AL has history on its side going into World Series
Players from across the league responsible for home-field advantage
MINNEAPOLIS -- An Angel was the MVP, a Tiger was the winning pitcher and the Yankees' shortstop unquestionably the night's leading man.
No one knows who is going to wind up with the American League pennant, but for now, it is the A's that are the winningest team. Whether they capitalize on that position or a team like the Orioles, Blue Jays, Royals or Mariners plays its way to the World Series, the survivor will owe thanks to players all over the league.
The AL's 5-3 victory in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night means the World Series will open in an AL city on Oct. 22.
"It's good knowing we had somewhat of a part in it," Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle said. "[Mike] Trout and [Miguel] Cabrera helped, too, which is weird to say. Hopefully in several months we can look back and talk about how we were able to give ourselves home-field advantage. A lot can happen between now and then, of course, but the goal is to win for the sake of winning."
Mike Trout was given the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet after a 2-for-3 night with two RBIs, and Derek Jeter went 2-for-2 in his final All-Star Game appearance. Max Scherzer, who was rewarded with a win after working a scoreless fifth inning, was with the Tigers when they opened the 2012 World Series in San Francisco. The Giants jumped on Justin Verlander in Game 1 and went on to sweep the series.
"It's too far ahead to even think about that," Scherzer said about possibly opening the World Series at Comerica Park. "It's nice that an American League team will get the home-field advantage, but we have to win the American League Central first. There're other teams in our division that are very capable of beating us, and we're going to have to play really good baseball over the second half in order to get back to the postseason."
One of those teams is the Kansas City Royals, who are 48-46, trail the Tigers by 6 1/2 games but are in the thick of a crowded AL Wild Card race.
"We're right in the mix," Royals closer Greg Holland said. "We need to play good baseball in the second half. We feel good about our team, fully anticipate to be in the mix at the end of the year. Any time you have home-field advantage in a seven-game series, it's big."
Since Commissioner Bud Selig persuaded owners to begin awarding home-field advantage for the World Series to the winning team in the All-Star Game, after the All-Star tie in Milwaukee in 2002, the Series has been won by the team with home-field advantage eight times in 11 years.
Twenty-three of the last 28 World Series have been won by teams with home-field advantage, with the exceptions being the 2008 Phillies, '06 Cardinals, '03 Marlins, 1999 Yankees and '92 Blue Jays.
"The National League is not going to have it now," the Braves' Craig Kimbrel said about home-field advantage. "That is tough. We wanted to win this game. It's not going to change the rest of the season. When that time comes, whoever is playing in that World Series, the American League is going to have the advantage."
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco wouldn't mind opening the World Series in an AL city.
"If we're lucky enough to get into that situation, I'm sure that we're not going to be complaining that we didn't win the All-Star Game," he said.
Maybe not. But if they wind up like most teams that open a World Series on the road, they'll wish they had.
Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.