We are hours away from the Midsummer's Classic, but Citi Field already is alive
Fans are tailgating in the parking lot, stages are being set up for pre-game shows, the media already has met with Commissioner Bud Selig and the clubhouses are about to open.
The news so far today concerns MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis scandal. Selig told members of the BBWAA this afternoon that the investigation was ongoing and the results will be announced at their completion. He was asked about suspensions possibly affecting teams in the playoff race, and Selig basically said that he didn't care about the timing, only that they are thorough and aggressive with their investigation.
``We have to do what we have to do,'' Selig said.
But union head Michael Weiner said that, because of the time needed to prepare and hold hearings, it was doubtful that any player who wants to challenge any penalties, cases would not be decided until after the season. That avoids a potentially messy issue during the second half of the season for contenders worried about losing key players.
"When all the interviews are done, we will meet with the commissioner's office and we'll try to work something out," Weiner said. "Our players that deserve the suspensions, we'll try to cope with their suspensions. Our players that don't deserve suspensions, we will argue that they don't deserve a suspension. And I hope we have success. We may not have success on every single player, but I hope we have a fair amount of success."
Weiner received a lengthy standing ovation at the end of his time with the BBWAA. Wiener has been battling brain cancer and addressed the group while seated in a wheelchair, unable to move his right arm.
Joe Torre was on hand and said expanded instant replay is on track to be expanded in 2014 and that they were in the, `tweaking,' stages.
MLB intends to continue to alternate between the AL and NL each year for All-Star Game sites, which could get tricky. After 2014, the Reds will host in 2015. Baltimore is pushing for 2016 and Washington wants it in 2017. Will the league allow back-to-back Classics in the same area?
As for the 2014 game, Selig said: ``I'm pleased that we will be in Minneapolis next year, which should be terrific.''
Some other notes
- There are 39 first-time All-Stars this year, which is a record.
- "American Idol" winner Candice Glover will sing the National Anthem while Marc Anthony will sing, "God Bless America."
- Tom Seaver will throw out the first pitch
- The National League brings a three-game winning streak into the event.
- AL skipper Jim Leyland is one of five managers to lead both the AL and NL at the All-Star Game. The others: Alvin Dark, Tony LaRussa, Sparky Anderson and Dick Williams.
- Miguel Cabrera, Michael Cuddyer, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Cliff Lee have been named to All-Star teams in both leagues.
American League (38-43-2)
1. Mike Trout, LF, Angels
2. Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers
4. Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles
5. Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays
6. Big Papi, DH, Red Sox
7. Adam Jones, CF, Orioles
8. Joe Mauer, C, Twins
9. J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles
Pitching: Max Scherzer, RHP, Tigers
National League (43-38-2)
1. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds
2. Carlos Beltran, RF, Cardinals
3. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
4. David Wrght, 3B, Mets
5. Carlos Gonzalez, LF, Rockies
6. Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals
7. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies
8. Cuddy, DH, Rockies
9. Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals
Pitching: Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets