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Even as the fans chanted "Let Them Play"
July 9, 2002 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Even as the fans chanted "Let Them Play" MLB's powers-that-be decided to call the All-Star game after 11 innings. It's only the second time the game has ended in a tie (the other time it was called for rain). Given the game's current environment, could there have been a more symbolic ending to this game? Between the steroid questions, contraction,and the threat of a work stoppage, can baseball fix itself, or is (North) America's national pastime rounding third and heading towards self-inflicted obscurity?
posted by herc (40 comments total)

 
Bud Selig is the Anti-Christ. Baseball doesn't end in ties.

I am (or was) an avid baseball fan. Raised in Yankee pinstripes from the time I could sit up. You know what? It was hard enough to come back to baseball after the last work stoppage. If there's a strike or lockout now, they can piss up a rope. I'll learn to like soccer, or rodeo, or anything else.

(Yes, I know I said I was going to bed, over in MeTa. Shut up.)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:28 PM on July 9, 2002


See what happens when mr_cranky_davis misses his bedtime?
posted by Optamystic at 10:45 PM on July 9, 2002


Until baseball adopts a "luxury tax" situation like basketball, i hope for a strike. That sport needs to be cleaned up, badly.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:49 PM on July 9, 2002


It's good practice that the fans were shouting.

When the season restarts they should shout "How much is enough!" and "Average salary 2 million bucks!".
posted by bowline at 11:07 PM on July 9, 2002


Disappointed myself. Glad I didn't pay to attend the game.

Of course, it is JUST a stupid All-Star game...(ugh!).
posted by mayalucia at 11:10 PM on July 9, 2002


Personally, it's just an exhibition game. I'd be pissed as hell if Barry Bonds or Rob Nen (yep Giant's fan) got injured in an extra inning game. I think the fans that paid got two innings more than they paid for. (I mean does anyone really care who win's anyway?)

This is why the Pro Bowl is played after the season ends.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:14 PM on July 9, 2002


Personally, I blame Bud and his buddies for the majority of baseball's ills. They refuse to participate in any meaningful revenue sharing. They label cities like Chicago & Oakland "small markets" (last I checked Chicago and the Bay Area were the nation's 3rd and 4th largest media markets). But that's another rant altogether.

A work stoppage seems inevitable. Baseball minds should take that time off to come up with a way to make the sport easier to gamble on. Do that, and American viewing public will come back in droves (why else do we think meaningless NFL games and the NCAAs are sooooo popular?)
posted by herc at 11:32 PM on July 9, 2002


Baseball doesn't end in ties.

Exactly.

Mother of God, I thought I was watching the All Star game, and somehow a goddamned hockey game broke out. A tie?

And what's with no MVP?

For next year's All Star game, I guess we actually could get a pitching machine to lob some softballs into Bonds and let him smack 'em out of the park...and maybe get Manuel Rivera to throw 10 or 15 pitches at a radar gun. That would probably keep the players injury-free, entertain those who have a superficial interest in baseball, and fit in with the networks' schedules.

Those of us who played and love this game are a little poorer tonight.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:34 PM on July 9, 2002


is (North) America's national pastime rounding third and heading towards self-inflicted obscurity?

I didn't know the game was on tonight, or that it was already over, so I guess that's a solid "yes"
posted by mathowie at 11:50 PM on July 9, 2002


I grew up worshiping the Houston Astros.

The irony in considering that they went from playing inside the Eighth Wonder of the World to Enron Field (pdf heavy!) isn't lost on me.

Let me ask everyone this, since it's been nearly 20 years since I cared about baseball. When I was a kid, there was an Astros kid's club you could join, and once a year, the club got to go down on the playing field of the 'dome and play catch--albeit briefly--with the players. Anything like that with clubs today? Just curious. I don't see many kids with 'baseball fever' so much anymore.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:51 AM on July 10, 2002


Will someone explain to me how you can run out of pitchers? I thought the pitcher played the whole game. Also, why is there any interest for a meaningless all-star game?
posted by salmacis at 1:00 AM on July 10, 2002


I don't blame them for calling the game. It is very symbolic of Selig's karma though.
posted by McBain at 2:39 AM on July 10, 2002


Will someone explain to me how you can run out of pitchers? I thought the pitcher played the whole game.

The All-Star game is different. No pitcher pitches more than a couple of innings (it used to be 3, now it's 2), due to the enormous number of pitchers on the roster.

Baseball is not headed toward obscurity. Some people like it, some don't. Neither person is a bellweather for the populace at large.
posted by yerfatma at 4:42 AM on July 10, 2002


LET-THEM-IMPLODE!
LET-THEM-IMPLODE!

Baseball is dreadfully boring, and it always tends to interfere with the one or two shows I watch on television every week.

Why can't they just go on strike again?
posted by Espoo2 at 5:10 AM on July 10, 2002


All 60 players -- including 10 NL pitchers and nine in the AL -- were used

19 pitchers in 11 innings? That's not even 2 innings per pitcher. When they went through the 19, couldn't they have just rotated and started over at the beginning? What a bunch of whiny players - I hate to see them actually have to hustle a little for their money. There's 150 games too many each season, anyway.
posted by warhol at 5:47 AM on July 10, 2002


I used to love baseball, but the strikes made me sick and I lost interest. The last time I followed was so long ago, the Detroit Tigers were competing.
posted by adampsyche at 5:52 AM on July 10, 2002


i'm with adampsyche, i was a rabid fan until the last strike at which point my interest in paying exorbitant prices to watch shoddy product waned considerably. both the overpaid, crybaby, loudmouth, arrogant players and the rich, scumbag, fatheaded owners can go hang as far as i'm concerned.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 6:32 AM on July 10, 2002


19 pitchers in 11 innings? That's not even 2 innings per pitcher. When they went through the 19, couldn't they have just rotated and started over at the beginning?

Sigh.

Because the pitchers who worked earlier the game were most likely back in the clubhouse with ice on their shoulders, and had been for at least a couple of hours.

Hurling a baseball at 95+ MPH is incredibly destructive to the shoulder and elbow of even the best conditioned player. Asking a pitcher to come back out and pitch after he had cooled down and was halfway through his regular post-game routine would be asking him to risk serious injury and I'd be shocked if any serious player - at any level - would do it. Not to mention that its against the rules. (3:03: A player once removed from a game shall not re enter that game.)

No pitcher pitches more than a couple of innings (it used to be 3, now it's 2), due to the enormous number of pitchers on the roster.

I suspect you have cause and effect backwards here. I'm thinking there are an enormous number of pitchers on the roster because they only want them to appear for an inning or two - at most.

Look, guys, its an exhibition game, ok? Its designed to give fans a chance to see match-ups they wouldn't ordinarily see, and to recognize the best players in both leagues. So it ends in a tie -so what? The game achieved its goals.

All these players have to go back now and play for their real teams, and had any of the players gotten seriously injured in, say, the 12th or 14th inning and been unable to play for the rest of the season - perhaps then causing damage to their team's chance to go on to post-season play - then imagine the howls of protest.
posted by anastasiav at 6:45 AM on July 10, 2002


This one's for Miguel:

*yawn*
posted by SpecialK at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2002


This editorial pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole mess.
posted by ry at 6:54 AM on July 10, 2002


The least Selig could have done was award the newly rededicated Ted Williams MVP award. That may have salvaged the evening a little bit.

It started off as such a good event, too. I really enjoyed the pregame ceremonies.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:18 AM on July 10, 2002


Good link, ry.

Of course, fans felt similarly abused after paying $175 a ticket...

That sums it up for me right there. I sympathize with those who don't want to see their players (especially pitchers) injured, but if you're going to charge that kind of cash for a game then by god act like you care whether or not there is a winner.
posted by sj at 7:30 AM on July 10, 2002


I suspect you have cause and effect backwards here

I don't think so. Innings pitched per pitcher appearing in the All-Star game have declined as the number of teams have increased. The roster size increases every time the league expands because every team must have a representative. The managers, understandably, want to get everyone in the game. The more players, the fewer innings per player. If the game goes to extra innings, everything gets screwed up. Bud Selig suggested adding more pitchers to the roster as a solution.
posted by yerfatma at 7:37 AM on July 10, 2002


The roster size increases every time the league expands because every team must have a representative

but the Jim Caple article linked above sez:
in 1960 when there were just 16 teams, each league had 30 players on the All-Star team. Now there are nearly twice as many teams and still only 30 players.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 7:50 AM on July 10, 2002


I missed the Simpsons because of those slow dorks. I wanted blood. Nothing should delay the Simpsons, even a bad first season episode.
posted by thirteen at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2002


There's no tying in baseball.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2002


I used to love baseball, but the strikes made me sick and I lost interest. The last time I followed was so long ago, the Detroit Tigers were competing.

Good lord, that would be what, '87?

Of course, the new stadium has solved all their problems. ;)

More on-topic... It's sad to see baseball slowing destroying itself. I guess the game (which I did not see) turned out to be an appropriate metaphor.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:51 AM on July 10, 2002


The All-Star game needs to count for something. One possible reward for the winning team would be home field advantage for that leagues representative in the World Series. Seems logical to me. Let's see Joe Tory stop the game then.

Baseball is over. I can't believe players are actually thinking about a strike after the first strike absolutely killed attendance and the way fans felt about the game.

Now add this event in, and you have a lot of people who are starting to get sick of the MLB.

Minor league attendance continues to go up, and for good reason. Minor League games are competitive, where players just play, and can't afford to whine. If you want to see good baseball, pay $10 and find a AA game.
posted by Mark at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2002


Hurling a baseball at 95+ MPH is incredibly destructive to the shoulder and elbow of even the best conditioned player.

Cry me a river. Have you ever seen what people do to their bodies for 10-12 hours a day, day in and day out, who actually WORK for a living? (and not a $10 million living, either.)

Baseball is crap.
posted by rushmc at 9:56 AM on July 10, 2002


Have you ever seen what people do to their bodies for 10-12 hours a day, day in and day out, who actually WORK for a living? (and not a $10 million living, either.)

Gosh, no, Rush, we're all baseball stars here. We hadn't even thought of that.

Baseball is crap.

Well, then I can certainly see why you'd be interested in commenting on a thread about . . . uh . . . baseball. Thanks so much!
posted by Skot at 10:01 AM on July 10, 2002


Sure, hurling a baseball 90+ hurts the shoulder, but this is a game for the fans. Without the fans, you can throw a ball 200 mph and not get paid a dime. Show some appreciation.
posted by Mark at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2002


Bud Selig seems like a perfect twit, but I think in this case he made the right call.

No way any of the pitchers would have come back into the game, even if he had suspended the rules to allow it. And no way risk an injury to the pitchers still left in the game. It would have been unfair to the Mariners, and whoever had the NL pitcher in at the end of the game to send these players back too tired to take their next turn in the rotation.
posted by Danf at 11:07 AM on July 10, 2002


the terrorists have already won...
posted by adnanbwp at 11:15 AM on July 10, 2002


I have a dumb question: what happens to any bets on the outcome of a game? Did a lot of bookies make a dickload of money because the National league didn't win or the American league didnt' win? What happens to wagers if a tie is the outcome?
posted by ao4047 at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2002


in 1960 when there were just 16 teams, each league had 30 players on the All-Star team

Huh. Were they contracted at some point? I thought they just add another 5 guys to the roster recently (including the voted-in 30th man). Either way, starting pitchers used to pitch longer (the Caple article mentions that the '41 game featured 8 pitchers total).

As for baseball being dead, I went out for lunch and half the tables were talking about the game. Then again, it's New England and we're a little slow to give up on a loser up here.
posted by yerfatma at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2002


There were 30 players per squad in 1960, it seems. Also of note, was that for a few years starting in 1959, there were two all star games, a doubleheader spread out over consecutive days.
posted by ry at 3:21 PM on July 10, 2002


Minor league attendance continues to go up, and for good reason. Minor League games are competitive, where players just play, and can't afford to whine. If you want to see good baseball, pay $10 and find a AA game.

A minor league team, The Wild Things, recently started playing down in Washington, PA - a city roughly an hour south of Pittsburgh. They've been doing a lot of advertising here in the city that just skewers the Pirates and MLB. "Baseball played by people whose average salary is about the same as yours." "Baseball played for the love of the game." "Baseball the whole family can see without the need for a bank loan." and my personal favourite, as a vehement opponent of the backdoor dirty dealings that publicly funded the stadium -- oh, I'm sorry, ballpark -- that the Pirates stink up, "Baseball played in a stadium we paid for ourselves." I haven't been down to a game yet, but it's definitely on the agenda. Screw MLB.
posted by Dreama at 7:03 PM on July 10, 2002


Dreama and everyone else, there wouldn't be minor league baseball if it wasn't for the big market teams. It's the MLB clubs that own their minor league counterparts; notice whenever a college kid is drafted he doesn't play the next season with that team, instead the MLB club announces that they've signed so and so to a minor league contract, be it AA or AAA.

In any case, I agree that minor league is picking up and if I ever have time I might even make the trip to St. Catherines to watch the Blue Jays' farm team.
posted by ( .)(. ) at 9:10 PM on July 10, 2002


What happens to wagers if a tie is the outcome?

On straight bets on the outcome of the game, the money gets returned - the bet is nullified.

The proposition bets ('Which team will score first?', 'Which team will get a home run first?', etc) still stand.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:06 AM on July 11, 2002


I think the fans that paid got two innings more than they paid for.

I saw one of the players say this in an interview, and my response now as well as then is "bullshit!" The fans paid for a game. You don't prorate tickets per inning, and you don't charge extra for extra innings, no matter how long the game is. In fact, seeing as how the fans paid for a complete game, which they didn't get, I say they're entitled to a big fat refund.

Class action, anyone?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:41 AM on July 11, 2002


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