Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday evening what many in the baseball world have known for months, if not years.
As Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports, the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium will host the All-Star Game in 2012.
It has been 39 years since the Mid-Season Classic was last held in Kansas City and the region is expecting nearly $60-$65 million in overall financial impact. St. Louis had the 2009 game and saw a $60 million impact. Anaheim is hosting this year’s All-Star Game and the event will travel to Phoenix in 2011.
With some of the country’s best food and a criminally underrated stadium, Kansas City should have a blast hosting baseball’s elite athletes, as well as the throngs of media members that follow the game. Hopefully the Royals will send someone other than Zack Greinke to represent what truly is one of the United States’ great towns.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.