April 3, 2021
To the surprise and consternation of many baseball fans, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced yesterday that the All Star Game will not be played at Truist Park, located near Atlanta, as had been previously planned. This was an explicit repudiation of the Georgia legislature's recent passage of a bill aimed at tightening voting procedures, possibly targeting minority voters. "Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Manfred said. See MLB.com.
In general, I would rather keep political controversies out of baseball, but that becomes exceedingly difficult in times like these. While I grant that there are legitimate concerns about the new law, I also understand that the stated purpose of the law was to minimize voting irregularities, which were at the heart of the dispute over the 2020 presidential election. I happen to agree with that objective, but I'm not sure whether the law was the best way to accomplish that, just as I am not sure whether the decision by Commissioner Manfred was an appropriate response to the law.
Be that as it may, the Truist Park page has been updated accordingly. I will update the Baseball chronology (general) page once an alternate venue for the All Star Game has been chosen. Why not Dodger Stadium, which was supposed to be the site of the 2020 All Star Game? (It was canceled due to the coronavirus, of course.)
By sheer coincidence, I happen to have been to quite a few MLB stadiums (five) in the same year when the All Star Game was played there, or within one year thereof (six). Truist Park would have been the sixth in the same year. If Georgia repeals the new voting law, and MLB rewards them by having the 2022 All Star Game "in" Atlanta, it would become the seventh stadium within one year of an All Star Game. Here is the complete list:
After Opening Day in Our Nation's Capital was spoiled by the coronavirus, on Friday they announced the other two games in the Nats-Mets series have been indefinitely postponed, without specifying makeup dates. This really sucks having to wait so long for the first game! The Nats are scheduled to play the Braves late Monday afternoon, assuming no other covid-19 cases are detected.
The Phillies' Zack Wheeler struck out ten batters and gave up no hits over six innings against the Braves today, and the Twins' Jose Berrios struck out 12 and gave up no hits over six innings against the Brewers this evening. The latter game was an exceptionally tense pitchers' duel, with both pitchers throwing perfectly for nearly half the game; no batter on either team reached base until the Twins' Jake Cave was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning. The very first [hit of the game] came in the top of the seventh inning, when Byron Bruxton hit a solo homer. Final scores: PHI 4, ATL 0 and MIN 2, MIL 0. The Braves and Brewers each got exactly one hit.
And in Kansas City, new Royal (and former National) Michael A. Taylor hit another home run and racked up three more RBIs today, helping trounce the Rangers 11-4. The change of scenery has definitely done him a world of good!
The Braves, Rangers, Red Sox, [and] Indians have lost their first two games of 2021, while the Athletics and Diamondbacks have lost their first three games.
Official attendance figures for Opening Day varied from city to city, with Denver claiming the number one spot, and Boston coming in last. That may be an unfair comparison, however, because the scheduled April 1 Red Sox - Orioles game was postponed until Friday due to rain. For some reason, I could not find the attendance for the Cardinals - Reds game in St. Louis. Until a couple weeks ago, [because of continuing fears of covid-19] there was doubt as to whether the D.C. government would even allow fans into Nationals Park, but they finally relented.
|Home city / team||Home score||Visting city / team||Visting score||Attendance||Percent of
|SD||8||ARI||7||* 10,350 *||24%|
|BOS||0||BAL||3||** 4,452 **||12%|