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.
As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?