Also in the running toward the end of the decision making was Fenway Park.
As you can see, the MLB failed.I'm not saying the MLB made a mistake just because I'm a Red Sox fan and the 1999 All-Star game was one of my greatest recent baseball memories. I'm not saying it because Fenway Park is one of the greatest fields anyone can ever visit in the history of their life. Although these are all valid points.
I'm saying this because the MLB had an opportunity to do something really big and now the opportunity is lost.
Let me predict what July of 2012 will look like for Major League Baseball: Albert Pujols will continue to be one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, Bryce Harper will either be making his name in Washington or will be dangerously close and the Royals will not be competing in the American League Central. They will be losing that race like they do every year. They will be scraping the mold off the bottom of the cellar. They will be nothing.
How does that set up the All-Star game? Well, the Royals will certainly have the "buzz" that surrounds any city that is hosting a big event. The Royals will hold this buzz and exploit it to the best of their ability, but when the game is finally over, they'll have nothing. They might have Billy Butler competing for a batting title, but they won't be competing for a division title.
It will be excitement then the All-Star game then no excitement -- back to the normal every day life for Kansas City.
Instead, let's look at an alternate reality. One in which the Red Sox and Fenway Park were hosting the 2012 All-Star game. It's a happy reality, I tell you.
Most importantly, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. That's 100 years of America's favorite ballpark (I stick by that statement. I'm sure these folks would like to make an argument). These milestones do not come along very often in history. In fact, a 100 year anniversary comes around once. Ever. I'm not sure if you actually realized that or not.
As Red Sox fans, we know Red Sox ownership does up events like Christina Aguilera does up her makeup: Big. And bold. And sometimes quite ugly. Before the 2012 season even starts, the fact that Fenway Park is 100 years old is going to get blasted into our faces like man just landed on the moon. We will hear about this every day from the first day of spring training until the last game at Fenway Park (preferably in November). We will see the "100th Anniversary" logo on every pre-game show, in-game advertisement and post-game recap. We will not be able to escape this piece of information.
And if the MLB was hitched to it with the All-Star game, they wouldn't be able too, either.
This is something they would love.
As the Red Sox pump up this fact, the MLB would do the same. Everything would come together. The Red Sox would be competing for the AL East crown when July rolls around and there will be buzz; there will be buzz because there is always buzz, All-Star game or not. Somehow, the Red Sox will even try to recreate the 1999 All-Star game. They will sign Pedro Martinez, make him a 10 game winner before July 1 even hits and he will be the AL's starting pitcher. He will be absolutely filthy in his two innings. He will then immediately retire. We will all be extremely happy for what we saw.
This is all an alternate reality. Sorry for getting your hopes up.
Instead, we'll see baseball's best travel to Kansas City for the mid-summer Classic. The MLB might make some money off of it. The Royals will definitely make some money off of it. Billy Butler is guaranteed to get the loudest ovation. There will only be one member of the Royals actually playing in the game (Butler, of course). Joe Posnanski will have one helluva 25,000-word story afterward. Many people will eat a lot of great barbecue.
That is the reality, unfortunately. And minus the barbecue and the Posnanski, it doesn't sound that great.