January 05, 2012
It has long been a reasonable assumption that the 2013 All-Star game is headed to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
But for being considered such a slam-dunk inevitability, the league's suits sure are taking a long time to make it official. Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that the logistics of holding the Midsummer Classic in the Big Apple are delaying Bud Selig's announcement.
But for those of you who might want to speculate the delay has something to do with the Mets' flagging finances, Fisher writes that his sources insist that isn't the case.
The league typically names its coming All-Star Game venues anywhere from 23 to 31 months ahead of the event. Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, the 2012 All-Star Game site, was officially announced in June 2010. The 2013 game, still without a publicly named site, is, by comparison, just 18 months away.
But just as the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium was not announced until January 2007, industry sources said MLB once again is dealing with the complex logistics of staging its midsummer jewel event in the country's largest market.
I'm not sure why all the wrinkles haven't been ironed out by now if hosting an All-Star game in 2013 was one of the carrots dangled by Bud so Citi Field could get built in the first place. Did the league just start to look for a media hotel and the venue to hold its All-Star gala now?
At the same time, I can see the complexity of getting everyone in New York on the same page. Of all the All-Star games I've been to, the Yankee Stadium edition in 2008 was by far the one that seemed least like "an event" when you walked out on the streets. It made (and makes) sense. As one of the biggest cities in the world, New York isn't going to roll over for the league in the same way that, say, Cincinnati might.
Speaking of which, what is Selig waiting for with the Cincinnati Reds and the Great American Ballpark? Pete Rose to die so they won't be in the awkward position of having to honor him like Ted Williams in 1999 or Willie Mays in 2007? Maybe the Reds can step in and host if New York decides there's no vacancy for a few dozen All-Stars next summer.