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Simmons, Deadspin are wrong to hate on Kansas City

Jun 17, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

As you know by now, Kansas City has been selected as the site of the 2012 All-Star game.  In the past 24 hours this decision has been subjected to derision by two of the most influential voices in online sports media: Bill Simmons and Deadspin. I have much love for both The Sports Guy and the House that Leitch Built, but they’re absolutely full of it in this case.

Simmons didn’t hit the matter hard, but he did it on his Twitter feed last night, sarcastically cheering the choice by sayingYeah!!!! Four days in Kansas City in mid-July when
it’s 110 degrees!!!!! Who’s in???” and then agreeing with readers that one of the New York parks, Washington, Philadelphia or Minnesota were better options. When a reader reminded him that Kauffman Stadium was “new” it appeared that he either (a) assumed that the person was mistakenly suggesting that it was a 100% brand new ballpark and sarcastically changed his mind; or (b) honestly didn’t know about the renovations to the place himself.  He then moved on.

Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky was a lot more hostile in his post this afternoon, saying Kauffman “received the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, for some reason. No clear reason,
actually,” and seemed to completely miss the fact that the Royals and the people of Kansas City just got done pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a massive renovation.  Petchesky went on to say “All-Star Games should be about either showcasing shiny new stadiums, or
beautiful old ones,” and added that Kauffman was “far from beautiful.”

Which merely shows that Petchesky has never been to Kauffman Stadium, because he’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful park in Major League Baseball.  I mean it — the place is gorgeous and — the quality of the current tenants notwithstanding —  it’s a wonderful setting in which to see a game.

But maybe that’s just an aesthetic difference on our parts. More troubling for me is what seems to be a weird schizophrenia on Petchesky part about the value of an All-Star Game to begin with.  On the one hand he says Kansas City doesn’t deserve it, and that it should be a reward to places with newer parks or a longer, richer baseball heritage.  Then he goes on to trash the reality of having an All-Star Game in one’s town, saying that the financial benefits are “bunk” and that it’s a giant hassle for everyone involved.  So I assume that you don’t care if Kansas City has it then, Barry?

Overall, both Simmons and Petchesky take on the matter reeks of — and I don’t believe I’m going to say this — coastal bias.  Doesn’t matter which coast. Simmons is physically on the west while his mind and heart reside in the east.  I don’t know where Petchsky lives, but the whole “Kansas City? Really?” attitude just stinks of the east coast and people who call anything west of the Hudson flyover territory.

I propose this: a road trip for Simmons, Petchesky and Joe Posnanski or some other person who appreciates how cool Kansas City really is – and it’s very, very cool — to disabuse them of whatever misinformation they’ve been fed about the place over the years.

Then we can revisit this in 2012 when baseball holds its All-Star Game in a beautiful park that is home to great baseball fans and is surrounded by a pretty damn spiffy city.

UPDATE:  More Kansas City scorn, this time wrapped up in a bow of “oh, wouldn’t it be great if Boston got the All-Star Game!”  So right. I mean, the Sox are so overlooked and they haven’t had an All-Star Game in Fenway since 1999!

  1. TomTom - Jun 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Kansas City fans need something to get excited about other than next season.

  2. Megary - Jun 17, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Nicely done, Craig.

  3. jbartlett - Jun 17, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    Does that accompanying photo predate the major 2007-2009 renovations @ Kaufmann? Doesn’t look right.

  4. kenbuddha - Jun 17, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Funny, Leitch didn’t have a problem last season going to St. Louis for the All-Star game which is 250 miles east of Kansas City. Weather isn’t that much different between the two as I recall. But then, maybe this time he can’t sit with his mom and dad.

  5. YX - Jun 17, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    The thing is… 2012 just happens to be the 100th year of Fenway, so obviously Simmons is not going to be happy with the KC selection.

  6. YankeesfanLen - Jun 17, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of in Kansas City, it’s fine adjoining ballparks, it’s friendly people and great Midwestern atmosphere. It’s a beautiful part of our country and never appreciated by coastites who snivel and look down their nose while being crammed into overpriced housing and ridiculous tax levies on everything.
    I’d have Ken Burns do a nice sepia-toned documentary for their viewing, but even my eyes would glaze over and I’d be left mumbling….”Must…get…Joe…Torre…back”
    Too bad David Glass still has such purse strings that he insists on a “Low Price. Always” team.

  7. Michael - Jun 17, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    @YX – Simmons actually didn’t even suggest Boston because he knows they had the game in 1999.
    ASG to Wrigley in 2014!

  8. The Rabbit - Jun 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    I took some great pictures of the park this year. Clearly, the picture at the top predates them.

  9. RoyalsRetro - Jun 17, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    “For no reason”. Yea, like MLB is much more heavily influenced by the Kansas City Royals than those poor victimized Boston Red Sox. When will Boston catch a break?

  10. JBerardi - Jun 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    UPDATE: More Kansas City scorn, this time wrapped up in a bow of “oh, wouldn’t it be great if Boston got the All-Star Game!” So right. I mean, the Sox are so overlooked and they haven’t had an All-Star Game in Fenway since 1999!

    Yeah. Plus you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of your sport’s most historic venue any old year. Why make a fuss about it? Besides, what have the Sox ever done for baseball, other than make it popular and be good at it?

  11. RoyalsRetro - Jun 17, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Its also the 39th anniversary of Kauffman Stadium. Why must we bow down to the tyranny of round numbers?
    Its also possible to celebrate a stadium centennial without an ASG. I’m sure we’ll be nauseated by the talk of the hallowed Fenway Park by oh say, Memorial Day 2012.

  12. ThatsSoTaguchi - Jun 17, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Maybe you ought to find where Leitch was complaing about the All-Star Game being in Kansas City. Also St. Louis weather is worse, often far worse.

  13. ThatsSoTaguchi - Jun 17, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    greedy much?

  14. Cincy Sam - Jun 17, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    GET OVER IT! Your stadium is a mess. Perhaps it is because you face centerfiled from the right file line, and can’t see the plate except by leaning way over to one side. Maybe it is because it is an outdated and not very comfortable place to watch a game. What we know is that too much has been made about your park which should have been torn down years ago. It is a relic and not worthy of MLB What is it with that stupid wall which is so short that long fly balls anywhere else are H-R’s? Get over it and please try to remember that you have almost nothing to do with making MLB great. Just by having a couple of winning years and a W-S win or two, now you are the center of BB? Give us a break!

  15. Alex - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    I have by no means been to a lot of stadiums but I have made it to:
    Target Field
    I’m a big Twins fan and love our new home Target Field but the renovated Kauffman is my favorite stadium thus far. No other place felt as good for baseball as that one did.
    A Blue Jay fan has been spending this summer visiting every stadium and he had high praise for The K as well:

  16. kenbuddha - Jun 18, 2010 at 7:46 AM

    I really need to work on my reading comprehension. My apologies to Mr. Leitch. I misread the above article and thought it was Leitch that had the negative comments. I assume he’ll actually be enjoying the game – maybe even with his parents again.

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