Now that the teams have been chosen, it's time for the fans to spend a few extra minutes on the All-Star Scoreboard Challenge at MLB.com -- a new contest where fans try to determine how the teams will do on the field at Comerica Park.
MLB.com is introducing this new game for the 76th annual Midsummer Classic, and it could mean $76,000 in cash if you prove to be the most prescient fan around.
Entering this contest is easy, and it's another great way to claim a personal stake in what happens during the game. The All-Star Game already "counts" because of the rule that rewards the winning league with World Series home-field advantage, but if you enter the All-Star Scoreboard Challenge, then it could count in an especially big way for you.
Just select the total number of runs you think will be scored in each half inning of the All-Star Game, as well as the final number of hits and errors for the American and National Leagues, respectively.
Get every inning, hit and error totals correct for your chance to win $76,000. If no one predicts the entire game correctly, the person with the top score will win four tickets to the 2006 All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
It is hard to imagine what kind of strategies might be applied to this, especially when you consider what happened last year.
If the 76th All-Star Game is anything like the 75th in Houston, you should plan on some early fireworks. Roger Clemens got the start last year before the hometown crowd and quickly gave up a six-spot to the AL in the top of the first. It was never close after that.
One thing you do know is the identities of the All-Stars in this one. After all, you helped pick them. There were more than 155 million votes cast online at MLB.com and its 30 club sites, and 11.5 million actual online ballots, both records, to determine the starting position players. An additional 15 million votes were cast in this year's Ameriquest All-Star Final Vote on MLB.com and its 30 official club sites, as well as ESPN.com -- sending Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros and Scott Podsednik of the Chicago White Sox to the event as the 32nd men on each roster.
Now that the players are ready to suit up, it's your chance to predict how they will do. This one definitely counts.
The deadline to submit your picks is 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, when the All-Star Game is scheduled to begin live on FOX television as well as MLB Radio.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less