Saturday, August 02, 2008

Why not have the Hall of Fame game count?

So the Hall of Fame game is no longer going to be an event at Cooperstown. No longer will there be an exhibition of Major League Baseball being played during the best celebration of Major League Baseball of the year.

It’s a shame… but quick, tell me the final score of last year’s Hall of Fame Game!
Tell me who played!

I know I can’t answer that. I have no clue.
The game isn’t aired mainly because it doesn’t count.

It’s a strange exhibition played in the middle of the season in an Upstate New York town that baseball WASN’T invented in.

But it is a nice tradition… and it can easily be saved.

Make the game count.
Why not?

Have a regular season Major League baseball game played at Cooperstown the Monday after the Hall of Fame inductions.

How great would that be? You could invite the Hall of Famers to sit in the crowd while the stadium is packed and an outdoor traditional park would see hard nosed baseball…

Maybe a future Hall of Famer would be playing in the game.

Spare me any talk about the grueling schedule.
You could give both teams that play in the game the Tuesday off. The lousy players are making six figure salaries. They can rough it.

I don’t want to hear about irregular travel.
I watched my Red Sox start the season in Japan this year. I think that travel was a smidge irregular. I’m not talking about going to Asia… I’m talking upstate New York!

And spare me any discussion about the facility not being up to Major League Standards.
The A’s had to start the 1996 season in Las Vegas.
The 1996 Republican Convention forced the Padres to play in Monterry Mexico.
The Expos played 20 some odd games in San Juan in 2003 and 2004.

You are telling me we can’t play one game in Cooperstown?

And I don’t want to hear about how this would affect attendance.
The Yankees are a decent draw and they played a pair of games in Japan in 2004.
The Red Sox draw everywhere on the road and they played in Japan too.

And why not take a team that isn’t drawing and have them play in Cooperstown?
The Marlins are only a game and a half out of first but only draw 15,000 a game in Miami.

For God’s sake a packed Doubleday Field might be the only packed house the Marlins would play to all year.

So come on! One game a year in Cooperstown. Give it a shot!

I know making decisions that are good for the long term growth of the game isn’t exactly in Bud Selig’s wheel house… but give it a shot.

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