Bryce Harper has a brilliant All-Star Game idea—a draft
Leave it up to Bryce Harper to come up with another idea to make baseball fun again.
Now that the MLB All-Star Game no longer determines home-field advantage in the World Series, Harper has an idea to shake things up.
“It'd be great if let's say the two leading vote-getters by the fans did a draft system and could pick from both sides,” Harper said, according to ESPN.com. “So I could be facing Max Scherzer today—I mean, nobody sees that. It would be a lot of fun to do something like that to make it a little more competition to face somebody on your team, like if [Clayton] Kershaw was facing Justin Turner, or Chris Sale facing Mookie Betts. That’d be a lot of fun.”
Harper and Aaron Judge were the top vote-getters this year so the idea is maybe just a little bit self-serving, but he’s definitely on to something.
The NFL and NHL have tried the draft format—the NFL had former players pick sides, while the NHL had All-Stars choose their teammates—but it was eventually scrapped when the twist failed to add excitement to the game. Football and hockey are highly physical games, though, that just don’t translate to the casual all-star atmosphere. Their All-Star Games will always be lacking drama when the players are moving at half speed.
A normal baseball game, meanwhile, looks fairly indistinguishable from the All-Star Game. But if the game has no real stakes, why tune in? All-Star ratings have been plummeting for years now, even when the game ostensibly meant something. A jolt in the arm in the form of a format change could help spike interest in the game.