There was once a time, before MLB.tv and interleague play, when the All-Star Game really meant something. Most fans didn’t have a chance to see players in the other league unless their team made the World Series. Seeing the most popular players in the other league, even for a single exhibition game, was a fun novelty in the middle of a much-needed break in the regular season. But as teams in both league became more accessible to fans across the country, interest in the All Star Game waned and MLB went to great lengths to revitalize it.
First, MLB implemented “This Time It Counts”, awarding home field advantage to the winning league in the WS. When that failed to bring in the ratings MLB desired, in 2024, the stakes were raised with “No, Really, This Time It Definitely Counts” in which the teams in the winning league were awarded an extra roster spot for the remainder of the season. People thought that was rightfully stupid, so MLB petitioned the U.S. Congress to pass the “It Counts More Than Ever Act of 2037”, in which Federal highway funds were awarded to cities in the league winning the All-Star Game. When even that wasn’t enough to get people interested in 2045, the United Nations issued its controversial UN Declaration of Making It Count, which denied human rights protections from fans of teams in the losing league.
Back in alt-2014, most of this was in the future. The All Star Game was a glamorous spectacle about honoring fan favorites and stupidly determining home field advantage. And the two starting pitchers for the American League and National League were no surprise.
Indeed, the ASG would be a rematch between the deranged mind of Mike Mussina inside of a robot body and the time traveling pitching machine chosen by Mike Trout to save baseball. But they weren’t the only machines chosen to represent their respective leagues in the exhibition game. In fact, all three position player Robot Masters were in the lineup, with Dixie Dirtbag holding down shortstop in the NL, Preacher Cobra at C and Flash Money at RF in the AL.