Hal McCoy
Hal McCoy

Hal McCoy is a former beat writer for the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio), covering the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which is awarded annually "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." He has won 52 Ohio and national writing awards and was the first non-Cincinnati newsperson elected to the Cincinnati Journalists Hall of Fame. He also was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame and the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame. He has a stone on Dayton's Walk of Fame and the press box at Dayton's Howell Field is named the Hal McCoy Press Box. McCoy has been the Cincinnati BBWAA Chapter Chair 22 times and was the BBWAA national president in 1997. He is the third writer from the Dayton Daily News to win the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, joining Si Burick (1982) and Ritter Collett (1991). Residing in Englewood, Ohio, McCoy is an honors graduate in journalism from Kent State University.

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If the All-Star game is to be merely an exhibition game with no reason to win other than pride, which as it should be, then it is OK to include a .255 hitter if he is the best his team has to offer.

ENGLEWOOD — They call it the All-Star game and once upon a time it was all stars, back when Elvis Presley made his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and Fidel Castro started his Cuban Revolution.

It isn’t any more. They should remove the ‘All’ from All-Stars and just call it the Stars Game.

As long as all 30 teams have to be represented in the All-Star game, it is not a game involving all stars.

And the Cincinnati Reds are a perfect example this year. As of this writing, the Reds are 30-54 and they are so far behind the first-place Chicago Cubs they need a search engine to find them.

Do they deserve a spot on the All-Star team? They only have two players who even deserve consideration and neither one is even close to hitting .300. While both Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall are hitting home runs and driving in runs, Bruce is hitting .268 and Duvall is hitting .255.

All-Stars? If Ted Williams or Stan Musial or Tony Gwynn were hitting between .255 and .268 at the All-Star break they’d skip the game and take the time to visit an optometrist or an opthalmalogist.

The rule that all teams must be represented by at least one player is ludicrous. Does anybody in San Diego really want to see somebody from the raggedy Reds this year? The only time they want to see the Reds is during the regular season in Petco Park so that the Padres have a chance to win some games.

Even Reds manager Bryan Price agrees that the All-Star format is skewered.

“I want the All-Star to mean something and I want to see the best players on the field playing for pride, if nothing else,” he said.

They do play for something and that’s what makes the format so stupid. The league that wins the All-Star game gets the home field advantage for the World Series and that’s a huge advantage.

That being the case, the teams should be comprised of the best players in each league, a team constructed to win.

Instead, managers Terry Collins (New York Mets) and Ned Yost (Kansas City Royals) will do the best they can to get every player into the game, regardless of the score and regardless of the home field advantage prize to the winner.

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Back in the day, the All-Star game was exactly what it should be now, an exhibition game, a meaningless fun game that puts the game’s best players on the field for fun and camaraderie and a display of individual talent.

But now they make the game mean something but they don’t put the best teams on the field. Somebody from the Reds and somebody from the Atlanta Braves and somebody from the Minnesota Twins has to be on the team, even though their own teams couldn’t beat a good Triple-A team in a three-game series.

The All-Star game should not be used to determine anything. The World Series home field advantage should go to the team that compiles the best regular-season record. That makes the regular season, a 162-game torture trail, mean even more.

The problem with making the All-Star game a meaningful exercise is that there is no way to put the best players on the field.

The voting is a popularity contest and a ballot-stuffing event. Last year it was the Kansas City fans filling the box with votes for their Royals. This year it is the Chicago fans loading it up with Cubs.

They once tried taking the vote away from the fans and giving it to the players. That didn’t work, either, even though the players couldn’t vote for teammates. They were still prejudiced and some wouldn’t vote for players they didn’t like or because they were jealous of other players. And some voted for their friends and the nice guys on other teams.

Halnewchapter_thumb0216If the All-Star game is to be used to determine home field in the World Series, then the best players from each league should be named to the teams. And the rule that each team has to have one representative needs to be tossed into a dugout trash can.

If the All-Star game is to be merely an exhibition game with no reason to win other than pride, which as it should be, then it is OK to include a .255 hitter if he is the best his team has to offer.

And when they make me commissioner, that’s exactly what I’ll do — along with filling that same dugout trash can with the designated hitter, interleague play and replay-review.

DaveArbogast-FYI

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