It's very easy to criticize someone by saying that they should have done something different, but it's much, much harder to come up with exactly what that something should be. The managers of the All-Star Game believe that their goal is to get every player into the game, and they assume that they have nine innings to do it. So if the game goes longer, there will come a time when they simply won't have anyone left. What else can you do? If the NBA All-Star Game goes into overtime, the players might get tired, but who cares; it's not a crisis. Not so in baseball. No All-Star manager wants to inform a team that's in the middle of a division race that its pitching ace is going to miss his next three starts because he's got a stiff arm on account of the All-Star Game running longer than usual. GOLIC: The biggest shame was that it had all the makings of a great night, so to have it end in a tie is a huge disappointment. You go to a baseball game expecting it will end with some kind of conclusion, and it doesn't.
GREENY: But it did have a conclusion: It concluded in a tie. The real shame is that they've been calling it the All-Star Game since the very first one in 1933. You have to define it for what it really is. It is not a baseball game—it's an exhibition of baseball that's played in a format similar to what we're accustomed to seeing the rest of the year. When I first brought this up with you—a whole year before the 2002 debacle, no less—I was laughed at. I was slaughtered for it. Let's go to the tape:
GREENY: Who cares if the American League or the National League wins the All-Star Game? If they want to keep calling it a game, put some juice in it. Make it count for something, like home field advantage in the World Series.
GOLIC: You're an idiot. That's so stupid, I'm going to pretend you didn't say it. It's never going to happen, and you've just wasted 30 seconds of my life.
MIKE AND MIKE IN THE MORNING, July 2001
GREENY: So imagine everyone's surprise—except mine—when Major League Baseball announced that, starting in 2003, the All-Star Game would determine home field advantage in the World Series. I was right! And you know what the best part of it is? That you were wrong.
GOLIC: Every sport has rules that are known for the people who were responsible for the rule change. Like the Sean Avery Rule in hockey. In football, you've got the Deacon Jones Rule outlawing head slaps. Now baseball has the Greeny Rule. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with it. I don't. I still think it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It's like the Mendoza Line—nothing to be proud of.
GREENY: Major League Baseball heeded my advice, so the new format for the All-Star Game will forever be known as the Greeny Rule—kind of like the Pythagorean theorem in geometry, but different. All the credit goes to me because I say it does.
Do you realize how hard it is to get baseball to change anything? Granted, no major professional sport does history better. It's baseball's place in our society. It's a part of our culture. Show me a clip of Willie Mays or Hank Aaron or Joe DiMaggio, and it's impossible not to feel the swell in your chest. But baseball does not do the present well. Take video review. All the other major sports have been using instant replay for years and with great success (for the most part). But baseball? Stuck in the past.