As Major League Baseball dedicates a few days to the most talented of the talented in its annual All Star Break, a category of player remains ignored and unrepresented in the spotlight: the weak links.
What about recognizing the not-so-stars? The LVPs, so to speak… a group consisting of the position players who lead the league in strikeouts and errors, and the pitchers with the highest ERAs and the most wild pitches. It is time to consider dedicating a small piece of time in a long season to those who frequent the blooper reel.
There are different ways in which players could be selected for the proposed All Not-So-Star game. Each team could have one representative from their club, although it is likely to then see more bullpen pitchers than any other position. But perhaps one player from each team in not an honest reflection of the league’s least. May as well give the bad teams a time to shine, except the opposite: their time to tarnish in the spotlight.
A formula could be developed to use some sort of earnings to play ratio for a scale factoring salary into stink. These bust players would be better known to the public than the just-up-from-the-minor-league-and-trying players. Or, of course, the MLB website could have an open vote to decide. Surely fantasy baseball fans would have their share of opinions on who has ruined their teams and deserves to be trotted out in embarrassment.
The idea is that the public humiliation would inspire players not to be their team’s Achilles heel. The fear of being openly shamed could be a valuable motivational tool… or it could lead to more steroid use.
Maybe the worst team in baseball could play for their dignity. The team, this year it would most certainly be the Washington Nationals, would be able to fight for their pride. The selected team could play a college baseball team, or women’s softball winners with their windmill pitching, or even the little league champion team, depending on just how bad the worst team of the season is.
An optional “Where are the skills?” competition could be complied. Position players could be tested on catching routine fly balls, pitchers could see how many consecutive strikes they are able to throw, and a Jeopardy! style trivia game could quiz basic baseball knowledge of rules of fundamentals.
The players that fail these tests could be automatically sent down to the minor leagues as punishment while those who do well can be allowed to leave the festivities, which should take place in the league’s least loved stadium, another component to be voted on by baseball fans.
To conclude the festivities for the baseball break could be an out-for-the-season-due-to-injury bowling or golf tournament. Checking in on the wounded with a less demanding competition could be appealing, too. There are plenty of interesting options for MLB’s intermission that go beyond honoring the great.