Happ and his 4.44 ERA on the squad, you never know when you might need someone to soak up innings in an exhibition game meant to show how exciting baseball can be. Jose Berrios at least has some name recognition as a former top prospect, but he’s still not that good. I only bring these guys up because they made the team over Blake Snell, the current AMERICAN LEAGUE LEADER IN ERA. Can’t let those diehard Twins fans feel left out! Not on MLB’s watch. I actually really have no issues with the National League team besides the fact that Jesus Aguilar should be on the team, but let’s just say the Pirates don’t need an All-Star, and they definitely don’t need an All-Star if I had to google him.

This is an easy fix. Construct the rosters the same way but without feeling the need to include every team. I guarantee it’ll make everyone except the random relief pitcher who gets a nice bonus happier. I mean MLB’s marketing department is completely incompetent so maybe they feel like they need this burst of fake controversy to stay relevant, but I promise that having players fans recognize and care about play in the All-Star game is more worthwhile than having people debate snubs for a bit. Not to mention it’s just a stupid and patronizing rule. Like do they just call up a middle reliever with a 3.58 ERA on the Pirates and say “Hey, buddy, I know your team’s not doing so hot, and we feel really really bad, so how about you come down to the All-Star game pizza party? It’ll be fun! Huh, what’s that? Exciting players from the Red Sox and Yankees? The National League co-leader in home runs? The absurd story that is Max Muncy? You think they’re more worthy? Don’t worry about them, little guy, if the fans really want them in they’ll nominate them in the final vote! Now why don’t you come down to the ballpark for some hot dogs and Gatorade?” Get out of my face with that crap. The best players should go. Period. I don’t care if the entire roster comes from three teams if they’re deserving. J.A. Happ isn’t a deserving All-Star. Joe Jimenez isn’t a deserving All-Star. Felipe Vazquez isn’t a deserving All-Star. I know it’s asking a lot, but maybe one day MLB will enter this millennium and do the right thing.

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