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MLB’s manufactured moments

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 11:59 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Paul Sancya)
Derek Jeter singles during the third inning of Tuesday's MLB All-Star game in Minneapolis. Jeter doubled off St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright in the first inning. Later, Wainwright hinted that he grooved a couple pitches to the retiring star.

Adam Wainwright got in trouble for admitting that he gave people what they wanted.

The Cardinals pitcher basically said he grooved some pitches to Derek Jeter in the first inning of the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Those most angry seemed to be the ones that wanted to see Jeter get a hit the most.

It's not Wainwright's fault. It's not Jeter's fault either. It's not even the fault of the fickle people, who wanted a manufactured Jeter moment, and then were surprised when that moment was, in fact, manufactured.

Look at it this way. The All-Star game isn't real. If it was real. If it was important. If it truly counted – Derek Jeter wouldn't have been there.

Jeter's best days are a handful of years in the past. He's not the best player on his mediocre team, and he's certainly not the best shortstop in the league.

Jeter being there was manufactured by MLB continuing to allow a fan vote to determine rosters, especially an on-line vote where the same person can vote a thousand times.

You want the game to count – then take the vote from the fans. Put it in the hands of the managers to pick the best players at each position to form the best teams.

You want the game to count – then don't make it mandatory for each team to have a player. If you are a cellar dweller with no visible signs of talent, then you shouldn't have your middle reliever sitting in the bullpen at the All-Star game.

You definitely shouldn't have that same middle reliever, who's likely hoping for a trade and might just be expecting said trade to a team in the opposite league, pitching late in the game, and ultimately, deciding who gets home-field advantage for the World Series.

Cut the rosters down to about 18 or 20 players with seven or eight of them being pitchers. Get the best players out there, see what they can do, and hope no one gets hurt.

Of course, the addition of the World Series home-field advantage clause is the shining crown of the farce of the All-Star game.

You have a 162-game season with a month or so of playoffs, and you reward one of the two teams left home-field advantage based off an exhibition game in July. So much for rewarding them for something they earned.

That's worse than grooving a pitch to me.

A couple pitches in July are insignificant, a World Series title lasts forever.

But adding that clause means we are supposed to care about this game. It'll help Fox get better ratings for one game in the middle of the season, while tainting the seven games they might broadcast in October.

But it's not real. It's not important. It doesn't count, because 98 percent of the players in the game won't be on the two teams in the end.

It's packaged. It's created. It's insignificant.

Thank you, Mr. Wainwright, for delivering exactly what we wanted – something to remember.

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