When Is It Our Turn?

The thing about play-off baseball is that all kinds of celebrities and wanna be’s come out to be seen at the game. Earlier in the National League Championship series Fox showed Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the stands. I don’t know Tyler so I can’t really say whether he is a diehard baseball fan and if he is that’s great but I have to say he didn’t look like the most comfortable guy in the stands. Maybe you get used to seeing someone in a certain light and environment and when you see them somewhere else you just can’t get your arms around it. Besides celebrities you also get former players and executives from other teams and the league who attend the games. Most of the time it is a “be seen” factor but sometimes they are there for a reason. At last night’s game commissioner Bud Selig was at the game and when you get the commissioner you obviously have to try and corner him and ask some questions. Most of the questions are ridiculous like whether the commissioner thinks Barry Bonds takes steroids or if he thinks baseball should recognize Barry if he breaks Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. Seriously, do you really expect the commissioner to upstage the play-offs and give you a quote like, “I think Barry and his big old head needs to get out of the game before my head witch hunter George Mitchell buries him.” Granted that would be awesome if Selig would come out and say that but you probably should not expect it. So instead the interview consisted of asking the commissioner what he thought of the new Busch Stadium.

Selig raved about the facility and how great it was for the city of St. Louis to have such a good venue to watch baseball. The interviewer then asked whether the Cardinals would be in the running to host an All-Star game in 2009.

I’d say very, very good,” Selig said. “I like their chances a lot.

So in not so many words the commissioner has pretty much guaranteed that St. Louis would be hosting an all-star game in the next three years. Next year’s game is scheduled for PacBell/SBC/AT&T Park in San Francisco. The 2008 game would be in an American League city and most probably the new park for the New York Yankees which should be done by then. That would mean that 2009 would go to a National League city and based on Selig’s comments that would be St. Louis.

Sure the new Busch Stadium seems like a nice venue and the turf is much better than the carpet they had in the old Busch so I am in no way discounting that St. Louis would be a great venue. My question really is, “when is it our turn?” Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field) was opened in 1998 and at the time was state of the art. That year Coors Field which had just opened was chosen as the site for the all-star game. Since then the game has been held in Fenway Park, Turner Field, Safeco Field, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, Minute Maid Park, Comerica Park, and PNC Park. Several of these have opened after Chase Field so the argument that they want to showcase the new ballparks is not valid. Early on there was talk that there was not enough hotel rooms to house an event such as the All-Star game but that too could be quickly discounted since the Phoenix area routinely houses events such as the BCS Football Championship, the NBA All-Star game, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, and even a World Series. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that perhaps there are other reasons why this is occurring. Early in the Diamondbacks history, the commissioner wanted the Diamondbacks to move from the National League to the American League so that the Texas Rangers could move to the central division. Owner Jerry Colangelo along with pretty much every Diamondbacks fan breathing took exception with the commissioner’s request and blocked the move keeping Arizona in the National League West. This coupled with the free-spending ways that Colangelo used to build the 1999 Diamondbacks grated against the other owners who felt the Diamondbacks were single-handedly wreaking havoc with the payroll system left few allies in the owner’s ranks. I am beginning to think that these events lead to Phoenix being passed over as an All-Star venue for Major League Baseball. Perhaps after Selig leaves office at the end of his 2007 term as he plans, then the Diamondbacks will get a fair shake and perhaps an invitation for the world to see what Chase Field has to offer.

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