WASHINGTON—The Orioles haven’t hosted an All-Star Game since 1993. That event was, by all accounts, wildly successful. The team has applied in the past for another chance, and there was some sentiment that Baltimore was in line to host in 2016.
However, Major League Baseball decided to award the 2016 game to San Diego. With Cleveland and Los Angeles set the host in 2019 and 2020, the earliest the Orioles could be the game’s host is in 2021.
In a Tuesday session with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed that issue and the perception that because of the ongoing dispute over MASN rights fees between the Orioles and Nationals, an All-Star Game in Baltimore has been held in abeyance.
Manfred took issue that a future Orioles-hosted All-Star Game and the MASN discord were tied together.
“I have not made one decision in my entire time as commissioner related to the Baltimore Orioles that was based on whether or not the MASN litigation was ongoing,” Manfred testily answered.
“I know there are some people who have perpetuated this idea. We have treated Baltimore exactly the same as the other 29 clubs ever since this dispute began and, as a matter of fact, we have actually probably treated them more fairly in a number of important respects, or more leniently rather than fairly is the really the word I mean.
“Whether or not there’s an All-Star Game depends on whether Baltimore gets organized and submits a bid that would be compelling for an All-Star Game, just like any other team.”
Cleveland last hosted the All-Star Game in 1997, four years after Baltimore did.
For decades, MLB alternated the sites between National and American League parks, but this is the fourth consecutive year the All-Star Game has been played in a National League venue.
Cincinnati, San Diego, Miami and Washington each had the game for the first time in their new parks, and Los Angeles will host for the first time in 40 years in 2020.
Yankee Stadium, which hosted in 2009, Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field, Atlanta’s SunTrust Park and Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Bank Park are the other stadiums that have not been the site for an All-Star Game.
The Rays are attempting to fund a new stadium, and the Phillies have informally decided to bid for the 2026 game, which would be the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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