Besides Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey heading to Beantown, it's been a slow baseball week. Over in the NFL, Pro Bowl selections were announced Tuesday. The Ravens are sending seven players to Hawaii this year: Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Vonte Leach, Ray Rice, Haloti Ngata, Marshal Yanda and Terrell Suggs. Meanwhile, right down Interstate 95, the Redskins aren't sending any.
I may be biased, but when it comes to All-Star games, I prefer baseball's Mid-Summer Classic over the Pro Bowl any day. Honestly, I'd prefer the NHL and NBA All-Star Games over the Pro Bowl, as well.
Which do you prefer?
I'll go ahead and assume, like me, Pro Bowlers would prefer other All-Star Games over the Pro Bowl too. The NFL's all-star game has become that tired and insignificant.
Would anyone watch the Major League Baseball All-Star Game if it was played a week before the World Series and some of the game's best players were absent? The NFL should at least wait until after the Super Bowl, so all of the league's Most Valuable Players can make an appearance for the fans.
I always marvel at the Pro Bowl snubs list. Isn't it odd that players seem disappointed when they're not selected to a game nobody wants to really play in? Sure, the Pro Bowl is a great party and a reason to go to Hawaii, but is it really an honor to play in the game?
The answer is no. All players really want is the title of "Pro Bowler" before their names. They should get it and dump the game. If I want to see two-hand touch, I'd swing by Baltimore's Patterson Park on Saturday and catch the Canton flag football beer league.
Unlike the NFL, baseball has attempted to make its All-Star Game mean something. It's a noble cause, but I never have understood how in the world home field advantage for the World Series is decided by an All-Star Game. Something that important shouldn't be determined by a game whose players believe participation is optional.
Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement takes steps toward making All-Star appearances mandatory, which is weird considering it really should just be an exhibition game to begin with.
The NFL is the only major sports league whose all-star game pulls lower ratings than regular season games. Plus, unlike baseball, there are teams in the league not even represented at the Pro Bowl.
Not that the MLB policy of at least one player from each team always makes sense. The Orioles sent Ty Wigginton to the 2010 Mid-Summer Classic with a .250 batting average.
Here's a question for everyone out there in the blogosphere: Does any sport get it right when it comes to All-Star games?
I personally watch for home run derbies and dunk contests. That's about it.