As we all know, MLB now decides home field advantage from the winner of the All Star game, set to be played tonight. MLB is peculiar in that it is the only major sport that decides home field advantage, or anything else for that matter, based on the outcome of its All-Star game. The NFL plays the Superbowl at a neutral site. Both the NBA and NHL give home court, or home ice, advantage to the team with the better record. MLB's method does provide more excitement to the game and does give more incentive for players, particularly those from contenders, to play harder and really try to win. I suppose the managers should be more motivated to win as well more than make sure everyone gets in the game. This is just as good, and better in my opinion, than the old way of alternating home filed advantage every year. However, it does seems a lot to base on an exhibition game.
Within the past few days I heard Bud Selig talking about this very subject on Mike and Mike in the Morning. During that conversation, the different methods of deciding home field advantage were discussed. They talked about the old way, the current method, and the potential of having home field in the World Series decided by best record. Selig spoke against this and seemed to say that it would be too difficult and too much of a hassle to do it that way. One thing in particular he talked about was the hotel rooms and transportation that really need to be booked in advance. He said that these plans really needed to be made ahead of time and due to this, home field could not be decided based on best schedule. What? Unless I am completely off base here, it seems like you could not really firm up your plans for travel and hotels until after the League Championship Series to begin with. The only way you could make those plans more in advance than that is if you knew in advance which teams were going to win the AL and NL championships before they happened. Doesn't make much sense to me. Even under the old plan of alternating years, you would not know what teams and cities would be involved until after the league champions were decided as well. Assuming the AL wins tomorrow night, where is the MLB going to start booking rooms tomorrow? Do we go ahead and book rooms for LA and New York, Boston and Chicago, or LA St. Louis? If this method makes everything so much more simpler, i sure don't see it. I am sorry Mr. Selig, but your argument just failed on this front.
Maybe Selig should go talk to the NBA and NHL. After all, they have found a way to make home field to the best record work. As with baseball, they do not know who will be playing in their respective finals until after their conference championships. Then it is just a matter of comparing records and giving home field to the better team accordingly. At that point you start booking hotels and travel. This has worked in the NBA and NHL forever, why is it too complicated for MLB? Is it too difficult to compare records and see who has the better winning percentage? I am sorry Mr. Selig, but again your argument just does not hold water.
I am not necessarily saying that the method of deciding home field advantage should necessarily be changed, but it would not hurt to consider it. What it really boils down to, is that the argument that Selig gave about hotel and travel bookings seems to be calling us fans stupid, and i hate to be called stupid. So MLB if you want to keep deciding home field the way it is done now, fine, just give a plausible reason that does not insult the intelligence of your fans.