Anyone who has read my work knows that I am an adversary of moving in the outfield fence at Petco Park. But as much as I hate too, I must concede that Petco Park will never have a chance to host an All-Star game unless the outfield fence is moved in.
It is widely known that the Major League Baseball selection committee chooses where to hold the All-Star game based on factors such as: a newly opened field, historical occasion or to commemorate significant anniversaries.
Now, Petco Park qualifies in one of these criteria. The beautiful stadium that sits in downtown San Diego opened in 2004. So at seven years old, it is still considered one of the newer ballparks in Major League Baseball. Being that Petco Park is still relatively new, it should host an All-Star game.
But it won’t be next year. MLB has already announced that the 2013 All-Star game will be played at Citi Field in Queens, New York.
Citi Field has only been in existence for two years while Petco Park has been up and running for seven. Granted the New York Mets are in the longest drought to host an All-Star game.
The Minnesota Twins along with the Chicago Cubs are bidding for the 2014 game. Target Field (the home of the Twins) opened two years ago. Petco Park has five years on Target Field.
The Cubs want to host the game in 2014 to commemorate the centennial of Wrigley Field.
The Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals are bidding for the 2015 All-Star game.
The Marlins just relocated to Miami and moved into the new Marlins Park this year, while the Nationals opened Nationals Park in 2008.
Aside from the historic Wrigley Field, Petco Park is the oldest, newest ballpark of all those mentioned.
So where does Petco Park fit in with all this All-Star madness?
Well, this year the Mets moved in their outfield fence by as much as 12 feet and lowered the height of the home run line to 8 feet throughout the outfield, according to nymets.com
For doing this, MLB rewarded the Mets with an All-Star game (although MLB probably won’t ever publicly admit this).
The Padres must follow suit if they want an All-Star game in America’s Finest City. The last time the game was played in sunny San Diego was in 1992 at then Jack Murphy Stadium.
It is my belief that Bud Selig and company want the outfield fence at PetcoPark to be moved in before an All-Star game is welcomed in San Diego.
The day before the All-Star game is the ever-popular Home Run Derby, and let’s all be honest, no one wants to see the Home Run Derby champion win with a total of three home runs in all three rounds. A lot of great home run hitters would probably pass up the opportunity to compete in such a glamorous event because of the huge runway in the outfield.Petco Park is a pitcher’s park.
Not moving in the outfield fence would also create a low-scoring All-Star game, which will translate into bad television ratings because no one wants an All-Star game to end in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel. Bad ratings equal less money for Major League Baseball and the television networks. Now, if the All-Star game ended 9-8 then we have something to talk about.
Lastly, not moving in the outfield fence will lead to more complaints about lack of home runs from players, coaches and Major League Baseball.
I could not think of a better place to hold the All-Star game. Petco Park has beautiful scenery, the downtown area is always buzzing and San Diego is a tourism mecca with the picturesque beaches, the World Famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World.