As we get set for the 2017 Home Run Derby on Monday, I offer up a suggestion: Let’s stop the All-Star festivities there.
That is, unless Major League Baseball – and the other major sports – would like to add more skills competitions.
But it’s time to scrap the “games.”
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Let’s face it: All-Star games are a joke. No one really cares.
The biggest development one could see from a respective All-Star game – whether it be NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL – is an injury in a meaningless showcase.
Until this year, at least MLB made the Midsummer Classic somewhat interesting, with the winning league earning home-field advantage in the World Series. But that idea – which lasted from 2003-2016 – is no longer enacted.
Now it’s as pointless as watching NBA All-Stars play even less defense than usual in their showcase and as dull as watching NFL players essentially play two-hand touch in the Pro Bowl.
Instead, we should take the opportunity to settle many assumptions that are made during the season.
Think about when you’re watching a game and a speedy lead-off hitter comes up and beats out a throw to first base. “He just might be the fastest man in baseball” one might say.
Well, let’s create a stage in which he can prove it.
How about a run-the-bases competition? Perhaps a fastest pitch contest? Maybe a right fielder throw-to-the-plate match?
That being said, there’s surely folks out there who are more creative than myself who could come up with other intriguing events.
The NBA has done a pretty good job with some of these things, with the Shooting Stars Competition, H-O-R-S-E game, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk contest. However, both the Shooting Stars Competition and H-O-R-S-E game have been scrapped.
Each of those events are/were more entertaining than the actual All-Star Game, and I’m sure there’s other ideas – maybe watch the stars play “Knockout”? – that could be added to make the break fun.
The NFL – which has the worst All-Star competition, especially because of the increased risk of injury in football – could have some fun with this.
Again, how about a fastest-man competition? Perhaps it’s settled with a 100-yard dash. Maybe a quarterback accuracy game (who wouldn’t want to watch Tom Brady attempt to throw a football through a small hole like we do when we’re in an arcade)? How about a one-handed catch competition or a toe-the-sideline catch contest?
The possibilities are endless.
The NHL is doing a great job with its All-Star festivities these days. The current Skills Competition has some really cool events. However, like the other sports, hockey seems to feel the need to have “games,” with what is now a 3-on-3 tournament.
We don’t need these pretend “games” to justify having an All-Star Weekend.
Aside from the fact there’s festivities, it’s supposed to be a break for the players. Therefore, get rid of the charade of a “game” for their sake and for ours.
Setting up a showcase in which sports’ biggest stars show off their individual skills in harmless contests is the best bet.
Sometimes all you need are a few side dishes, especially when the main entree is a disappointment.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans conclude a four-game series at Frederick with a 2 p.m. game against the Keys on Monday. The Birds will then take Tuesday off as the MLB All-Star Game takes center stage before beginning a four-game homestand against Winston-Salem from Wednesday through Saturday (all 7:05 p.m. starts). Myrtle Beach then begins a three-game road trip to Buies Creek with a 4 p.m. contest against the Astros on Sunday. … The MLB All-Star festivities continue Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, the Home Run Derby will begin at 8 p.m. (ESPN), followed by the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at 10 p.m. (ESPN). On Tuesday, the Midsummer Classic is slated for 8 p.m. (Fox). … After taking Sunday off, Wimbledon resumes Monday, with the women’s and men’s championship matches at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (both on ABC), respectively. … The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Overton’s 301 at 3 p.m. Sunday (NBCSN). … The PGA Tour heads to Silvis, Illinois for the John Deere Classic from Thursday through Sunday.