Whether you like it or not, last night's National League victory has already determined that the representative from the Senior Circuit will have home-field advantage for the 2012 World Series.
The majority of fans aren't happy with the change that was implemented in 2003 by Bud Selig, but instead of asking whether the All-Star game should be connected to the World Series, perhaps we should be asking a different question.
Does it even matter?
Since 2003, the American League has won seven All-Star games ('03 to '09) with the National League claiming the last three ('10 to '12). During that time, the National League has won the World Series five times with the AL taking home four championships to this point. It's pretty obvious that the All-Star winner doesn't do much to determine the eventual world champion, but what about times when the underdog gained an advantage.
How many times since 2003 has the World Series champion been granted home-field advantage when their regular season record would not have done so? Surprisingly, only twice.
Two times in nine years, both involving the St. Louis Cardinals, coincidentally. The first time in 2004, the Boston Red Sox swept St. Louis. Boston (98-64) took home-field advantage thanks to the AL victory in that season's All-Star game as the Cardinals (105-57) would have had the advantage under the old rules.
The second time, 2011, saw St. Louis (90-72) drop the Texas Rangers (96-66) in seven games. If ever there was a case for a team not "earning" the right to home-field advantage, this may have been the year. The crucial games six and seven -- had they been played in Texas as their record indicated under pre-2003 rules -- might have turned out differently for history and for the two clubs.
But twice in nine years isn't enough to prove significance.
In fact, since 2003, the team with the best record has won the World Series only four times and lost five. Three times (2003 New York Yankees, '06 Detroit, and '08 Tampa Bay) American League teams had the best record and still had home-field advantage in the World Series -- yet they still lost.
And how many times has the team with the better regular season record with home-field advantage taken home the title? Yet again, only three times (2005 White Sox, '07 Red Sox, and '10 Giants).
While the past ten years may not provide the statistical proof needed for a shift away from the All-Star game's significance, it's not the fact of how much it really matters but simply the fact that it counts.
The principle of the argument is a legitimate one, but the reality is that the MLB likely won't budge.
But to get through the frustration it's a simple case of mind over matter. When October rolls around, know that you really shouldn't mind because the reality is, it doesn't matter.
What changes would you recommend to make the All-Star game meaningful without impacting World Series home-field advantage?
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Follow him on Twitter @long_snapper.