For years the MLB All-Star game has been losing viewership. Bud Selig thought the remedy was adding stakes to the game. Allowing the home field advantage in the World Series to be determined by the winning league was supposed to bring sufficient enough importance to the game that fans would be drawn back.
But to many fans, Major League Baseball has missed why the game captured their interest in the first place. The All-Star game was so popular because it was the only time during the season that fans were able to see the stars from the American League face the stars from the National League. Even in the playoffs, there was no single concentration of talent on each side of the field as was found in the All-Star game.
Fans of major teams in the 50s and 60s, like the Dodgers and Yankees, were treated to a once-a-year match-up between Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle All-Star weekend. However, Major League Baseball saw an opportunity from the interest the All-Star game piqued in fans. What if they were to have a few games for each team every year where they would play teams from the opposing league? Thus, interleague play was born.
The end result has been the dilution of the market for interest in the All-Star game. No longer does it pose the only chance to watch your favorite players play against those in the opposing league. Having lost its unique draw, it has also steadily lost its interest to fans.
Wednesday’s doubleheader between the Yankees and the Dodgers is a prime example of the why the All-Star game has loss of singularity. The Yankees took the first game 6-4, but a dominant pitching performance by Dodgers starter Chris Capuano and an impressive opposite-field home run by rookie phenom Yasiel Puig on a first pitch curveball led to a 6-0 Dodger win in the nightcap.