For Pete's Sake

All-Star Game will no longer decide home-field advantage for World Series

The 2017 All-Star Game will be held in Miami.
The 2017 All-Star Game will be held in Miami. The Associated Press

In his two turns as All-Star Game manager, Ned Yost made it clear he had one purpose for the exhibition game: Win it.

Because the league that won the All-Star Game also had home-field advantage in the World Series, Yost wanted to make sure that went to an American League team.

“It’s vitally important,” Yost told reporters before this year’s All-Star Game in San Diego. “We’ve got a room full of tremendously talented players and if we win it’s going to affect one of them. ... It’s going to be huge for whoever gets to the World Series this year.”

That will no longer be the case. The Associated Press reported that the deal on a new collective bargaining agreement includes ending the link between the All-Star Game and the World Series. The pennant winner with the better regular-season record will get home-field advantage.

The AP also reported that a “pool of money” will be used as the incentive to win the game.

The American League won the All-Star Game in 2014 and 2015 (with Yost managing the second game) and the Royals got home-field advantage. But they would have had it under the new rule as they had a better regular-season record than the 2014 Giants and 2015 Mets.

After the disastrous 2002 All-Star Game, which ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings, commissioner Bud Selig declared that home-field advantage in the World Series would go to the winner of the Midsummer Classic. Owners unanimously approved the measure. Since then, the American League has won home-field advantage in 11 of the 14 World Series.

That included this past season, and there was a bit of an outcry that the Cubs, who won 103 games in the regular season, had to open at Cleveland, which won 94 games.

Mets manager Terry Collins said after the 2016 All-Star Game that he had a different philosophy than Yost when it came to managing the game.

“They have great players and Ned does a great job and it was a lot of fun,” Collins told the New York Post. “… I did the best I could to try to get everybody in the game that represented our league and it was still a great game and our guys did a nice job.”

There was mixed reaction to the news:

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Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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