Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Improve the All-Star Game

10) Each losing team player is suspended for one game

9) Add a "suicide" contest, just so we can see grown men throwing at each other and running like refugees

8) Play the World Series winning team against the rest of the league, just so we can hear the fans of that team bitch about not getting any time off

7) Add a certain amount of urgency to the game by making it winner take-all on the money, and each member of the losing team is also paying out of their own pocket

6) The fifth inning is the Beer Inning, where every fielder, pitcher and hitter must chug a beer, and if a run is scored, everyone in the stadium must also chug a beer

5) If the game is tied in the later innings, the hitters switch to aluminum bats

4) Increase the Internet voting experience to add a dunk tank for particularly annoying players, broadcasters, owners and commissioners

3) The three words that could change the All Star Game forever: Bullpen Cart Racing

2) As the macho response to Home Run Derby, the Hit Batsman Showdown, with body areas offering different points and a velocity bonus

1) Very simply, make tens of millions of nerds care by insisting that all stats count in fantasy leagues

* * * * *

I'm not sure that "Wall Ball" or "Suicide" is well known outside of the East Coast, but here's the gist as it existed in my suburban Philadelphia neighborhood when I was growing up.

You'd got a decent ball for the task -- tennis ball or racquetball was best -- a concrete area, a tall wall, and up to a half dozen guys. You'd then throw the ball against the wall, and someone would field it. If they bobbled the ball, someone else would pick it up and try to peg him with it before they could go tag the wall. If someone caught the ball in the air, they'd peg the guy who threw it, again before he tagged the wall. You could also intercept the ball on long throws, or peg the guy if the throw short-hopped the wall.

Like the wildly incorrect "Smear The Queer", it was a game that existed entirely to punish ambition, in that the best way to avoid pain was to not play. It also, well, didn't make me any better as a fielder, because balls off the bat didn't really react the way they did off the wall. Finally, I can't imagine the game existing now, given that it'd probably end up in a lawsuit, and would also involve being outside and active. Hell, the exposure to the sun alone would probably make it actionable.

Feel free to add in your own ASG improvements or Suicide Memories in the comments...


Steven Gomez said...

I'm with the crowd that says that World Series home field should go to the league with the best interleague record.

As for the All Star Game, I've got nothing. I myself am among those who used to be interested as a kid but isn't anymore, and can't really put my finger on why.

Coco said...

I agree with Steven on the idea that World Series home field advantage should go to the league with the better interleague records.

Your idea of having fantasy leagues count the stats of the All-Star Game might actually have the greatest effect of making the game relevant to fans again. I don't think there's a better way of getting fans more invovled than that. It will start with more fan voting and result in improved tv audiences.

Mike Mitrevski said...

These sound like great ideas!

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