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01/16/2003 3:20 pm ET 
World Series advantage to be awarded to All-Star winner

Beginning this season, the World Series home field advantage will be awarded to the team representing the league which wins that year's All-Star Game, baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today.

The new development, which constitutes a rules change, was passed by a vote of ownership at today's meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. The change requires approval by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"This change is designed to re-energize and give greater meaning to the All-Star Game," said Commissioner Selig. "Our All-Star Game, which I believe is the best and most competitive of all sports All-Star events, has experienced some decline in audience in recent years. The game needs a boost and I believe this will add a great measure of interest and excitement to the game.

"Our research shows that fans overwhelmingly support any changes that will make the All-Star Game more significant and return it to the day when it was widely known as 'The Midsummer Classic'."

In addition, the Commissioner's Office will emphasize to All-Star Game managers that they must always prepare for an extra-inning contest and keep sufficient pitchers and position players in reserve, and will urge the use of starting players, whom are voted on by the fans, for longer than they have played in recent years.

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