Could this be any more obnoxious to any non-Chicagoans who live in the Central Time Zone?
It was made official on Wednesday that the 2012 MLB All-Star game will be played in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, home of everyone's favorite lovable losers, the Royals.
Also in the running toward the end of the decision making was Fenway Park.
As you can see, the MLB failed.
I'm not saying the MLB made a mistake just because I'm a Red Sox fan and the 1999 All-Star game was one of my greatest recent baseball memories. I'm not saying it because Fenway Park is one of the greatest fields anyone can ever visit in the history of their life. Although these are all valid points.
I'm saying this because the MLB had an opportunity to do something really big and now the opportunity is lost.
Instead, we'll see baseball's best travel to Kansas City for the mid-summer Classic. The MLB might make some money off of it. The Royals will definitely make some money off of it. Billy Butler is guaranteed to get the loudest ovation. There will only be one member of the Royals actually playing in the game (Butler, of course). Joe Posnanski will have one helluva 25,000-word story afterward. Many people will eat a lot of great barbecue.
That is the reality, unfortunately. And minus the barbecue and the Posnanski, it doesn't sound that great.
This would be a pretty decent parody of East Coast Bias, except it isn't a parody. Instead it's yet another excellent example of why people who live in the Midwest -- otherwise known as "Flyover Land" to people who see it only from seven miles high -- feel so put upon by the Cognoscenti of the Coasts.
Yes, it would be neat-o if the Red Sox could host the All-Star Game in 2012, the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. In addition to the historical elegance, the Red Sox would sell a lot of season tickets and everybody would be talking about ... oh, but that's right: the Red Sox already sell a lot of season tickets and everybody already talks about them constantly. If there was ever a franchise that had little use for an All-Star Game, it's this one. Even leaving aside the fact that the Red Sox hosted an All-Star game just 11 years ago while the Royals haven't hosted one since 1973. For most of you reading this, Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War fall under the heading of Ancient History. Well, when Kansas City last hosted an All-Star Game, there were still American troops in Vietnam and Richard Nixon was still in the White House. That was a long time ago, even for me.
Look, I grew up in Kansas City. In July, it's hot and everything's brown and if you go outside for more than 10 minutes you'd better have sunscreen and breathable clothing and a healthy response to hospitality. Unless you're a history buff, there's not a great deal to do when you're not watching baseball or eating at Arthur Bryant's.
But the Royals are, at this writing, still a member in good standing of Major League Baseball. When the good people of Jackson County agreed to fund a $250 million renovation of Kauffman Stadium, they were promised, by Commissioner Selig, an All-Star Game in the not-distant future. I've not been a huge fan of the ballpark ever since I tasted the pleasures of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park (not to mention Camden Yards and Coors Field), but I know a great number of non-Kansas Citians who have been shocked to discover how much they enjoyed seeing a game there.
Oh, and there's also the cash-strapped Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (just up the road from Arthur Bryant's), which should certainly benefit from Kansas City being the center of Baseball Land for a few days in July. And I'm pretty sure the East Coast will survive, for just those few days.