During the series opener against the Reds, Chipper pointed out that if the All Star game is going to result in home field advantage for the World Series, it shouldn't be played as an exhibition game. I want to know what everyone thinks about this. My reaction starts with the assumptions that there is no taking away the new rule, that starting pitchers will never go more than a couple innings, and that the single best (or most popular) players at each position should be All Stars. With these parameters in mind, I still think the All Star game can be adjusted so that it is more competitive--as is appropriate when we consider that WS home field advantage is on the line.
The most simple thing I would do is insist that any selected players (utility guys or relievers) come from division leading teams. I would also give a small but substantial share of WS winnings to All Stars (including coaches) when their league wins the World Series. If the league that won home field advantage in the AS game wins the World Series, the share should be larger. With this in mind, I would think about including All Star stats in Post Season stats. Once the All Star representatives of each league have an interest in their league winning the World Series, I would make sure the media covers the support of the All Star team for their World Series representatives. I would even get them a box in the their league's home stadiums for the home games. Basically I see the All Star game as an opportunity to frame the World Series, and to bring the whole of each league (and its fans) a little more into the season's final games.
After the best starting pitcher and the best closer in each league, you are talking about six more innings--2/3 of the game. If it were up to me, I would make it so that these six innings were pitched by representatives of division leading rotations. More specifically, I would have the best pitcher in each league--as is done now--start the game. The next three pitchers would be representatives from each division leading staff. (If the best pitcher in the league is on a division leading team, the fourth starting pitcher would be the best remaining candidate from the staffs of division leaders and wild card qualifiers). The single best closer in the game would still close for his league's team, but the other relievers should come from division leading bullpens. The reason I would make these moves would be to ensure that every pitch in the All Star Game is thrown with the competitive desire for home field advantage in the World Series. If the top ace or closer is not on one of these teams he is getting the rare opportunity--for being the very best--to contribute to his league's World Series effort (for which this player would receive a share of their winnings). I'd even think about getting wild and giving the All Star MVP, if his league wins the World Series, a full World Series share and a unique WS ring...Players would be pretty into performing if these were the stakes.
These are the ways I would attempt to make the All Star Game more competitive and related to the World Series without using pitchers more and continuing to vote in the top players at each position. The last thing I would suggest is that, if a team wins a World Series and gets back to the World Series in the next season, in my mind, they should get home field advantage no matter what.