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While I think this change will be good for baseball, I have to wonder if the people criticizing the mid-season decision to stretch the NBA first round to 7 games will criticize baseball for doing the same thing. (Winner of the All-Star Game now gets home field advantage in the World Series.)

Parenthetically, I approve of it because strength of schedule is not something controlled by the World Series teams. For example, right now, three of the teams with the four best records are in the AL. Should the National League World Series team suffer because there’s more parity? I don’t think so. The Giants (say) can’t control who wins the All-Star Game, but they can’t control everyone in the AL falling over for the Yankees either.

This would be an even better change for the NBA, given the number of stars who have implied that they’d just as soon miss the All-Star game and given the number of teams that make the playoffs. That latter fact means teams like the Lakers can laze through the first chunk of the season and still feel good about their chances. Make the change, and suddenly Shaq has a really good reason to show up to the All-Star game. Well, or he would if the East could field a credible contender.

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