Bud gets embarrassed by a tie in '02 (which he had to approve, mind you…) so suddenly the All Star Game has to count. Translation: as commissioner if you do anything wrong, blame the way the game is played and then tinker with it as to "fix" what you broke. Neat huh? Here's another one:
Say you're commissioner of baseball and Congress (in their infinite wisdom and apparently infinite authority…) decides to call you in front of the world and makes an ass of you for having a really pathetic drug testing program. You're embarrassed, hurt, confused and writers, pundits and fans everywhere are calling for your head on a silver platter. What do you do? Why you pitch a feel-good idea like the World Cup of baseball. Nevermind how you'll schedule this World Cup or why players would risk injury for what would be little more than an exhibition. Remember the '04 Olympic Basketball team? Or more to the point, how many guys opted out of the ‘04 "Dream Team"? Maybe you need to make it count for something. Ah, but those are concerns for another time.
What you need is a way to get people to accept the idea of a World Cup—the NHL idea didn't work, but maybe there's something else you can fiddle with. Wait, how about the Home Run Derby? It'll be brilliant, you have one representative from each of the proposed World Team countries come and try to launch a few into the seats. You can show off such great baseball countries like the US, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and the Netherlands. (!?!)
Nevermind that in the process you eliminate most of the games most electrifying and prodigious power hitters. Who needs the likes of Albert Pujols, Derrek Lee, Alex Rodriquez, Vlad Guerrero, Adam Dunn when you can get a Korean viewing audience to check out Hee-Seop Choi (I mean if he can mangle Scott Rolen imagine what he can do to a baseball, right?) or I'm sure the huge following that Andruw Jones has in the Netherlands (even though if the Netherlands can claim Curacao—Jones' home island, then the US should be able to claim Puerto Rico…) will counter any potential downside to excluding deserving candidates just because they're from countries who have a bounty of sluggers.
Yup, there's nothing that'll cure what ails ya faster than messing with the Midsummer Classic. You know what; if you get subpoenaed by Congress again it wouldn't be so bad. There's always the Future's Game. What do you think; maybe have the DH go to the league that wins it?
Yoy can write to Joe Mammy at firstname.lastname@example.org