So this weekend, the NHL and NFL are having their All-Star/All-Pro activities, by which I mean they are playing flag football and peppering goalies in a 3-on-3 shootout.
And you know what? That's fine, because they've fgured out that's what they should be doing, as opposed to MLB, who just hasn't figured out the All-Star Game's time has passed.
When Arch Ward came up with the idea of the All-Star Game in the 30s, it was a very good idea because a) the Depression was not good for the business of baseball, and it very much needed a jolt and b) the idea of, say, Lefty Grove pitching to Mel Ott was very much a novelty. This was the case even into the 60s and 70s, where for a good portion of the country televised baseball was The Game of the Week on Saturday and that was it--you rarely saw Mays and Aaron and Clemente and Mantle and so on. Cable TV started to remove the novelty of seeing the game's best play, and now...well, there's no particular magic seeing Zach Wheeler pitch to Mike Trout because it's all been done before. In addition, it's not competitive baseball anymore (and as an aside, can you imagine the upshot of something like Pete Rose crushing Ray Fosse happening now?) but simply a Spring Training game with bigger names. MLBs attempts to keep the current format relevant by tying home field to the winning league is just wrong-headed and pointless. You want to keep the parade and the Home Run Derby? Fine and dandy...hell, add a softball game with All-Stars and celebrities if you want. But the current format? It's time has long since come and gone.