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Bud Selig hints at changes for All-Star Game next year

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Bud Selig touched on a number of hot topics with Bob Costas in an interview that aired on MLB Network last night, including realignment, interleague play, the use of instant replay and the long-rumored addition of two Wild Card teams.

You can read some of his comments via this recap from Adam Berry of MLB.com, but it appears the most imminent change may be with the All-Star Game next year. Selig still loves the home field advantage thing, so don’t look for any changes there, but he plans to do more to make sure some of the game’s biggest stars are represented.

“We’ll have some announcement after the first of the year. … I will expect everybody to be there,” Selig said. “The fact remains, it’s still the best of the All-Star Games. … We will do more for next year to make sure we have better representation.”

Derek Jeter, who was voted in by the fans, skipped out on the All-Star Game this year while several high-profile starting pitchers were unavailable, resulting in a long list of relievers pitching for the American League. One of the possibilities being tossed around is that the game will be pushed back to a Wednesday rather than a Tuesday. This may seem like a minor change, but it will enable those who started a game on Sunday to be eligible to pitch. There are still a lot of problems with the All-Star Game, but if the home field advantage thing isn’t going away, this is a very positive and logical development.

Doesn’t anyone want to sign Edwin Encarnacion?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.

Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?

The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.

There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

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CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.