When a team is chosen to host the MLB All-Star Game, it means not only the greatest baseball has to offer converging on a specific location, but the celebration of both the host city and team. In the past week we witnessed the All-Star Game in Flushing for the first time since 1964, and Major League Baseball, the Mets, and the City of New York did a fantastic job of putting it all together. Citi Field was dressed to the nines and plenty of Mets greats were honored throughout the ceremonies, however something felt missing.
Despite all the glamour of the mid-summer classic, one aspect of the All-Star Game has always bothered me. If a club is hosting the All-Star Game, why not use the home team’s broadcasting crew for the festivities?
This is not by any means meant to be a knock on FOX or the Emmy-Award Winning broadcast tandem of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver who have covered the game for a number of years with great success. My take is that, if you are trying to incorporate the true heart and soul of a team into the festivities, why not make the voice of the ballclub you are honoring into part of the ceremonies.
Mets fans are blessed with one of the game’s best broadcasting teams on both TV and radio, yet none of them were involved in All-Star week. Surely they enjoyed having some time at home, however a game at Citi Field does not have that home team-vibe that the All-Star Game tries to incorporate without Gary Cohen welcoming you to a “pleasant good evening”, Kevin Burkhardt’s fascinating reports, Keith, Ron and Josh’s analysis or Howie Rose capping it off with a “Put It In The Books!”.
Every since inter-league play began, the allure of the National and American League taking on one another has diminished significantly. Clayton Kershaw can take on Miguel Cabrera in the regular season, Bryce Harper can try to throw out Mike Trout at home. That magic of seeing the two leagues face off has lost its luster to the point that for the past nine years, MLB has placed meaning on the game in an attempt to draw interest once again, for the most part unsuccessfully so.
Being able to hear the voices of Major League Baseball would be a simple yet entertaining addition to the All-Star Game that gives fans something they can’t see on a given day. Fans outside of southern California can only hear the legendary voice of Vin Scully in sound bytes of in highlight reels on MLB Network.
For the most part, we can only witness these golden voices of the game if we are physically in the region for which they cover. These men tell the story of the game we all know and love, and to hear the voice of each city come mid-July would add to the experience of indulging in the host team for the All-Star Game.