Bernstein: The All-Star Game Nobody Wanted

By Dan Bernstein– Senior Columnist

By gametime, I won’t be surprised to see that Adam Dunn and Randy Wells have been added to the rosters.

I was initially taken aback by Aramis Ramirez’s decision yesterday to turn down an All-Star invitation, but now I’m with him. Why bother? Collect whatever selection bonus your contract allows and hang out with the family for a few days, wearing your “Kiss the Cook” grilling apron while flipping brats on the patio.

Ramirez does not even count officially as a withdrawal from the game, so he’s not one of the sixteen — it may be more, now, as you read this — who either are “injured” (though only four guys are actually on the disabled list), pitched too recently to be allowed to participate or are otherwise committed for tomorrow night, when the once-glorious affair takes place in Phoenix.

84 players made the MLB All-Star team this year, in one way or another.

You read that right. 84.

You know what that means? It means no more wasting time bemoaning “snubs” in the immediate aftermath of the initial selections, since there are none. It means that the energy invested in final-spot, get-out-the-vote drives for hometown faves is silly. It means that “x-time All-Star” does not carry the meaning it once did when measuring a player’s career.

Most importantly, it means home-field advantage for the World Series should go to the team with the best regular-season record.

You almost forget, amid the chorus of negative RSVPs, that Bud Selig’s overreaction to a tie years ago turned the midseason snooze into the arbitrary determinant of that benefit for baseball’s most important games.

That fact becomes increasingly difficult to believe with every next honoree who treats the opportunity like it’s a discount colonoscopy.

It’s bad enough that every team still has to be represented, based on the antiquated concept that all of Kansas City will be glued to their TV sets waiting for Aaron Crow to make his triumphant trip to the mound. In all likelihood, sometime today Crow will announce that he’s out with a shoulder twinge, and he’s planning to spend time with Aramis Ramirez’s family – he’s been asked to bring potato salad.

We used to really like this game, back when it was a novelty to see players from the two leagues face each other sometime before October. We remember waiting for our guy to be introduced in the pregame ceremony and later make his appearance, be it Steve Swisher or Jerry Morales, Britt Burns or Ed Farmer (yes, look it up).

But that’s over, and it’s not just because we’re older or jaded.

We see all these guys, all the time. After a while everybody plays with and against everybody, everywhere, for our consumption and enjoyment.

Does it matter that Adrian Gonzales is now lending his considerable skill to the junior circuit, after his long association with the NL? Of course not.

It may bother him, though, that his opportunity to win a championship is actually influenced by Jordan Walden pitching to Miguel Montero.

We don’t know how anybody really got to the All-Star game, if they deserve to be there, or if they even want to be. And the outcome actually has an impact on the some of the most important games in sports.

Tomorrow, Mike Quade is one of the coaches for the National League. Perfect.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  The All Star Game Nobody Wanted

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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  • Bronzo

    I actually enjoy watching the MLB All-Star game. I realize it’s watered down, but simply enjoy watching all these guys play together. Now I won’t sit there and wacth the whole game but I’ll give a shot for a while.

    • Sagar

      I’m not wotrhy to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  • Spoon

    I treat it like the Pro-Bowl, at best. Have it on in the background for an hour or two while cleaning the house or something. Though, since it’s summer, that usually means I’m outside and it’s just wasting my electricity.

  • Larry

    One (several) of my fondest childhood memories is staying up late each year to watch Chet Lemon strike out in the 7th inning of a game the AL was losing by about 10 runs. Good times.

  • tom Sharp

    Why is this guy still allowed to pollute the air waves??? First, anyone selected to the All_Star team should have to play (or at least be there to collect any “bonus” for making the team. Second, with home field advantage for the World Series at stake, the game actually means something. I never attend or bother with All Star games in any sport because no one seems to care any more, but the players chosen ought to be pressured into showing up instead of collecting a paid vacation.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      The fact that the game actually means something is part of the problem.

    • AT3374

      Um because he’s part of the # 1 afternoon show in Chicago . The guys up the dial on ESPN 1000 would love to have you Mr. Sharp , and one would be willing to fall off a horse for ya also ;)

      I agree with Bernsie , this “game” has lost the luster it once had , but people will still tune in like they do for the Probowl , NBA Allstar game and hockey’s all star game . It’s just what people do , though ” Bud” should have left well enough alone and not ruined what once was a great mid summer classic . What a moron .

      • tom Sharp

        The fact that he is #1 on a sports show in Chicago speaks more to the bad taste of the losers in this town than to me. They’re probably the same people who believe the silly pre-season predictions from that station about all the Chicago teams having a shot at the title and are willing to pay $100+ to watch mediocrity or worse day after day, year after year.

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        Uh, yeah. Boers and Bernstein are such Chicago homers. Tom, the inacccuracy of your statements about the ASG and B&B is surpassed only by the inaccuracy of your surname. Sharp? No.

      • Spoon

        Wait, did this dope really suggest that The Score states that every team has a shot at the title every year, and in the same breath demonstrate complete ignorance of baseball tickets? Epic…

    • Larry Horse's water trough

      Would you prefer that dope Murph?

      • JasonD

        I would absolutely prefer Murph. He has interesting angles on the game that no other sports hosts have. He actually tries to do an interesting show, instead of phone screening in moronic callers to make fun of.

      • Joakim's bong

        Sundays 10-12 w/ Fred Hubner

      • Spoon

        You can listen to Murph on that garbage station up the dial. There’s a reason that the ratings for his time slot shot through the roof after he was replaced. I really wanted to like Murph, but his show was terrible.

      • tom Sharp

        Murph thinks Ozzie is a great manager!!!??? By the way, the last time Ilistem to B&B was in early April and heard both agree how “Dunn and Sales might just put the Sox over the top…” So you big ‘fans” be careful when you revise history!

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        So Tommy Boy is one of those guys, eh? (I haven’t listened to Boers and Bernstein since – insert date or timeline here – they suck but I love to talk about what they have to say! Ditka, sausage, Ditka… I’m a diehard Bears fan and I love “Chicago” weather!)

      • Spoon

        Clearly, since you think they said Ozzie is a great manager… how’s that old saying go? It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot, rather than opening your mouth and confirming it?

    • Splint Chesthair

      Players should be forced to participate in something I have no interest in! Stop talking hockey!

    • Spoon

      The fact that it ‘means something’ is so incredibly stupid, it’s beyond colorful descriptions.

  • Ricking Ball

    At least give MLB the credit for having an all-star game that be played almost exactly like a regular game, unlike the other sports with all their limitations the exhibition game. Sure, the managers substitute too much, but that makes the game fun when your guy comes in.

    • Spoon

      Yes, just like a real game, everyone gets to play, your best players are replaced by a progressively worse set of mediocre dopes as it goes, and the end of the game to decide the world series is decided upon by a group of players that are the worst of the best. It’s nothing at all like a regular game.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    So you’re saying I shouldn’t go down and try to buy from a scalper on the cheap?

    • Bronzo

      I were you Chris i would definately attend the game. Why not? Go root for Castro your a Cub fan right?

      • AT3374

        And don’t forget to root for the ” Harvey’s ” also , though I’m not sure why they need rooting but Devin Hester thinks they do

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        I haven’t been feeling too hot, but scalpers are getting crushed on the game. I know that as of two weeks ago the cost of getting in-the-door was about $150, $400 for decent seats… Now you can get in the door for $60, and infield box is about $300. I may try and catch a rail down there after work and see what I can get dirt cheap.

        You may be right Bronzo- I don’t want to think I missed an opportunity just to say that I went to an All-Star Game.

        On another note, HR Derby bleacher tickets went from $240 minimum on Stubhub to $110 in the same timefame. I don’t know when they decide where to have the game, but I have to assume it was before our housing market went in the tank.

        Affordable ASG tickets as the result of our real estate collapse. How distinctly Arizona.

    • Bronzo

      Who are the Harvey’s ?


    I watch as much as I can, but I’ve skipped the whole thing for “Dead Man’s Chest.”

    It’s also fun to know that the guys can, actually, play a normal game of baseball.
    But, Dan is taking the right angles.
    It should have never been used to determine home field advantage. Torre should have been required to throw some guy on the mound and lose the game, forfeit, or walk away with the tie. The latter was not a bad decision. The aftermath was.

  • Jesse Austin

    I agree with Ricking Ball – the MLB All-Star Game is played with an intensity that is close to a “real ” game … by the stars who show up. How about having players *at the beginning of the year* declare if they actually have any desire to be in the game? If not, their names would not go on the All-Star ballot. This would greatly lessen the possibility of fans wasting their votes on guys who prefer to go fishing with their children during the midseason break.

    • AT3374

      Yet the fan vote is part of the problem . Really Paulie should not have needed a “campaign” to get in , he’s deserved it based on his first half . Carlos did well , but is he really having a Allstar season ? It’s seems to be a popularity contest now, Jeter hasn’t played at an allstar level in years , yet he continues to be looked at as one . But that’s just my opinion

      • Bronzo

        Problem is Paulie plays the same position as Texiera and Gonzalez so he has no chance against their “Star power” and fan base.. I agree he should be there .

  • big time sucker

    i haven’t watched any baseball this year so the ASG won’t be watched either. HRD i might catch a glimsp of that though, I THINK IT’S FUN. When baseball was able to capture my imagination, the all star game was a magical thing, but in the last 10-15 years it hasn’t captured anything. Last time i was excited for one was when the game was on about a week after i got HD for the first time, but i was more excited for the HD than the game. I do like the pregame ceramonies, i think Fox and MLB do a good job with those, but once the first inning is over, the game is just dull and boring.

  • Cameltoe Rancher

    Ed Farmer in an All Star Game?!?!?!

    GO CRAZY!!!!!!!!

    I understand that he needed an extra bottle of neatsfoot oil to rub onto his face for that appearance!

    GO CRAZY!!!!!!

  • Lovie's Shiny Chin Scar

    Why y’all hatin’ on the All-Star game????


    I like the idea of Ramirez having a back yard barbeque.
    He pulls out one of the Kenwood speakers. There’s some awful fuzzy navel in the freezer.
    Since he’s a major-league ball player, though, he has enough lawn chairs for everyone. AND he’s replaced the broken squirt guns from last year.


    I wonder if there’s a political angle to why so many players around the majors won’t be suiting up for tomorrow’s MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix. While the firestorm of controversy may have died down, I think there are a handful of ballplayers who won’t go to Chase Field, not necessarily because they don’t want to take a bow as a result of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. It’s not because a handful of starting pitchers won’t be eligible to pitch or that a number of others are sitting the Midseason Classic out with injuries. I wonder if there are certain ballplayers that want nothing to do with Phoenix as a result of this law that had so many protesters outside wherever the Diamondbacks played shortly after that law had passed. Something to think about…

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      ..but those people are stupid and don’t understand the law to begin with and just assume it’s Draconian (it’s not).

  • Bronzo

    Interesting stat: Adam Dunn has the lowest batting average .160 EVER for a player with 200 AB’s at the all-star break…EVER!!

  • Murphs Upper-Lip

    Don’t care much for the all-star game; certainly not as much as I did years ago. I think that has more to do with age, probably more fun as a kid – didn’t think of the politics as much and probably unaware that so many players simply don’t want to be there… But, if this game is going to mean something (horrible idea), the fans need to stop voting and the best players have to suit up. But it meaning ANYTHING is just another of Bud’s horrible ideas.

    (Quit talking #1 afternoon sports radio!!!)

    That being said, if I was in your spot, Chris, I’d definitely go to the game. (With the prices being what they are.)

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      I’m monitoring StubHub and Craigslist with great regularity. If I can get “in” for $40 I’ll definitely do it, or Club box (free food!) / Field Box for 200-ish, I’ll make a night of it. It just seems silly to not take advantage of the fact that seats are HALF of face or less.

      • AT3374


      • WILSON!

        Man, I’d do it, Chris. Everything is better live.
        I went to a Cardinals–Padres game three summers ago. It was fun.
        I wouldn’t break the bank, but low prices are something to consider.

  • Pat Flanigan

    The game definitely is nothing but another Pro Bowl nobody cares..Only reason I even know it’s there because I always enjoyed that old show, Home Run Derby! The Derby is the only good part of the All Star get together……

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    excellent comments today…really enjoyed Chris in Scottsdale’s posts

    I’m up at the Mayo Clinic for a month……my wife (Dr. Arse) needs surgery and she always finds who wrote the book etc.
    Nothing life threatening, just an enlongated recovery period.

    • WILSON!

      Good to hear that it’s just a long recovery.

      Without baseball, now I’m looking at my backyard, wondering if the only thing that is sure to stay green during the drout was just poisoned by the “lawn treatment.”

      I almost had on the story of an American car company.

    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      Good luck with that, LHA. Hope those damn Twin fans don’t mess with you too much!

  • mrBIG

    Bernstein…Why are you always so negative? Maybe you should get laid it might cheer you up!

    • puugve

      ipr40b eqvhmsunuvnw

    • Big Tiny

      he would probably complain about that…

    • Yelhsa

      Very valid, pithy, succnict, and on point. WD.

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