Jason Farmer: MLB needs to change the way All Star Games are awarded
Major League Baseball is expected to announce the host of the 2015 Mid-Summer Classic this afternoon and if the rumors are correct, Cincinnati will be named the winner. It will be the first All Star Game to be held at Cincinnati's new Great American Ballpark and the first in Cincinnati since 1988.
The last time Cincinnati hosted the All Star Game, former Oakland A's catcher Terry Steinbach won the MVP honors when he hit a solo home run off Dwight "Doc" Gooden to led the American League to a 2-1 win.
Since then, there have been some tweaks and changes in the way the All Star Game is held and conducted, most importantly is that the winning team gets home field advantage during the World Series.
However, the one thing that bothers me the most is that baseball doesn't care about its fans in awarding the game to cities.
One year before Cincinnati hosted the 1988 Mid-Summer Classic, the city of Oakland hosted the 1987 All Star Game. Since then, several teams have hosted the All Star Game TWICE. Anaheim hosted in 1989 and again in 2010. Pittsburgh hosted in 1994 and again in 2006. Houston hosted the All Star Game in 1986, the year before Oakland, and hosted it again in 2004.
The All Star Game is supposed to have at least one player from every Major League team on its rosters. How then can the game not be held in every city before a team is allowed to repeat as host?
St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland have held the most All Star Games in baseball's history. Each city hosted held the game five times. St. Louis' most recent was in 2009, the Pirates had the game last in 2006 and Cleveland's most recent was in 1997. After the Indians, Pirates, and Cardinals, the White Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Braves and Washington Senators have held four games each.
Houston, the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco, Boston, Kansas City, and Anaheim have all host the All Star game three times. Minnesota will hold its third overall game in 2014.
Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers have all hosted the game twice.
Colorado, Toronto, Arizona, Texas, and Montreal have all hosted the game once. Colorado and Arizona are new to the league, having joined in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Montreal and Toronto joined in 1969 and 1977.
Los Angeles last held the game in 1980 while Washington D.C. last hosted in 1969. With baseball handing out the 2015 All Star game, that means LA will have at least 35 years pass since it last held the game. Washington D.C. will have 46 years pass, of course, D.C was without baseball from 1972 to 2005.
Of all 30 teams in Major League Baseball, the Miami Marlins (joined MLB in 1993) are one of two teams to have never hosted an All Star Game.
How is it fair to fans that their team doesn't get a chance to host the All Star Game? Why does a team like the Pirates get to host two All Star Games since the Marlins joined MLB and the fish have never hosted a game?
Tampa Bay joined MLB in 1998, and like Miami, has never hosted an All Star Game.
Isn't baseball trying to grow the sport?
I have a solution, and it is really simple. All 30 teams host the game alternating American League and National League in a 30 year span. After a team has hosted, it should be removed from consideration until the remaining teams have hosted. In this model, every team would get to host the game. Every team's fans would get a chance to see the game in their local market.
Contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.