I fully recognize that the MLB All-Star Game is primarily an exhibition, in spite of the Commissioner’s attempt to “make it count” instead of just doing what the NBA and NHL does and just assign home-field advantage in the championship round to the team with the better record*. And I get that the MLB All-Star Game MVP matters even less.
But awarding it to Mariano Rivera for the impressive task of throwing a single shut-out inning, a feat 5 other pitchers (Scherzer, Hernandez, Moore, Balfour, and Nathan) on his team matched and one pitcher bested (Sale)? Ugh. Alright, so he didn’t allow a baserunner. Neither did Scherzer, Sale, or Moore. And the former two each struck out a better per inning, something Rivera failed to do. And in order to ensure he got into the game, Manager Jim Leyland brought Rivera in in the 8th, meaning he didn’t even pickup a save, one of the stupider stats but something that at least would have set him apart from his fellow pitchers. And this “analysis” ignores the hitters, the guys who plated 3 runs to help net the American League the win.
Look… I get it. This is Rivera’s last All-Star game. He’s the greatest closer ever. The game was in New York, albeit in the Mets ballpark, not the Yankees. None of this is worth getting upset about but… still. It just goes to show the idiocy that dominates sports journalism nowadays. Oh… and the award is not without consequence. The winner gets a car. And while I doubt anyone will shed a tear over someone who earned just slightly under $500K each of the past two years, I’m sure Jason Kipnis, he of the insurance-run scoring double in the 8th, would have more greatly appreciated the free car than Rivera and his $169M in career earnings.
Grumble, grumble, grumble.