MLB All-Star Game Tie in 2002
The MLB All-Star Game decides which league will have home-field advantage in the World Series. It doesn’t matter who the better team is during the regular season or who has a better record. A game that involves players from all 30 teams factors into the Fall Classic as to where the games are played and when.
In 2002, nobody would have won home-field advantage as the game ended in tie. After 11 innings and every pitcher used by both teams, the game was called as there were no more available pitchers who had not yet thrown. Joe Torre and Bob Brenly, the two managers, met with commissioner Bud Selig before the last half of the 11th inning to discuss the game situation before deciding that a tie would occur if the National League (home team) did not score that inning.
Needless to say, fans were outraged as they reacted negatively to the news once it was announced on the PA system and to those watching at home. The NL did not score and the game ended with a final score of 7-7.
The next season was the first year in which the winner of the MLB All-Star game would decide who won home-field advantage for the World Series. This was an attempt to make sure the game did not again end in a tie. It reinforced the competitiveness and importance of being an All-Star, although the change does not guarantee that an All-Star game will not end in a tie again. The only recommendation by Major League Baseball is that both managers save a few players on the bench in case the game goes into extra innings.
This is controversial because the previous standard in MLB All-Star games was to get every player in the game. It was seen as a friendly exhibition to showcase the best players in baseball. Now, with the added implications, it is a double standard as managers still put substitutes into the game, but they must choose which ones to use and which ones to leave on the bench. If a manager is trying to win home-field advantage, he would presumably want to have his best nine in the game at all times.
Being chosen as an All-Star is not always a deserved honor. The fans vote on the starters. They could vote on a player who hasn’t played all year. However, the need for fans input is obvious. If they were not given a chance to vote, it would limit the exposure and need for fans to care about the game.
One of the more entertaining moments of the 2002 MLB All-Star game was when Torii Hunter robbed Barry Bonds of a home run. Bonds thought he had one going over the fence before Hunter leapt up and pulled the ball back into the playing field for an out. Bonds proceeded to pick up Hunter in a love/hate man hug.