This time it counts! But nobody cares!
By a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent, fans said the All-Star game shouldn't be used to determine which league's champion gets to open the World Series at home . . . In other poll results: More than half of fans said every team shouldn't have a guaranteed spot on the All-Star rosters. Eighty-two percent said players penalized under MLB's drug policy shouldn't be allowed into the All-Star game in the year they are punished.
Can't say I disagree with any of that. Of course, as the article notes, there's no getting around these silly rules until at least 2011, which is when the new collective bargaining agreement will be negotiated. And call me crazy, but I think the union and the owners will have higher priorities than the construction of the All-Star Game.
Personally, I'd settle for no rules changes if a manager would simply announce ahead of time -- like, before the voting even gets seriously underway -- that he has no intention of making sure every player gets in the game and that, instead, he plans on managing to win the game. Doing such a thing would eliminate the problems of marginal All-Stars mucking up the game and making a mockery of the putatively high stakes.