Phoenix - When talk of major realignment in MLB was floated out there a few weeks ago ‚Äď a case of 15 teams in the AL and NL with no Divisions ‚Äď it raised more than a few eyebrows. After all , talk of adding a set of additional Wild Card teams had already been discussed.
As Commissioner Selig addressed the media today here before the All-Star Game, the reality of expanded playoffs came more into focus. The reality is, the ‚Äúradical realignment‚ÄĚ is either completely off the radar, or won‚Äôt come into being until 2013. On the latter, it‚Äôs due to Katy Feeney having the 2012 season scheduled out, and is, for the most part, going through the approval process with the clubs and players‚Äô union.
With the need to have interleague interspersed throughout the entire season, the need for more time is needed, and more than that, there‚Äôs this: interleague has been an attendance home run for the past few seasons due to solid scheduling. Having interleague all season long will remove that novelty.
Here‚Äôs what‚Äôs gaining a lot more traction of becoming a reality for next season after the new CBA is agreed upon: the addition of two more Wild Card teams in each league. That‚Äôs not news, but what is is the idea of a one-game play-in, as opposed to a three game series is gaining more momentum.
So, while it‚Äôs possible that major realignment could still happen, it‚Äôs becoming more remote. Look for the additional Wild Card teams to be added in 2012, and the likelihood of the one-game play-in, as opposed to a three game series.
UPDATED: Added 2012 attendance data for Kansas City
The Biz of Baseball has been updated with new data
With the 82nd All-Star Game being played tonight in Phoenix, we felt it was appropriate to add details for every All-Star Game that has been played, including attendance.
Here‚Äôs some tidbits, to go with:
This is the 82nd All-Star Game since 1933. There were two games each year from 1959-62. There was no game in 1945 due to World War II
Attendance all-time for all 81 games leading up tonight‚Äôs game is 3,773,679
Average attendance for the 81 games is 46,589
The highest attended game in All-Star Game history was the 1981 game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland (72,086)
In fact, Municipal Stadium has the distinction of hosting the top 3 most attended All-Star Games in history (1981, 1935, 1954)
The lowest attended All-Star Game was the 1936 game (4th one held) at Braves Field in Boston (25,534)
This is the first All-Star Game to be played in Arizona.
Phoenix becomes the 27th city to host the All-Star Game, and the first to host the Mid-Summer Classic since Colorado hosted the 1998 All-Star Game at Coors Field
Chase Field becomes the 52nd different ballpark to host the Mid-Summer Classic
A total of 46 All-Star Games have been decided by two runs-or-less, including each of the last six games and seven of the last eight since home field advantage in the World Series has been decided by the All-Star Game.
A total of 26 All-Star Games have been decided by 1 run-or-less, including four of the last five and five of the last eight Mid-Summer Classics
The most lopsided victory in the history of the All-Star Game goes to the American League in 1946. The game at Fenway Park had the AL beat the NL 12-0.
Currently, the National League leads the series 42-38-2.
Last year‚Äôs win by the National League snapped a drought dating back to 1997
The 13 game unbeaten streak by the American League was the longest in All-Star Game History, surpassing the 11 straight victories that the National League had held from 1972-96
Here‚Äôs what‚Äôs amazing: over the previous 82 All-Star Games leading up to tonight, the AL has scored 341 runs while the National League has had 344
SELECT READ MORE TO SEE DETAILS FOR EVERY ALL-STAR GAME PLAYED
UPDATE #2 - Jose Cano (Robinson Cano's father) pitching to David Ortiz
UPDATE: Sandy Guerrero pitched to Weeks. Game notes had listed his brother Jemile Weeks.
Phoenix ‚Äď The 2011 Home Run Derby is underway. The wildest thing floating under the radar was a last minute addition of Manny Acta pitching to Adrian Gonzalez. Who knows who will be pitching to Big Papi. Here‚Äôs who‚Äôs pitching to who for the event:
Phoenix ‚Äď With the All-Star Game being hosted two years in a row from the West Coast, the traveling museum of the Baseball Hall of Fame has a bit more significance. Sure, anyone can fly anywhere these days, but if you live on the East Coast, your odds of getting to Cooperstown are a bit higher.
This year, the Hall of Fame packed some great pieces, including a Babe Ruth jersey, Ted Williams bat, and Napoleon LaJoie jersey, just to name a few. Here‚Äôs the items:
Jackie Robinsion Cap
Ted Williams bat
Babe Ruth jersey
Nepolean Lajoie Jersey
Maury Brown will be reporting till Weds from the All-Star Game festivities
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner today issued the following statement regarding the 2011 All-Star Game and related activities to be held in Phoenix, AZ, July 10 - 12.
‚ÄúThe coming All-Star festivities in Phoenix have renewed attention on Arizona‚Äôs 2010 immigration initiative, SB 1070.¬† In that light, I make the following statement on behalf of the MLBPA, including its members honored to participate in this year‚Äôs All-Star Game.
‚ÄúOn April 30, 2010, the MLBPA expressed publicly its opposition to SB 1070, and that position remains unchanged.¬† We stated then that, if SB 1070 as written went into effect, we would consider additional measures to protect the interests of our members.¬† SB 1070 is not in effect and key portions of the law have been judged unlawful by the federal courts.¬† Under all the circumstances, we have not asked players to refrain from participating in any All-Star activities.
‚ÄúThe All-Star Game is an opportunity to celebrate the best that Major League Baseball has to offer.¬† Without question, the best players are here.¬† Each All-Star squad, as with each of the 30 Major League teams, is populated by the best players from baseball-playing countries around the globe.
‚ÄúBut the All Star Game is a chance to celebrate even more than that.¬† It is a chance to celebrate Major League Baseball‚Äôs unprejudiced commitment to excellence ‚Äď a commitment, undiminished for decades, to judge solely on the basis of individual ability and achievement.¬† It is a chance to celebrate how much the game has been enriched by the contributions of players of different races, ethnicities and nationalities.¬† It‚Äôs a chance to celebrate -- to marvel, actually -- at the example set every time a Major League team takes the field: that of a true team, composed of players of widely different backgrounds, working together towards a common goal.
‚ÄúOur nation continues to wrestle with serious issues regarding immigration, prejudice and the protection of individual liberties.¬† Those matters will not be resolved at Chase Field, nor on any baseball diamond; instead they will be addressed in Congress and in statehouses and in courts by those charged to find the right balance among the competing and sincerely held positions brought to the debate.¬† Meanwhile, at the All Star Game, Major League Baseball makes good on its promise to field the best in the world in the only way it can -- by allowing the world to play.¬† That truly is an occasion to celebrate and, perhaps, from which we all can learn.‚ÄĚ
A trip to the ballpark, and a tossed ball into the stands turned horribly tragic this evening as a fan fell to his death. The accident occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. CT this evening after a ball hit foul wound up on the field where Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton tossed the ball into section 5 in the¬† eft field lower reserved seats. The toss was not all the way into the stands, and a male fan, reaching out over the railing, fell 20‚Äô to the area behind the left field wall below.
The fan, whose name is not being released, was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital where he later died. To add to the tragedy, it has been reported that the man was there with his 6-year-old son.
‚ÄúWe are deeply saddened to learn that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident,‚ÄĚ said Rangers CEO and President, Nolan Ryan in a statement. ‚ÄúOur thoughts and prayers are with his family.‚ÄĚ
During the postgame press conference, Ryan added that the Josh Hamilton and the whole team were, as expected, terribly distraught.
Last July, a fan fell 30 feet from the second deck of seats at Rangers Ballpark while trying to catch a foul ball. That fan did not die, suffering a fractured skull and a sprained ankle.
Steve Soboroff, the Los Angeles civic leader turned Vice-Chairman of the Dodgers resigned today citing Major League Baseball‚Äôs oversight of the beleaguered organization.
In his letter to Frank McCourt, Soboroff said,‚Ä¶"an unanticipated action by the commissioner of Major League Baseball resulted (understandably) in elevating the resolution of 'control and ownership' issues to top priority, as it remains to this day. As a consequence, it is not possible for me to effectively work on the very initiatives and contributions that you had hired me to implement.''
Soboroff was hired by the Dodgers on April 19, just one day before the league sent former Texas Rangers President, Tom Schieffer, to monitor the club‚Äôs finances in the midst of nasty divorce proceedings, and improper payments out of the McCourts charitable foundations through the Dodgers. Currently, all expenditures over $5,000 have to go through Shieffer.
Soboroff was the former president of the City's Recreation and Parks Commission, former CEO of the award-winning Playa Vista community, and currently board chairman of both the Weingart Foundation and the EXPO Center in Exposition Park. He served as senior advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
"Steve understands this city as few others do, and his contributions have made Los Angeles a better place," said McCourt in a statement at the time of his hiring. "Not only will he infuse great ideas and energy to the Dodger organization, but he will use his trademark 'get-it-done' approach to extend the Dodgers' positive impact on Los Angeles. It starts with a quality fan experience in the stadium, and extends throughout the Southern California community."
SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS: The Labor Battle in the NFL. See BizOfFootball.com for details