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The Dbacks are not worried about the 2011 All-Star Game, and they probably shouldn't be

May 12, 2010, 10:49 AM EDT

Arizona outline.jpgThe protests against Arizona hosting the 2011 All-Star Game continue (although much more quietly this week), but the team is not at all worried:

“I’ve had absolutely no indication that we’d lose the game. In fact, I’m confident that it will stay here. I think it’s a difficult
precedent for any league to set, making decisions based upon
controversial state bills.”

That’s Dbacks’ CEO Derrick Hall, who makes a point I generally agree with, but who is seemingly forgetting that the NFL set exactly that precedent with the Super Bowl in 1993.

And when I say I agree with his point, I’m not saying that the game shouldn’t be pulled (I’m kind of agnostic on that at present) or that baseball should make some sort of statement on the immigration law.  I’m simply agreeing with the notion that, yeah, it’s pretty hard for a league to pull a marquee event like an All-Star Game just like that.

It’s a politics thing. No, not immigration politics, but internal baseball politics. The horse-trading, lobbying, interest-balancing and boot-licking (along with any number of other “ings”) that goes into granting a city an All-Star Game is of a scope so great that backtracking on one of those decisions creates a ripple effect.

If you pull the game from Arizona in 2011, you probably have to promise another one back to them once the law is changed or the heat dies down or something. That runs into the other teams who are already scheduled or are lobbying to be scheduled in the future. And then there’s the question of where to play next year, which kicks off a whole new, more urgent round of all of that stuff.

Baseball doesn’t want any part of that. For that reason, I seriously doubt that they’ll move the 2011 All-Star Game absent some major, major event like civil unrest on the streets of Phoenix or a MLBPA-sanctioned boycott of the game.  Riding out extrernal heat is much easier for them as an organization than creating new internal heat.

  1. Lardin - May 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Im not worried about MLB moving the game,nor should Arizona.
    But What happens when Pujol, MO, King Felix, Johan Santana, and all the other foreign born all stars decide Im not going?
    What does that do to the game?
    What does that do to Baseball?
    MLB could easily have a dozen of the biggest stars say not a chance that I am going to Arizona. Then what does baseball do? IMO this is how it will play out, and then MLB will move the game. Not directly because of the AZ law, but indirectly because none of the big name players will play in it…

  2. Jack Meoffer - May 12, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    If those players decide not to go, then they should go home and see how much their home countries will pay them to play baseball. When we let foreigners dictate when and where our national pastimes All-Star game is played then we truly have lost the battle.

  3. YX - May 12, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    You realize that Albert Pujols is a US citizen right? Or you are just more of a citizen than him?

  4. Wooden U. Lykteneau - May 12, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    And the terrorists will have won. Jeez, Jack – if you’re going to cut & paste make sure to copy all the words.

  5. jwb - May 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    “You realize that Albert Pujols is a US citizen right?”
    And a state trooper who pulls him over for a driving infraction will know this how?

  6. YX - May 12, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    You are taking it up the wrong perp, I’ve always been dead against this bill if you want look up some older posts.

  7. YX - May 12, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Also I’m not worried about driver. A cop will let you go with a driver’s license unless he absolutely out to get you, and nothing can stop that anyway. It would be when people are out jogging (which doesn’t involve a lot of pockets for ID) and whatever more coincidental that issues arise.

  8. jwb - May 12, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    No offense intended.
    The hypothetical state trooper might recognize Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, or Adrian Gonzalez. S/he would probably not recognize, say, Sergio Santos or Aramis Ramirez.

  9. YX - May 12, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    But hopefully whoever is driving has their license, and if license is not enough, nothing would help you out anyway.

  10. ralf - May 12, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Which is a bigger deal:
    1. MLB deciding a year or so in advance to move the game, or
    2. The game being played in Phoenix with some huge stars very conspicuous in their absence?
    I think #2 gets more press. It brings up the debate again next year when most people will have forgotten about it, and puts quotes from high-profile, respected Latinos in front of a lot of people who ignore politics. #1 has more of a direct, measurable impact on the state’s economy, which is where AZ republicans are most likely to feel the hurt. If you’d like to see the bill repealed, which of those scenarios does more for your cause? I honestly don’t know.

  11. jwb - May 12, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    An Arizona DL or a DL from a state which requires proof of legal residence to obtain a license is adequate proof under the statute. Illinois does not require this (my father-in-law renewed his Illinois DL earlier this week; he has neither a birth certificate nor a passport). Santos and Ramirez both play in Chicago and presumably have Illinois DLs, which are not adequate to prove legal residence. My Illinois DL would not help me either. I have a passport but I am not in the habit of carrying it with me when I am not planning on leaving the country.

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