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A Better Souse Trap The
2003-05-01 23:12
by Mike Carminati

A Better Souse Trap

The players' union agreed tonight to enact Bud Selig's master stroke of determining home field in the World Series based on the All-Star game winner.

The reactions to the plan run the full gamut of human emotions: excitement to revilement, insouciance to dyspepsia, incontinence to grogginess.

I basically feel that it's an inappropriate move. The managers are still not going to risk overusing a pitcher's arm if the game goes deep into extra innings. It's a band aid on a dislocated shoulder. It won't avoid tie games. And it's a sop to Fox who airs the beleaguered erstwhile crown jewel event.

I do have to admit that I like what Kevin Brown said about it (even though he thoroughly kicked my Phils' bee-hind yesterday):

"I disagree with it, completely and totally," said Los Angeles pitcher Kevin Brown a five-time All-Star. "I think it just takes away from the whole idea of what the All-Star game is about, which is letting the fans vote and letting it be an exhibition game. Now they're trying to make it into something that it never has been.

Exhibition? That there is an ugly word to commissioner Bud. He has asserted that the All-Star game is anything but, even though an exhibition is something that does not count in the standings. The All-Star game does not count in the standings; ergo, it is an exhibition. It's simple cogito ergo sum, quod erat demonstrandum, that's all she wrote, always trust your car to the man who wears a star.

Not anymore, however. Now it will count for homefield. It's like when Frank Burns discovered that the M in MASH stood for Mobile when he was temporarily in command and moved the entire camp across the road. Bud discovered that the game was an exhibition and did what he could to change that.

What's next, HR derbies determining the draft order? Futures games used to assign revenue sharing funds?

The home field advantage in the World Series is an abstract idea in the middle of July. The All-Star combatants, even those on division winners, have no way of knowing which team will represent their league in the playoffs, let alone the Series. To tie the two events together is silly at best, but if it distracts Selig from monkeying with other on-field decisions, maybe it's not that bad.

But Bud is not so easily sated. Give him a wild card and he wants interleague play. Give him a CBA and he wants luxury taxes. Give him an inch and he takes Camden Yard. I wish they would have just said no to Bud. In the long run it probably won't matter, but he has had his way all too easily of late. Who knows, when he's done he may talk the players into accepting the reserve clause again.

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