As you watch tonight’s MLB All-Star Game — on TV, like most of us — there will be a lot of storylines to track. Most of them are good, some are bad, but the game is like Miami: There’s never a dull moment.
First off, there will inevitably be some talk about the state of the Miami Marlins and how any sale will proceed. With three groups still in the running to land the Fish, it will be interesting to see how the issue is addressed on the broadcast. More than once has a media outlet reported a sale of the team is imminent. Forbes has run with a few rumors and is now reporting that a group led by local business Jorge Mas has landed the team for $1.17 million, far below the $1.6 billion original asking price. Not so fast, says the Miami Herald. Three groups are still reportedly in the hunt: the Mas group, a Tagg Romney group, and the Derek Jeter group. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan has committed to the Jeter group, while music superstar Pitbull and investor/businessman Marcus Lemonis has committed to the Romney group, which also includes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. And the New York Post is reporting the Jeter group will land the team for $1.2 billion.
No matter who lands the Marlins, though, it’s pretty clear MLB will be happy to have a fresh face with the Marlins. The team recently made headlines by taking a former season-ticket holder to court, seeking a $725,000 building to cover back payments. This is a case where the season-ticket holder backed out of a commitment after he argued the Fish cut back on commitments made as part of the season ticket, including pre- and postgame buffets and private parking. It’s a complicated tale better told here by Miami New Times, but suffice it to say the practice of suing season-ticket holders isn’t the story MLB wants told during All-Star time.
Another topic that’s sure to be covered: future All-Star Game venues. The Washington Nationals will host the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park, an event that’s sure to feature plenty of patriotic themes, while the Cleveland Indians will host the 2019 game at Progressive Field. Zach Spedden covered the future venues and speculated on what MLB ballparks will land games beyond 2019. There are three active ballparks that have yet to host the game—the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park, SunTrust Park, the new Yankee Stadium, and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field. Citizens Bank Park and Yankee Stadium could be in the mix in future years, while the Rays are more likely to host a game after Tropicana Field is replaced.
And there’s another hot contender to land the 2020 game: Wrigley Field, which last hosted in 1990. The Cubs could make a pretty good argument for 2020: the team will not have hosted for 30 years, and all the improvements to Wrigley Field should be completed until then. Commissioner Rob Manfred commented on the possibility of the game at Clark and Addison to the Chicago Sun-Times:
“The city of Chicago and Wrigley Field, the renovated Wrigley Field in particular, would be a great site for an All-Star Game,” Manfred said. “There will be an All-Star Game in Wrigley Field in the relatively near future.”
Finally, there’s one topic that should get a little attention if the FOX Sports producers are any good. For decades Miami Stadium / Bobby Maduro Stadium was the center of baseball in the city. The ballpark is best remembered as spring home of the Baltimore Orioles for 31 years beginning in 1959. Several minor clubs also took at the field at Miami Stadium, including the Class AAA International League’s Miami Marlins, the Miami Amigos of the Class AAA Inter-American League, and the Miami Orioles and Miami Marlins of the High-A Florida State League. Bobby Maduro is honored by a street named in his honor outside Marlins Park. It’s long gone, but a crowdfunding effort raised enough money to install a marker at the ballpark site.
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