I am really excited for 2016's All-Star Game. The last time the Midsummer Classic was in town, I was seven years old, so even if we could have afforded it, I wouldn't have really appreciated it. And Petco Park is one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball, in the single most gorgeous city in baseball. Everything about this decision is perfect... except for one little question that keeps popping up in the the back of my mind: Did the Padres sell their soul for this?
Back in August,
well-loved reviled Commissioner Bud Selig came through town on his farewell tour. You might remember that the front office chose to honor him for his long years of commissioning by naming part of the ballpark after him, which upset more than a few fans. And then, in a move that doesn't look conspicuous at all, the team submitted their application for the All-Star Game. To the lame-duck commissioner they had just honored.
Officially, everyone will say that the two events are totally unrelated. And maybe that's true. But even if it is, it still doesn't look true, and there's no way to talk about the 2016 All-Star Game without talking about BS Plaza. The very fact that San Diego is getting a game expected to go to an
American Arena League city is suspect. And it happened in the closing days of Selig's reign. It looks dirty as sin, and there's no good reason for it.
A game would have come to San Diego sooner rather than later, regardless. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Padres' major league debut as well as the 250th birthday of the city (right around All-Star Weekend, no less), and '19 is of pretty obvious significance to the team and its fans. That's the kind of history MLB thrives on, and it could have happened all without selling out to the doddering old fool who turned the All-Star Game into a joke.