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Progressive Field to host the 2019 All-Star Game

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Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com reports that the Cleveland Indians are going to host the 2019 All-Star Game at Progressive Field. A press conference will be held to announce it tomorrow.

The last time Cleveland hosted the Midsummer Classic was in 1997. At the time Progressive Field was in its fourth season and the Indians were on their way to a second American League pennant in three years. The Indians are back in contention again and Progressive Field is fresh off of substantial renovations in the past couple of offseasons. Cleveland hosted the All-Star Game at Municipal Stadium in 1935, 1954, 1963 and 1981. No single team has hosted as many All-Star Games, though New York and Chicago, as cities, have hosted more among their multiple clubs.

2019 will mark the first year since 2014 that an American League team will host the All-Star Game. It was in Minnesota in 2014, followed by Cincinnati, San Diego and, this year, in Miami. Next year it will be in Washington, D.C.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.