The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that the Braves and SunTrust Park are expected to be awarded the 2021 All-Star Game soon. Probably next week.
This year’s All-Star Game will be in Cleveland. Next year it’s at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. They already announced 2026 for Philadelphia as a part of America’s Semiquincentennial (look it up). Now baseball is filling in the year’s in between.
The last time the Braves hosted the All-Star Game was in 2000, awarded a couple of years before that. Like a lot of All-Star Games, the 2000 edition was awarded to reward the building of a new ballpark, Turner Field, which came online for baseball purposes in 1997. This time it’s to reward the construction of SunTrust Park. Basically, the Braves just need to keep building new stadiums every twenty years or so to keep this ride going. Just see if they can’t!
Commissioner Rob Manfred is certainly a fan of that. He didn’t comment on the 2021 All-Star Game specifically, but last November he made his feelings about all crystal clear:
Manfred said at the time that there is much competition to host All-Star games, but he went on to extensively praise the Braves’ stadium. “I think SunTrust Park has literally revolutionized the process of stadium development,” Manfred said. “They really did get it right here.”
Which is to say that, in the mind of the Commissioner of Baseball, the ideal situation is for baseball teams to be small parts of large, taxpayer-subsidized real estate concerns, as the Braves clearly are. How inspiring.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.