It's meant to be a showcase, not training camp



For the second straight year, baseball's All-Star Game drew record-low television ratings. For all that has been introduced to enhance the event in recent years, it is not hard to determine why: fans are not getting to see enough of the game's best players.

For months, Major League Baseball trumpets the voting process as a way for fans to elect the players they most want to see. Each year, the number of participating voters increases. And each year, their wishes are ignored after the third inning or so.

In an effort to keep everyone mollified, the All-Star Game has morphed into a glorified spring-training contest crossed with a Little League game. Everyone gets to play. All that is missing are the trophies.

That is a nice notion, but not at the expense of the game's premise, which is intended to showcase the very best the game has to offer, and not, as it is currently handled, a way to get every player into the game.

Many of the elected starters got only one at-bat or two. By the fourth inning, fans tuning into the game were not seeing the players they chose for the game, but rather, the reserve players selected by the players and managers.

It wasn't that long ago that starters played most of the game, getting at least three at-bats. Reserves were not guaranteed playing time, but that wasn't considered any sort of scandal.

By contrast, 60 players appeared in Tuesday's game in Phoenix, meaning most everyone was happy. Except the fans.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

if you go

The flights

Emirates offer flights to Buenos Aires from Dubai, via Rio De Janeiro from around Dh6,300. emirates.com

Seeing the games

Tangol sell experiences across South America and generally have good access to tickets for most of the big teams in Buenos Aires: Boca Juniors, River Plate, and Independiente. Prices from Dh550 and include pick up and drop off from your hotel in the city. tangol.com

 

Staying there

Tangol will pick up tourists from any hotel in Buenos Aires, but after the intensity of the game, the Faena makes for tranquil, upmarket accommodation. Doubles from Dh1,110. faena.com

 

Poacher

Director: Richie Mehta

Starring: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Rating: 3/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAUDI ARABIA RESULTS

Main card
Middleweight:

Robert Whittaker defeated Ikram Aliskerov via knockout (Round 1)
Heavyweight:
Alexander Volkov def Sergei Pavlovich via unanimous decision
Middleweight:
Kelvin Gastelum def Daniel Rodriguez via unanimous decision
Middleweight:
Shara Magomedov def Antonio Trocoli via knockout (Round 3)
Light heavyweight:
Volkan Oezdemir def Johnny Walker via knockout (Round 1)
Preliminary Card
Lightweight:

Nasrat Haqparast def Jared Gordon via split decision
Featherweight:
Felipe Lima def Muhammad Naimov via submission (Round 3)
Welterweight:
Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Nicolas Dalby via split decision
Bantamweight:
Muin Gafurov def Kang Kyung-ho via unanimous decision
Light heavyweight:
Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def Brendson Ribeiro via majority decision
Bantamweight:
Chang Ho Lee def Xiao Long via split decision