Major League Baseball decided to pay tribute to one of its greatest stars ever, Ted Williams, by naming the All Star Game MVP Award after him. This was an excellent way to honor the “Splendid Splinter”, who died last week. Of course, if the Powers That Be in baseball had their crystal balls functioning properly, they would have avoided doing this for another year — because then they would have known in advance that there would be no MVP awarded at this year’s All Star Game, because the game would go to 11 innings, the two managers would run out of players, and commissioner Bud Selig would be “forced” to call the game a tie.
Amazing. Just amazing. How MLB can still be alive after its long history of bad decision making, which crystallized last night on the field, is one of the great mysteries of the Universe, right up there with black holes and the duck-billed platypus. The decisions that led to the most ridiculous conclusion of a baseball game in memory were many: both managers selected too many position players and not enough pitchers; both managers cleaved to the rather recent notion that every player should be able to play (whether that means getting one at-bat, pitching to one hitter, or even just being a pinch-runner); despite the expansion of the Major Leagues, the All Star Rosters have not been increased; et cetera et cetera et cetera. The excuses trotted out by Bud Selig and others (“We didn’t want to risk injuries to our players”, “We ran out of players”, “Last call at the hotel bar was in twenty minutes”) are, in a word, lame. This was an idiotic thing to happen.
And if that weren’t enough reason to question the decision making abilities of the folks running the National Pasttime, just wait. The disastrous lessons of 1994 seem to have been duly noted and ignored by both management and labor, and a player’s strike is looming. Way to go, Major League Baseball. Way to go, Mr. Selig. Way to go, Player’s Union.
How many more weeks until the Bills open training camp?