If you are looking for a good reason to celebrate the fact that Major League Baseball’s owners and players agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before last night’s midnight deadline to do so, other than the fact that it means five more years of labor peace, the Winter Meetings taking place as scheduled, and necessary changes to the qualifying offer system, you need look no further than the reports which emerged early this morning regarding home field in the World Series no longer being decided in the All-Star Game.
Granted there were more important things in the new CBA, including those mentioned above, but the end of the use of the so-called midsummer classic to decide home field in the World Series is just a bonus for every fan out there who lamented the decision former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig made back in 2003.
As Selig explained it at the time, as quoted in AP articles everywhere today after the news of the change was first reported by the Associated Press — citing a source familiar with the new agreement — the decision was made then to ensure that the game would “count” again after the 2002 All-Star Game ended in a controversial tie.
"This energizes it,” Selig said. “This gives them something to really play for. People pay a lot of money to see that game. They deserve to see the same intensity they see all year long. Television people pay a lot of money for the game. It was not and should not be a meaningless exhibition game."
According to the reports today, as part of the changes in the new CBA, “players in the All-Star Game will have the incentive to play for a pool of money,” and home field in the World Series will, “instead will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record.”
The new rule will reportedly be in effect for the 2017 All-Star Game, which is being held in Miami’s Marlins Park.
In 2018, of course, the Washington Nationals will host the ASG for the first time as Major League Baseball’s current Commissioner, Rob Manfred, announced this past summer.
Here’s some reading material on the new CBA if you didn’t wait up for the agreement to be announced late last night: