The 2017 MLB All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. Does the winner of the Midsummer Classic still determine home-field advantage?
It’s the middle of July and that means it’s time for the MLB All-Star Game. This year, the Midsummer Classic will be played at Marlins Park in Miami, home of the Miami Marlins. 2017 will be the first time the the All-Star Game will be held in South Florida.
One of the things that had been a part of recent MLB All-Star Games has been that the winning league would garner home-field advantage in the World Series. This legislation was set in place by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig after the debacle at the 2002 Midsummer Classic at Miller Park in Milwaukee where the game ended in a tie.
Will home-field advantage be determined by the All-Star Game winner in 2017? Thankfully, baseball got it right this year. Commissioner Rob Manfred has removed the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series. In the upcoming Fall Classic, the team with the better regular season record will have home-field advantage.
Part of this comes about after the 2016 World Series. The eventual champion Chicago Cubs were nine games better than the AL winner Cleveland Indians. Since the America League won the 2016 All-Star Game down in San Diego, Cleveland had home-field advantage despite having a worse regular season record.
While Selig made the change back in 2003 to give the All-Star Game a greater level of meaning, it just didn’t have the staying power to keep fans engaged. Leaving something like home-field advantage in the World Series to chance in essentially a glorified exhibition really undermines the importance of playing a 162-regular season game schedule.
Unless the Houston Astros continue their winning ways, it’s unlikely that they will be nine wins better than the next best team in baseball. Adding any sliver of urgency to a pennant race or regular season baseball in general has to be a good thing.