Aaron Crow is our All-Star representative next week, meaning for at least one day he will be the more famous of the power couple known as Crow$ha.
It has become cool to bash on the All-Star game, but I think that mostly arises because when we get older we think everything should be exactly the way it was when we were young. Sportswriters fall into this trap all the time - pitchers don't go nine innings all the time like they used to, ballplayers make more money than they used to, tickets cost more than they used to, no one wears an onion on their belt - which was the style at the time - like they used to.
Well my generation is not immune to this phenomenon. Music isn't as good as the synthesizer-driven British new wave we grew up with, movies are all remakes now - they're not as good as the two dozen derivatives of "nerd vs. cool kids" 80s movies we grew up with, and baseball today isn't as great as it was in the 80s when egalitarian forces allowed each team to compete equally, splitting pennants in an orderly fashion, all with a beautiful lush artificial turf setting dotted by powder blue uniforms.
What a lot of people of any age forget is that when you're a kid, just about everything seems awesome because you're experiencing it for the first time. As we get older, we gain critical thinking and start picking everything apart. This is why so many of us become disillusioned and cynical in our college-aged years. But the truth is, things haven't changed all that much - we have changed.
So when people now vote that the game sucks now because fan voting allows guys like Placido Polanco and his .689 OPS start at third, we forget that Terry Steinbach was the starter with a batting average near the Mendoza Line - and then went on to become All-Star Game MVP. We think the game is weak because crummy teams like the Royals have to send non-stars like Aaron Crow, but we forget this was routine in the 80s as well, like in 1985 when the Rangers sent outfielder Gary Ward and his .732 OPS. These may be problems with the All-Star Game that need to be fixed, but they're not new problems, and certainly haven't diminished the excitement of the game over the last few decades.
Anyway, the All-Star Game is what it is and what it always has been - a fun exhibition game of stars to promote the game and provide some fun for the fans. And what's so bad about that?
Four All-Star Questions
1. What is your favorite All-Star Game moment?
2. Where did you go on your first plane trip?
3. What is the best plot twist in movie history? Name the movie, not the twist.
4. What was the time you most urgently rushed to get somewhere because you were really late?