Real talk: Five reasons why I love the MLB All-Star Game

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2. The best of the best come together

This is the selling point that most often gets fricasseed by the downers out there. We’re told that in the age of cable and satellite TV – to say nothing of and the Extra Innings package – fans already see every player worth seeing throughout the regular season.

Jul 15, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; National League outfielder Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals during the Home Run Derby in advance of the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

That sounds good in theory, but I follow the Pittsburgh Pirates closely and often don’t have the time or energy to watch multiple games a night. Unless you’re a paid baseball writer or broadcaster, it’s tough to justify spending the resources to track every team in the league.

My wife may disagree, but sports fans have lives, too. All-star games are one of the few chances most of us get to scope out some of the elite non-local talent out there.

Also, just the thought of the best baseball players in the world on one field is enough to ignite enthusiasm. For once, it’s good to appreciate the sheer amount of skill out there without having to be grimly invested in the outcome.

3. This time it counts! Again!

Keeping my previous statement about staying detached in mind, the all-star game has determined home-field advantage in the World Series for the past decade, a direct response to the awkward 2002 tie in Milwaukee. Obviously, there is something at stake. Contradictions!

As silly as it may seem to not use regular-season records to determine who enjoys the comforts of home in the World Series – you know, like the NHL and NBA do in their championship rounds – the import of the Midsummer Classic cannot be questioned. Hey, I didn’t say it had to make complete sense.

Misguided or not, the stakes of what was once an exhibition do provide a degree of tension to the evening. That’s enough to keep me watching to the end every year, as managers have at least somewhat cut down on the lineup shuffling that made all-star games before 2003 feel farcical.