Point One: Cincinnati has not hosted an All-Star Game since 1988 in ol' Riverfront Stadium. Every so often there's talk of bringing an All-Star Game back to Cincinnati. Nobody could tell you what happened in the 1988 All-Star Game.
Point Two: This year's - indeed, today's - All-Star Game is in New York. Walking around New York today, I have been filled with two thoughts. The first is that I might see Joey Votto walking down the street. The second is that nobody cares about the All-Star Game.
Point Three: The NBA has the only somewhat-decent All-Star Game, because it's the only one where people actually just like have fun or whatever. The final score is usually something like 130-110, Roy Hibbert chucks threes, and everyone's just kinda smiling and having a good time. The 3-point contest and slam-dunk competition are actually fun to watch. It's just a bunch of people having fun playing a sport.
Point Four: Baseball has this obsession with taking itself seriously. The game has to "count", there's concerns over "snubs", and everyone seems to think that grim determination is the only way to get through a three-day celebration of what makes the sport wonderful.
Point Five: The MLS has a halfway-decent game. In that I'll watch if it is on TV. Which is more than I can say about, you know, the NFL or NHL's.
Point Six: The ASG week is basically a big corporate-sponsored circle-jerk. You can probably smell the khaki from a five-mile radius of Citi Field. The entire event has the aura of a work retreat, with "voluntary" mandatory events and people in uniforms who are afraid of showing too much emotion while corporate snitches (i.e. Darrell Rovell) alert us if anyone is doing anything untoward. Therefore we're stuck seeing Aroldis Chapman wear a backwards hat and speak Spanish and call it "seeing him unleashed" or whatever.
Point Seven: So instead you have this performance of fun-seemingness rather than actual fun. This is perfect for New York, perhaps the most image-conscious city in the country, a city where the theater of policework has superseded policework, where the production of business-making has superseded business, and being seen in a fun-seeming environment has superseded having fun. The ASG belongs in New York. It does not belong in Cincinnati which is, on the other hand, a real city where people do real things and does not try to leash all of its service-class individuals into the outer boroughs, far from the camera's eye.
Point Eight: Aleksandr Hemon had it right. New York?
“Torment! It’s the Vatican of entitlement. You walk into a cloud of glamor, and then you have to reproduce it. Otherwise, you’re out.”
Point Nine: El-P has some good points as well:
Point Ten: Cincinnati is too good for the All-Star Game. We don't need a buzzing nest of corporate drones and their #KingFelixToQueenCity in order to enjoy baseball. We'd much rather have, you know, baseball.
Point Eleven: The World Baseball Classic is actually the All-Star Game. Seriously folks, it's a way better way to see all the best players.
Point Eleven-A: Thanks to television and MLB.tv, we don't need the ASG to see the AL stars and some West Coast phenoms. But the WBC gives us the anonymous killers from Japan, Korea, and Cuba and some plucky fun from the Netherlands and the like.
Point Eleven-B: The WBC has some actual structure and an arbitrary form of bragging rights. People seem to want to be there generally. Both fans and players.
Point Eleven-C: The WBC, played in the spring, will never hold games in Cincinnati.
Point Eleven-D: That's okay.
Point Twelve: Rather than celebrate Baseball: The Corporate Entity, we should celebrate Baseball: The Game
Point Thirteen: I'd rather watch Todd Frazier than David Wright, to be perfectly honest.
Point Fourteen: So you know, whatever. I'll see you kind folks on Friday.