Multiple sources told the Miami Herald that MLB will soon announce that the 2017 All-Star Game has been awarded to Marlins Park.
It’ll be the first All-Star Game played in Florida (the Rays have never hosted). The Marlins were originally awarded the 2000 All-Star Game, only to have it taken away from them and given to Atlanta. After opening their new stadium in 2012, they were originally expected to get the 2015 All-Star Game, but that was given to Cincinnati instead.
With San Diego’s Petco Park hosting in 2016, it means that an NL park will have the All-Star Game in three consecutive seasons. While that should be a meaningless distinction, considering that MLB 12 years ago took the incredible step of letting the All-Star Game determine World Series home-field advantage, it seems quite unfair that the NL should get to host three in a row.
The Nationals, who have yet to host since arriving in D.C. in 2008, are also viewed as a strong candidate to get a Midsummer Classic in the near future.
The 2014 Braves didn’t get a single relief appearance from a pitcher in his 30s. With John Hart at the helm, the 2015 Braves are going in a much different direction with the bullpen.
34-year-old Jose Veras is Hart’s latest pickup for the relief corps, joining Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson, Josh Outman and Matt Capps. Like Capps, Veras is getting a minor league deal, though he seems like a pretty good bet to claim a spot.
After saving 21 games with a 3.02 ERA in 2013, Veras received a one-year, $4 million deal to close for the Cubs last year. He was an immediate bust, amassing an 8.10 ERA in 13 1/3 innings, but after rejoining the Astros, whom he pitched for during the first two-thirds of 2013, he had a 3.03 ERA and a 37/16 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. Over the last three seasons, he had a 3.64 ERA and a 189/89 K/BB ratio in 175 2/3 innings.
As things stand now, Craig Kimbrel, Grilli, Johnson and James Russell would seem to be guaranteed spots in the Atlanta bullpen. Outman and Veras will be clear favorites for two of the three remaining spots. Ideally, Shae Simmons would be there, too, but the youngster needs to prove he’s healthy after missing most of the second half of last season with shoulder troubles. Lefties Luis Avilan and Ian Thomas will also provide competition.
Get ready for a joint statement from the New York Yankees.
Hal Steinbrenner, New York Yankees Managing General Partner / Co-Chairperson
Randy Levine, New York Yankees President
Brian Cashman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, General Manager
Jean Afterman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, Assistant General Manager
Jim Sharp, Legal Counsel to Alex Rodriguez
“Today we held a meeting at Yankee Stadium between Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, Brian Cashman, Jean Afterman, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Sharp. Alex initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years.
“There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training.”
That’s the extent of it. Unanswered are questions like “who spent the most time fake smiling during the meeting?” and “how come Alex doesn’t get a title?” How about…
Alex Rodriguez, centaur-wannabe
Alex Rodriguez, the guy whose ridiculous contract we’re still trying to void
Alex Rodriguez, who hit six postseason homers and drove in 18 runs for the 2009 World Series-winning Yankees
Rodriguez probably didn’t specifically apologize for leading the team past the Phillies in 2009 or for winning MVP honors in 2005 and 2007. He really should have just said “sorry if you were offended” and left it at that. Maybe we’ll find out more when they try out this whole “play baseball in spring training” idea.