...that's what the idea of having the All-Star game determine home field in the World Series is if you're still going to cling to the antiquated notion that every team must have an All-Star representative. If, as the Fox promos scream, the game counts then with such high stakes shouldn't each league field its very best players regardless of team? This isn't Little League. It's major league baseball. I don't care if that means taking nine Yankees and no Royals. If the game is more than a mere mid-summer exhibition, teams like the Yankees and the Rangers deserve to have their fall fate determined by the cream of the crop in the American League. One reason MLB clings to the antediluvian notion of each team being represented is television ratings. However, neither the universal representation rule nor the World Series home field gimmick have been able to staunch the ratings slide the game has undergone. Last year's game was the lowest-rated on record. The All-Star game can either have competitive integrity or it can have total team representation. It can't have both.
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.