All-Star Game tied to home-field advantage

May 1, 2003 at 7:20 PM

NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- One year after the All-Star Game became a public relations debacle, the Major League Baseball Players Association Thursday agreed to give the game more weight than ever.

The union agreed to a two-year experiment in which the league that wins the All-Star Game will receive home-field advantage in the World Series.

Commissioner Bud Selig wanted to increase the importance of the game following last year's 11-inning tie, which drew widespread criticism. As a result, this year's game -- scheduled for Comiskey Park on July 15 -- will feature some rule changes.

"On behalf of the clubs, I am very pleased that we have agreed to this important structural change to the All-Star Game," Selig said. "Baseball, like all institutions, must continually re-evaluate and reassess itself, and make necessary changes to sustain its fan base and attract new ones."

"We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement on this matter," union executive director Donald Fehr added. "Part of that agreement is a joint commitment to having further discussions about other structural changes in both the All-Star Game and postseason.

"In that respect, it is a platform for change. The sport has always prided itself, and justifiably so, on its sense of tradition. But change that is tailored to the times does not necessarily detract from tradition. It can sustain it."

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