The American League outslugged the National League to earn a 8-6 victory in last night’s MLB All-Star Game. A record 10 home runs were hit, demolishing the previous high of six. All but one run came via the longball. It was not a showcase for baserunning enthusiasts. Or those wishing to see athletic defense.
On the rare occasion the ball was in play, it was often unplayable.
The two teams also combined to draw nine walks and strike out 25 times. It was the Three True Outcomes All-Star Game. A contemporary tribute to the era, warts and all. This is traditionally the week when the larger media, forced to discuss baseball, focuses on what’s wrong with the sport and how to fix it. This year was no different.
But, again, we sit here in the haze of a competitive Midsummer Classic with the realization that we were entertained. The game, put simply, was a good one. Full of drama, intrigue, and dingers. So while the rash of strikeouts, walks, and homers could portend problems for the future, the ratio is currently sustainable. Especially for casual fans, who may not even notice the changes in their sporadic viewing.
Baseball is not perfect. There are warning signs flashing in the gameplay. But one of the biggest perceived problems reared its head a bit on the big stage last night and didn’t detract from the entertainment value.
A bit of luck? Perhaps. But the MLB will take whatever positive spin it can get these days.