Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why no buzz about the MLB All-Star Game?

Mahini, blogging over at the Sabre, the main fan board/discussion site for my alma mater, wonders why there's no to do about the All-Star game landing in S.F. next Tuesday:

Some sports-related observations about here. San Fran is hosting the MLB All-Star game next week. If my buddy’s wedding had been a week later, maybe I’d be observing a different atmosphere - but as of one week out, doesn’t seem like many people here care. In fact, the amount of billboards and other marketing related to the biggest week in baseball between opening day and the World Series is shockingly low. Even the big sporting products companies don’t seem too energized. Surprising.

As an S.F. resident for 7 1/2 years, I have to say I'm not all that surprised at the general apathy about this game. For my money, the biggest sports story in the Bay Area since I've been here was the Warriors run in the 2007 NBA playoffs. Though they flamed out in the 2nd round, the entire city was on a collective high during the series against the Mavs. Part of that is due to the fact that the Golden State had not been in the playoffs in 15 years, but the team was also a lovable motley crue, which boosted the appeal. As I was here for both the Giants run to the World Series and for the Raiders Super Bowl crash and burn, my feeling is that people were kind of "eh" about both of those things, too.

I think part of this is just the nature of the place...it's not that big (it's one of the smaller American cities, though it expands quite quickly if you include the rest of the Bay Area), and people are into so many different things that the All-Star game may just not be on the radar. S.F. has tons of events, conferences and festivals (not to mention movie shoots and the like) all year long, so while it's not L.A. or NYC, this isn't a city that drops what it's doing at the first celeb sighting.

Additionally....and this is strictly my opinion, the All-Star game sucks. It's just a walk through exhibition, just like the Pro Bowl or the NBA All-Star game. I'd much rather watch the Home Run Derby (it will be great to see how many balls go screaming into McCovey Cove) but past that, there's little exciting about watching A Rod play third for two and half innings. It's just a boring exercise (despite MLB's efforts to inject some importance into it by giving the winning league home field advantage during the World Series).

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