Report: Atlanta expected to be awarded 2021 All-Star Game

Getty Images
7 Comments

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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images
2 Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.