We've reached the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, and there's always a lot of cynicism and snark around this event. About how it's a glorified exhibition with imperfect rosters that counts for something real and meaningful even though it absolutely shouldn't. Just because it's probably the best of the major All-Star events doesn't mean it isn't a flawed All-Star event. And so on. You know about all this, because you are a well-informed fan of sports.
In a column over at Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci tackles these and some other matters as he identifies myths and shares truths related to the Midsummer Classic. It's titled "Myth vs. truth for the Midsummer Classic." In case you didn't believe me. Select excerpts, or as I like to call them, selexcerpts:
Myth: Bud Selig put World Series homefield advantage on the line at the All-Star Game to recover from the embarrassment of a tie game in Milwaukee at the 2002 All-Star Game.
Truth: In September 2000, Fox secured exclusive rights to MLB's All-Star Game, LCS and World Series for the next six years -- and almost immediately expressed concern about the two-year decline in ratings for the All-Star Game. Fox began kicking around the idea of World Series homefield advantage with MLB officials well before the 2002 All-Star Game.
Myth: The World Series hook has done nothing for the ratings.
Truth: The ratings would be even worse without it and, more certainly, the game would be worse. Before 2003, you could have shot a cannon in the dugout after the sixth inning and not have hurt anybody -- that's how many players left the premises as soon as they came out of the game and high-tailed it to their private jets. It wasn't unusual forto watch the end of the All-Star Game at home.
You may continue reading for even more, including an eye-opening section about All-Star Game ratings versus Pro Bowl ratings. You have my permission. You didn't need to ask, but I do appreciate the courtesy.