I can’t believe it. MLB did something right for a change. I thought I might never see the day.
Today is the announcement of the starters for the 2022 All-Star Game, based on fan voting. The hype is sort of sad, as the game itself, once considered a major sporting event that attracted huge TV ratings, is a bit of a dinosaur thanks to interleague play and the fact that the players make so much money that it isn’t worth it to them to play hard or care about which league’s all-stars win. But never mind: it’ still be far the most entertaining of the various all-star games with by far the richest history.
But I digress. For literally decades I and many others have complained about the repeated situation where one of the game’s greatest players, in his last season, is left off the team because his mid-season statistics are no longer stellar. Thus baseball fans were regularly robbed of the chance to see a guaranteed Hall of Famer one last time in the “Mid-Summer Classic,” despite his status as a career “All-Star.” The game is for the fans, after all, and survives on legends, memories and nostalgia.
Well, this year they fixed that. The new collective bargaining agreement permits the commissioner’s office to select one or more players from each league as special additions to the All-Star rosters in recognition of their career achievements. Today it was announced that Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, both old and only hanging on because they would lose many millions by retiring, have been selected for the 2022 All-Star Game. Both are automatic first ballot Hall of Famers. This is Pujols’ final year, and it should be Cabrera’s.
It was the right thing for baseball to do.
Incredibly, MLB did it.