I have spent the morning trying to figure out what kind of extravagant gift the American League Champion will send San Diego's Trevor Hoffman for essentially handing World Series home field advantage to the AL during the All Star Game last night. The National League was one out away from ending nine years of futility against the junior circuit when Hoffman gave up three consecutive hits, the last a two RBI triple by Texas Michael Young to put the AL up 3-2 in the top of the ninth. The Yankees' Mariano Rivera took care of the NL in the bottom half to give the AL 9-0-1 record in the last 10 contests and home field advantage in the World Series.
Of course the ninth inning last night is precisely why HFA should not be determined by the All Star Game. Especially if you watched any part of the game last night you realized that neither team was taking the game as thought it mattered which is exactly how it should be played. It led to LA's Brian Penny throwing some serious gas in the 1st inning as well as some wild base stealing by the Met's Carlos Beltran and Washington's Alfonso Soriano. It was a fun game, with a quick pace, and some late game dramatics. However, it also has bearing on the how the World Series it played and that is flat wrong. The game is approached and played by everyone as though it is not consequential except that is consequential because Bud Selig overreacted to a tie a few years ago. If Selig's intent was for the managers to start managing the teams as though it was a real game then perhaps he should tell Fox not to interview them during the game or instruct them to actually run the game instead of telling the players to do pretty much what they want out there.
It is an exhibition game and as such make sure it does not influence the way the championship of your sport is decided.