Archive for July, 2003

Tigers Swept By the Mariners

The (first) trade deadline has come and gone, and the Tigers stayed out of the action. I have mixed feelings about that, because I was hoping Dombrowski would put something together that would help us.

The Tigers did not look good in this series against the Mariners. They lost this afternoon 4-0, getting shut out despite drawing six walks early off Joel Pineiro, who held them down for seven innings as the Mariners once again got on the board early. Wil Ledezma only lasted four, and at this point, the Tigers pen must be wore out.

The Tigers were outscored 15-0 in the first inning during this series, then 20-0 through the second inning. You’re not going to win many ball games when you give up early runs like that.

I think the whole trade deadline got beat to death, so I’m not going to say too much about it, other then the Mariners may have made a mistake by not going out and getting some help on offense (Aaron Boone for example). Freddy Garcia was supposed to be dangling out there for many teams, but apparantly nobody bit. In his ESPN chat this afternoon, Rob Neyer pointed out that they were in first place at this point last year and didn’t make a deal, and proceeded to end the season in third place.

The Tigers go to Minneapolis this weekend to take on the Twins, who still haven’t gotten completely on track. Hopefully they’ll be able to get something going.

Get Rid of the “Save” and More Odds and Ends

Just as I was going to write about the fact that not a whole lot was happening before the trade deadline, I check the news and one big deal has happened since I left work. The Reds (as everyone expected) continue their eventual fire sale by trading Jose Guillen to Billy Beane’s A’s for Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine, and Jeff Bruksch. With Rich Harden proving he can pitch at the major league level, Harang became expendable. Joe Valentine looked like he was going to be a top notch reliever, but has really struggled in AAA this year. Guillen has really had a break out year, and Was in the middle of the mess when Bob Boone had to shuffle him, Dunn, Kearns, and Griffey around when Griffey was playing. Guillen doesn’t completely fit the Beane mold (17/63 BB/K ratio) as far as patience at the plate, but he does have the total package hitting wise, and has amassed an impressive 1.013 OPS. Oakland needs a ton of help in the outfield, so this will be another deal that will probably precede another nice second half run by the A’s.

The deal that’s still floating around as a block buster is Juan Gonzalez going to the Kansas City Royals. If this deal happens, it will be interesting seeing Carlos Beltran setting the table for Juan Gon, unless of course he’s part of the deal (which would defeat the purpose).

Aaron Gleeman came through with another excellent write up on the the Red Sox bullpen. I agree with him completely, and I’m going to ride his coat tails and segue into a similar discussion on the statistic called the save. I’ve always told people that most managers no longer use their bullpen correctly, and that the save was a useless statistic. Most of my mainstream friends would just nod, and then roll their eyes, pretty much saying “Whatever, Brian.”

For anyone interested in baseball history, Bill James’ Historical Baseball Abstract is the best single source I’ve ever read. In the section where he lists his top 100 pitchers, he ranks Dennis Eckersley twenty second, but goes on to question Eck winning the 1992 MVP. In this write up, he also goes on to list the top 10 most valuable relief seasons ever, of which Tiger John Hiller’s 1973 season ranks as the best.

Most people would check out Hiller’s numbers for the year, and immediately go for the save column. During that season, he racked up 38 saves. Not bad, but in contrast, during 2002, 9 players had more then 38 saves, and one player had exactly 38 saves. 38 saves would rank him tied for 81st for most saves in a season, even though it was a single season record at the time. How could Hiller possibly have the most valuable relief season of the year, much less the most valuable season ever?

First, he threw in 125 1/3 innings. Of the players in 2002 who had more saves then Hiller, Bill Koch led all of them with 93 1/3, which was by far a career high for his four year career. That’s almost 35% percent more innings then the TOP guy.

Second, he had an impressive ERA+ of 285. Only Troy Percival, with a 226, even came close. Nobody else even topped 200.

Finally, in a lot games he threw more then one inning, and didn’t always come in to pitch ninth. On May 20, 1973, Hiller threw the final 3 1/3 innings with a two run lead and only gave up one hit in getting one of his saves. Less then a week later, he did it again, going 3 1/3 with the same result, but with a three run lead. On July 27, 1973, Hiller threw 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits, but the key was Hiller came in while the Tigers were down, and held the Red Sox so the Tigers could come back and win the game. He then threw three more innings the very next day in getting another save.

In total John Hiller threw three or more innings for 6 of his saves and 5 of his wins, the longest of which was a five inning outing on August 21, 1973. You’d be hard pressed to find one or two three inning games for your top closers today. What John Hiller allowed his managers (Billy Martin and Joe Schultz) to do that year was use him whenever he was NEEDED. Not just in the ninth when up by three runs or less.

After a late night Monday night, I didn’t stay up and watch too much of this game, but what I did see is pretty much in line with what happened.

This was by far the worst start of the season for Matt Roney, as he only lasted 2 innings and gave up 7 earned runs. Shane Loux made his season debut, and the trend continued by him giving up 4 earned runs over the next three innings (but to his credit, he chewed up some innings in a game that pretty much seemed to be over with from the beginning.

The Tigers did make three errors, which didn’t help.

The hitting star is Kevin Witt, who went 3 for 4 with a solo homer.

The next few days will be interesting with the first trade deadline coming. I have mixed feelings about the Tigers getting in the mix, so we’ll see what happens.

Random Thoughts

The Tigers had the day off yesterday, and play on the West Coast (10 pm here), so I’m going to throw some things out and discuss them.

In an earlier column, I mentioned bring up Shane Loux from AAA, and the Tigers did just that. Billfer sifted through a good Baseball Primer article about scouting pitchers and a workup on Shane Loux was included. This, along with the article on scouting hitters, are excellent reads. I don’t see him listed as a probably starter anytime soon, so he must be coming out of the pen.

Shane Loux is interesting in that, at 24, he’s already in his third year at Toledo. His first two were pretty mediocre, but this year he seems to be finding something.

Also of interest in the minors is Kenny Baugh, the Tigers first round draft pick from last year. Coming off of surgery for a torn labrum, Baugh was getting roughed up when he initially came back, but yesterday, he gave up only one hit (in the eighth inning) in 7 2/3 shutout innings for Erie. Hopefully this trend will continue, and Kenny will be able to get his career back on track.

Bob Boone was fired yesterday, and I say good riddance. It will be interesting to see where he ends up next, but Boone inherited a good batch of young talent, and never seemed to use players effectively. The only good idea I could think of that he came up with was batting Adam Dunn lead off, which he never really did (although he tried it later in the year). Dave Miley, the interim coach, worked down in Louisville for their AAA affiliate, the Cardinals. I’ve heard some good things about Miley, so hopefully he’ll be able to turn these guys around. Although from what I’ve heard, the Reds are going to be very active before the trade deadline, and not neccesarily in a good way if you’re a Reds fan.

Rob Neyer has written a nice set of articles, the first of which talks about how he prefers watching a game at Fenway versus watching on at Yankee Stadium. In the second article, he responds to some mail essentially calling him baised in his conclusion, since he’s a Red Sox fan. Personally, I agree with him after going to Fenway last year and Yankee Stadium this year.

So that’s about it for now. I should have a game report up in the morning, and I eventually plan on writing something about my first experience with Strat-O-Matic baseball.

Lima’s emergence with the Royals has gone beyond being a fluke. At 7-0 with a 1.05 WHIP, its hard to discount what Lima has done since his days with the Newark Bears. Aaron on his weblog wrote a nice detailed piece on Lima’s reemergence, so I’m going to defer to him on that. I will say that Lima is a guy who is loved and hated.

I know Kirk Gibson had very few nice things to say about him when he played with him the first time around, but there’s also something to be said about having a playful presence in the clubhouse as well. One story that was nice was when with the Newark Bears, he pretty much spend his entire $3,000 monthly salary on his teammates.

But this was another game where the Tigers couldn’t get their bats going. Only 5 hits, and it took a two out solo shot by Kevin Witt just to get them on the board.

The Tigers have made some personnel moves. Shane Loux was brought up in place of Fernando Rodney. And Erik Eckenstahler was brought up in place of Taylor’s own Steve Avery.

In what was Jeremy Bonderman’s second best start of the season (and for him, his career), he goes 8 innings, giving up one run, three hits and three walks (and one of those was in the eighth, and the other in ninth when he was obviously wore out). He’s looked sharp the past couple of months, but only by going back to his first career victory on April 23rd will you find as impressive of an outing.

Chris Mears continues to impress. He walked one in a full inning of work, but that was the first batter he’s walked in 15 innings since being called up. I still believe Franklyn German is the closer of the future, but having this kid as a set up man will be the cornerstone of a great Tiger bullpen.

Bobby Higginson continues to impress. In only his second game back from the DL, he went 2 for 3 tonight, and was 3 for 5 last night. And hopefully Eric Munson will be okay. He was eventually taken out of the game after colliding with the fence on the left side of infield.

And this weekend, the Tigers are honoring the Negro League, and uniforms worn by Detroit Stars.

What I was also happy to see was the crowd into the game. I know they had a decent crowd because tonight was the night they were allowing kids to camp out on the field, but they were really into in the eighth and ninth.

And a parting note, I wasn’t happy to see Tram bring Bonderman out for the ninth. I know he wanted him to finish his shutout, but he had already thrown a 103 pitches, and was losing some of his command. In the ninth, he walked the lead off batter (who would eventually score), then threw a wild pitch. Thankfully, after 110 pitches, Tram put Mears in.

The Tigers are in the eighth inning, and it looks like they’re going to drop their first game in the weekend series to KC. Tiger pitchers have given up 15 hits, 3 walks, and 8 runs. The Tigers had a burst of offense, having 12 hits, but only three runs (Kevin Witt just hit a solo shot). Higginson looked impressive in his first game back, going three for four and scoring twice.

Will Ledezma looked good at times, and then looked bad at times. In only 5 1/3, he managed to throw a 107 pitches. This is his second non quality start since the All Star break, and hopefully he can turn it around next time out.

This weekend, Gary Carter and Eddie Murray will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Both players in mind deserve to be there. Eddie Murray was one of the best clutch hitters of the 80s, and finished his career with 1,917 RBIs, putting him at 8th all time and in only one season, his rookie year, did he strike out 100 times. He also ranks in the Top 10 all time in Total Bases, Games Played, and At-Bats.

Gary Carter was probably the best all around catchers in the 1980s (Sorry Lance). He won three gold gloves and drove in more then 100 runs 4 times.

Hopefully next year, Tram and Jack Morris will work their way up the ballot a little.

They must have heard me from yesterday. The Tigers busted out with 7 runs on 13 hits. Newcomer Ben Petrick went 3 for 5, and along with Craig Monroe and Dmitri Young, had two rbis.

Cornejo looked good through 6 2/3, and a season high 4 strikeouts. Chris Mears continues to impress by finishing off the game and getting his fifth save of the season.

Some bad news. Matt Anderson looks like he’s done for the year. This is another top 10 pick by Randy Smith’s regime that never really got going (Eric Munson is still a question mark).

On an earlier post, I talked about limiting the young thrower’s arms, and it looked like Tram listened. It looks like their going to let Maroth go, but watch Bonderman and Ledezma more closely. Good for Tram.

And I heard this on the radio and haven’t been able to confirm it, but apparantly Bobby Higginson has said he will not go to AAA for a rehab assignment, nor will he be relegated to playing DH. I’ve always been a fan of Higgy, but I’m not quite sure what everyone’s (Higginson’s and management’s) motivations are in this situation.

One run on five hits. This kind of stat line has been pretty common this year, and if the Tigers are ever going to show some kind of flash between now and the year, it will have to come from the hitters.

Craig Monroe had two hits, and the Tigers struck out 8 times. Going into the game, the Tigers were hitting a paltry .231. Their OBP of .293 is less Boston’s .295 batting average. And their team OPS is a meager .651.

It will be interesting to see who makes the cut to next year, and who goes home. Guys like Pena, Munson, and probably Santiago are safe bets out of the younger batch. As much as I know the Tigers won’t go after him (A guy can dream), Carlos Beltran would be a great pickup for this team. We’ve used about 15 different guys in centerfield this year, and if we could get a five tool switch hitter like Beltran to build the team around, he’d be worth every penny he could milk out of Ilitch.

I’d also like to see Tram bring up a guy like Shane Loux (10-6, 3.10 ERA, 1.294 WHIP in Toledo) or Nate Robertson (6-6, 3.47 ERA, 1.307 WHIP in Toledo) and go to a six man rotation. All of the Tigers arms are young, and wasting them on a season where we’re already pushing 75 losses wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

in there two game series. Boston got to Maroth early, but he did manage to last 5 2/3, so at least the pen won’t be gutted for the rest of the week. Derek Lowe threw a nice game, but the Tigers got to him with two homeruns (Young and Munson).

Carlos Pena put together a great game, coming a single short of hitting for the cycle in going 3 for 4.

So the Tigers will now go to Cleveland for another short two game series before coming home to play the Royals.

What Happened to the Baseball Card Industry

I was in Walmart today, getting some water for my wife. As a collector, I always make a point to check out what’s for sale in the baseball card aisle just to see what’s selling these days.

And to take a step back, I remember going to a store, and you’d have Topps cards. Not Topps Stadium Club, or Opening Day, just Topps. If you were truly daring, you might pick up a pack of Donruss (the puzzle pieces were cool) or Fleer. But your choices were pretty slim, which in my mind, was a good thing.

Today’s purchase was a pack of Topps Heritage, which I came to find out are current day players put onto the style of cards that were produced by Topps in 1954. With me being the nostalgic type, I figured this was right up my alley. So I bought the pack of 8 cards for $3 (I remember when you got 15 cards for 35 cents).

Well, I got in the car, opened the pack, and immediately got pissed. Bunched between and Ugueth Urbina (who I don’t even like) card and a Jason Stokes card were six, yes six Cesar Izturis cards. Now when I buy a pack of cards, especially one of only 8 cards, I expect a little variety.

So, I went to the Topps website to complain, and ran into a message on their FAQ page saying they’re not capable of accepting complaints via email yet (however, they can operate an e-baseball card website just fine). So I’m stuck (no offense Cesar) with 6 Izturis cards.

Gone for the Weekend

I took a short trip upnorth this weekend, and I didn’t miss much. The only game I did catch was the Cornejo game, where he had a no hitter through 6 2/3. The floodgates eventually opened (similar to what happened to Maroth earlier in the year), and the Tigers ended up losing.

Now the Tigers are mired in a 4 game losing streak. Once I get back on a regular schedule, I’m going to do a little dreaming, and write about who I think the Tigers should build their team around.

This was one of those games that looked like the Tigers were out of early, being down 5 runs after 6 innings. Then the Tigers bounce back and score four in the seventh to cut the lead to one, putting them back in it. Some clutch two out hitting off of Jamie Walker got the Sox two more with back to back singles by the Alomar brothers, then a bases clearing double by Carlos Lee put the White Sox up by three.

Carlos Pena tried to get things going with a solo homer off of Flash Gordon in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough.

After a three hour rain delay, they finally got this one going. The Tigers jumped all over Colon, who only lasted 3 2/3. Maroth pitched well until the seventh, when he gave up a three run homer to Miguel Oliva. And Chris Mears had his first poor outing of the season. Fortunately, it wasn’t poor enough, and the Tigers hung on to a 10-9 win.

Warren Morris continues to hit well, going 3 for 6. Dmitri Young had a good game, going 2 for 5 with a two run homer. And Kevin Witt was a perfect 4 for 4. The Tigers got a season high 16 hits, and as best as I can tell, scored double figures in runs for the first time this season.

A Look Back at the Jeff Weaver Trade

Just to set the stage for this, my birthday is July 5. This year, my wife took me to New York where we saw the Yankees play the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Last year she surprised me, blindfold and all, with Tigers/Red Sox tickets at Fenway park. When she gave me the tickets on Friday the 5th, I made sure to find a paper to check out what the pitching match up was.

To my delight, Jeff Weaver, then the Tigers ace, was going up against Pedro Martinez, the best possible pitching match up I could get. Unfortunately, that Friday night when we flew in was also the day that Ted Williams, the Splinter himself, passed away.

So we get up Saturday morning, and the first thing I turn on is ESPN, and my jaw immediately drops. It would seem that Dave Dombrowski was going to give me a little downer for my birthday trip to Fenway, because that morning, Jeff Weaver was traded to the Yankees in a three way trade with the Oakland Athletics. Needless to say, I did get to see Mike Maroth get pummelled, and Pedro pitch 5 solid shutout innings.

So it’s been a little over a year since the Tigers made this trade, the biggest deal they’ve made since trading for Juan Gonzalez prior to the 2000 season. What I want to do now is take a look at who got the best of this deal.


The Yankess received Tiger’s (future) ace Jeff Weaver. The Dream was a fiery, emotional type, and at times look completely awesome, but at other times looked befuddled. He was the opening day pitcher in both 2001 and 2002, and was what most Tiger fans considered the future of the team.

Jeff got off to a good start for the Tigers in 2002. Up until he was traded, he was 6-8, but had a 3.18 ERA, a 1.200 WHIP, and had only given up four home runs in 121 2/3 innings. He was among the league leaders in innings pitched, and had three complete game shutouts.

But when he got to New York, he really struggled out of the gate. In his first four starts, he gave up 24 earned runs in 27 innings. He only had one more start (which was by far his best as a Yankee, giving up only two runs in a 7 inning losing effort) before being demoted to the bull pen.

Once losing his rotation spot, he calmed down and pitched better, even getting three more starts (all of which were quality starts), but had a poor post season, giving up a run in each of his two relief appearances.

2003 has not been much kinder to Jeff. In 110 2/3 innings pitched, he has an ERA of 5.20, a 1.500 WHIP, and has only struck out 62. He had been sent back to the bullpen, but due to injuries, has been put back into the rotation, where he’s continued to struggle.


Billy Beane is considered one of the best general managers in baseball. When this deal went down, most people, including myself, felt he got the short end of the stick, giving up three prospects for a left handed starting pitcher who was a fill in starter for the Yankees in both 2001 and the first half of 2002.

Ted Lilly struggled most of the 2001 season, pretty much filling the fifth starter spot. In 21 starts and 5 relief appearances, Lilly had 5.37 ERA while going 5-6. His biggest weakness was giving up the long ball, which he did 20 times in only 120 2/3 innings.

He got off to a good start in 2002. In 11 starts and five relief appearances, he had gotten his ERA down to 3.40, but didn’t get much run support in going 3-6. Again, home runs were a problem. Ted gave up 10 homeruns in 76 2/3 innings with the Yankees.

After the trade, Lilly was almost immediately put on the disabled list. When he came back, he threw in 6 games (all but one being starts), and went 2-1 with a 4.63 ERA. Once again, he got roughed up by the power hitters, giving up 5 homeruns in 23 1/3 innings, but, he did manage to strikeout 18.

2003 has been a little more of the same. He’s looked good at times (striking out 10 in 5 2/3 on Tax Day), but his overall numbers aren’t so hot. He’s 5-7 in 18 starts. And although he’s struck out 80 over 105 1/3 innings, he’s also given up 18 homeruns and he hasn’t even had an 8 inning start.


First on the list was Carlos Pena. , who initially appeared to be the main focus of the trade. Considered a top prospect when he was initially with the Rangers, then with the Athletics, Pena looked to be Oakland’s first basemen of the future. In 2002, he got off to a hot start, hitting four homeruns and driving in seven in his first seven games. He eventually cooled off, and after getting in 124 at bats, was sent down to the minors.

Then the deal happened, and he immediately was labeled the Tigers first basemen of the future. He finished off the 2002 season with Detroit at a modest .253 clip, hitting 12 homeruns and driving in 36 in 273 at bats.

This year has been up and down for Pena. He struggled at the beginning of the season, as did most of the Tigers. Then he suffered a calf injury that put him on the DL. Since coming back, he’s shown some modest improvement, boosting his batting average from .235 to .245, but has come up with some clutch homeruns as of late.

I like Pena and was glad to see we got him. He has gold glove potential at first base, and even playing in Comerica park, should be a solid 25-30 homerun hitter once he can get things working.

Franklyn German (pronounced Hermaan) is imposing man on the mound. Listed at 6’7″ and 270 lbs., German is a hard throwing right hander who had spent most of his time in the minors being groomed as a closer. He performed exceptionally well at Toledo in 2002, striking out 31 in 22 2/3 innings. He also was lights out when he was called up at the end of the season, notching a win, a save, and striking out 6 in 6 2/3 innings.

The big knock on German was his control, and his problems with walking batters has been very evident in 2003. In 32 1/3 innings, he struck out an impressive 34 batters, but walked an equally unimpressive 32 (including walking the bases loaded at least a couple of times). So German went from being labeled as closer of the future to being sent back down to the minors.

There is some hope. Unlike Matt Anderson (a former number one pick and past closer of the future) who’s struggled since being sent down to AAA, German has bounced back, striking out 10 in 8 innings, and walking none (two HBP though).

The last player the Tigers received wasn’t apparant back when I was in my hotel room in Boston, because, as with a lot of these trades, there was the infamous “player to be named later.” That player was eventually revealed as Jeremy Bonderman.

Only 20 years old going into spring training this year, many people questioned whether Bonderman would be best served playing another season in the minors. Trammell decided to not only bring him up with the team, but was also made him the number two starter. I honestly thing they were hoping that Bonderman would catch fire like Dontrelle Willis has for the Marlins, becoming a nice home field draw similar to Mark Fidrych who filled up Tiger Stadium for most of his starts in 1976.

Unfortunately Bonderman had his growing pains. Jermey started off by losing his first three starts of the season, giving up 14 runs in 12 1/3 innings. He’d then go 2-4 in his next six games, and after 9 starts, had a 5.73 ERA.

In his next 9 starts, he had an equally unimpressive 1-6 record, but something happened. He stopped walking batters. In those 9 starts and 54 2/3 innings, he’s walked only 11 batters, while striking out 38. And in only one of those 9 starts did he not finish 6 innings. His ERA has also dropped to 4.88.

So despite being on pace to lose 20 games, Jeremy has shown considerable improvement. How he handles this last half of the season will be equally as important in his development.

So who wins? Did any one team get the better deal? I still feel the Tigers did. If things go according to plan, they should have a pitcher who’s as good as Weaver when we need him to be good (hopefully sooner rather then later), a future closer, and a solid to good first basemen, all for the price of a currently struggling Jeff Weaver. Although New York and Oakland didn’t really lose much either. New York gave up a starter who has yet to show he can consistently throw well at the major league level. Oakland gave up a handful of prospects that, with the signing of Durazo, the trade for Foulke, and the future emergence of Rich Harden, makes losing the German, Bonderman, and Pena more palatable.

Minor League Update

I had planned on doing a Tiger’s minor league update, but Billfer on his Detroit Tigers Weblog beat me to it. So if you want the latest on any of the Tiger’s prospects, be sure to head on over and check it out.

I caught some of this game, and it was interesting seeing World Series MVP Pat Borders back in his catching gear. Needless to say, this wasn’t much of a pitching game. I couldn’t find a box score, so I’m not sure if Tiger’s rep. Shane Loux got in the game or not.

I know this isn’t the Tigers, but it is relevant since its a deal within the division.

Why the Twins would trade Bobby Kielty, a swith hitting outfielder with a ton of patience (102/147 career BB/K ratio) is beyond me. He’s younger than Shannon Stewart, and Stewart will be a free agent once the season is over. Stewart is good at getting on base, but his OPS has declined the last three years (this would be the fourth based on his present day OPS) and the number of steals he’s had has pretty much become non-existant.

The internet’s expert on the Twins, Aaron Gleeman, hasn’t posted his comments yet on his website, but I’m interested to see what he has to say.

I enjoyed watching this game. In listening to the announcers, I did like the fact that the managers were actually managing, instead of putting players in there arbitrarily. So when Guardado came in with runners on first and second, Baker was able to put Andruw Jones in for Jim Edmonds, which turned out to be a good call.

What I did find funny was how McCarver and Buck kept talking about how it was going to be a six inning game, since the NL had Wagner/Gagne/Smoltz to close things off. Smoltz never got into the game, and Gagne and Wagner gave up four of the AL’s 7 runs.

The American League is up 1-0, and the topic of conversation is, does this All Star Game matter more then others in the past because home field in the World Series is being determined?

John Perricone did a nice little analysis showing us how much (or little) home field in general matters in baseball, so head on over to his site to check that out. I’m going do something a little more simple.

2002 World Series – Home Team was 5-2.
2001 World Series – Home Team was 7-0
2000 World Series – Home Team was 3-2
1999 World Series – Home Team was 2-2
1998 World Series – Home Team was 2-2
1997 World Series – Home Team was 3-4
1996 World Series – Home Team was 1-5
1995 World Series – Home Team was 5-1

So, based on the performance of teams in the World Series since 1995, the home team has won 28 and lost 18, but of the series’ that went 6 or more games, the team with home field advantage won 3 of the four series, and the home team won 20 and lost 7.

So, my SWAG/conclusion tells me the All Star Game matters to the players (anywhere from one to five on both the NL or AL) who could potentially go on to play an evenly matched World Series. Quite a few conditions.

In short, I don’t like what they did to the All Star Game. I think it was insulting to insinuate that the players didn’t play hard, when they are (at least most of them) proud to be there. I think Selig’s blending of the leagues has more to do with the downfall of the All Star game in popularity then anything. From not having seperate league presidents, to interleague play, I think it has watered things down enough to where the differences and traditions of the two leagues are close to nil.

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