Players pushed for end to All-Star/World Series link
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) Having been pitched in five All-Star Games - losing the 2015 contest in Cincinnati - Clayton Kershaw wants them to have no part in determining World Series home-field advantage.
''It's an exhibition, so it shouldn't count,'' the Los Angeles Dodgers ace said Monday at the winter meetings. ''The focus should be about being elected to the All-Star Game as opposed to trying to win a game, for sure.''
The American League won 11 of 14 All-Star Games played under the rule that gave home-field advantage to the World Series winner, and the AL representative won eight World Series in those years. Under a change in the new labor contract agreed to last week, home-field advantage will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record.
''I don't want to say that you're not necessarily putting your best product out there to compete for a home-field advantage like that, but there's too much going on during the All-Star Game,'' said Boston's Rick Porcello, the AL Cy Young Award winner. ''You're not going to go out there and go 110 percent and maybe hurt yourself for the second half of the season. It's hard to feel like you're really going out there and you're getting the best decision on who deserves home-field advantage with those factors in play.''
Home-field advantage in the World Series generally rotated between the leagues through 2002. Baseball, led by then-Commissioner Bud Selig, and Fox television promoted the ''This Time It Counts'' innovation after the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee ended in a 7-7, 11-inning tie when both teams ran out of pitchers.
Under the new contract, each active player on the winning team will get a $20,000 bonus.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Chicago Cubs not having home-field advantage this year was an impetus for change.
''It was a great idea at the time,'' he said. ''It's just one of those things that had run its course, and it was time to do something different.''