Bud Selig’s long tenure as commissioner of baseball has been marked by ups and downs. This week saw another low point with the first-ever MLB All-Star Slam Dunk Competition.
Only one contestant was able to successfully dunk, Twins catcher Joe Mauer – a former high school basketball star – but he tweaked his knee upon landing when his cleats caught in the grass. Several other All-Stars were injured, too, claiming everything from hamstring pulls to exhaustion.
All-Star Game host Albert Pujols was embarrassed in front of his home crowd, repeatedly dribbling the ball off of his feet while his dunk clock ticked down. And, then, in his only actual dunk attempt, he was unable to get within six inches of the rim and crashed into the backboard pole.
Selig said he will consider tweaking the event before the 2010 All-Star Game.
“I am open to discussions,” he said. “But it’s definitely remaining part of the festivities in some form. Fans love All-Star dunk contests and I’m not holding an All-Star Game without one.”
The commissioner said he will weight allowing players to use props in next year’s dunk competition. Also, he says the 2010 dunk competition will likely determine not only homefield in the World Series, but the winning dunker’s team will earn an automatic berth into the League Championship Series.