Major League Baseball took center stage this past week as the 2015 All-Star Game took place at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. All of the game’s top players were on hand to determine which league would have home field advantage once the World Series rolls around in October. Was it a success? Personally, I think so. But many other people don’t feel the same way.
Let’s start with the home run derby. Some people were upset with the rule changes, which included head to head competition in each round between two contestants and timed rounds. In the past, the home run derby has been known for its longer rounds, where contestants find their groove like Josh Hamilton did in 2008, when he launched 28 home runs at Yankees Stadium. With timed rounds, performances like Hamilton’s will be non-existent. But, I feel like the timed rounds injected some life into the home run derby. Almost all of the rounds came down to the last second. Some of the game’s most prolific power hitters went toe to toe in every round until the clock hit zero. As a fan, that brought intensity, and that brought entertainment.
The actual All-Star game itself I feel didn’t disappoint either. From the very start the game had a big game feel, when Mike Trout, the first batter of the game, connected on a home run. Some of baseball’s most dominant pitchers went up against the best hitters in the game at-bat after at-bat. That’s what makes the All-Star game so intriguing. The match-ups and big plays never disappoint.
But, according to ESPN, this year’s All-Star Game drew a record low rating on Fox. The event averaged 10.9 million viewers, which was down from last year’s 11.3. However, you have to look at these numbers in context. The MLB All-Star game is still the highest rated All-Star game in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues. Also, this year’s MLB’s All-Star game was Fox’s highest rated Tuesday primetime event since game six of the 2014 World Series.
Yes, the ratings and the average viewers may be dropping, but the quality of play in the All-Star game isn’t. Players play hard in this game because of their competitive nature, and because they want home field advantage if their team makes it to the World Series. This is a time to celebrate the great shape the game of baseball is in.
Cody Crandall is an intern at the Jamestown Gazette. To read more of his insights, commentaries, and news about the world of sports and the Jamestown Jammers, visit www.jamestowngazette. com. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.