Back in the Stone Age of baseball there were no divisions, only two leagues with eight teams each. The all-star rosters matched those of individual teams during the season, that being twenty-five. Now we have three divisions in each league, a total of thirty teams and all-star rosters of thirty-four.
In the Stone Age each starter had to go three innings, including the pitcher and it was not uncommon for stars like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, or Mickey Mantle to play the entire game. It was a time when each league wanted to win for boasting rights and for pride.
Now in order to get as many players in the game as possible, stars make more of a cameo than a starring appearance. Thus it has become less a game than an exhibition. Oh, they can say the game matters because the winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series, but that does not detract from the exhibition feel to the game.
In trying to think of a way to make it more competitive I considered a three game series, with respective divisions from each league playing each other with rosters of sixteen position players and five or six pitchers. That would work for some divisions, but the American League West with four teams comes out to about five players per team and some teams don’t really have five true all-stars.
A two game series works with 50 players from each league, but how to divide three divisions into two twenty-five man teams is a problem. Of course the obvious problem is if the leagues split the two games, who gets home field advantage in the Fall Classic.
I hate to sound like a Neanderthal but the Stone Age all-star game was better. As baseball expanded so did the all-star rosters. I see no solution at present to resolve the issue letting the stars play and not make a guest appearance. We are destined to have confusing and messy scorecards and a boxscore that takes up an entire page in the newspaper. A newspaper by the way is something else from the Stone Age. You can learn about them on the Internet.