Just wanted to briefly point something out.
One complaint I’ve been hearing about recently is: “there are too many All-Stars”. Yes, the roster tends to grow due to injury replacements and pitchers who are unable to participate for scheduling reasons. As of this moment, there are 84 2011 All-Stars, which admittedly seems like a large number.
However, here’s something to consider: in 1933 (the very first official MLB All-Star game) there were 36 All-Stars. You can see them here, in case you are curious. Now, remember, there were only 16 teams back then. Also, each team had about 16 regular players: 8 hitters, no DH, 4 starters, and 4 regularly-used relievers. So, with a total of around 250-260 regular players, you could say that roughly 14% of those players were All-Stars.
Now, fast forward to today. We have 30 teams, 14 of which use 9 regular hitters and the other 16 use 8. There are also 5 rotation spots, and 6 frequently-used relief spots (this varies from team to team, of course). So, we’ll say that there are 585 regularly used roster spots in the modern game. With 84 All-Stars, this comes out to…you guessed it. Roughly 14%.
So, when you hear someone complaining about the huge amount of 2011 All-Stars, you can now politely inform them that the “founding fathers” of the All-Star Game would be just fine with the roster sizes. Now, I’m not sure how they’d feel about the whole home field advantage in the World Series thing, but that’s another story.