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Orioles snubbed on hosting 2016 All-Star Game; San Diego to host

Once, the Orioles were reportedly the frontrunners to host the 2016 All-Star Game, but MLB announced on Thursday that it will be hosted in San Diego. Think the ongoing MASN court case might have something to do with that?

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Do you remember that time when the Orioles were said to be the favorites to host the 2016 All-Star Game? The decision has come and gone and it turns out that will not be happening after all. Baseball has awarded that year's midseason classic to San Diego.

This is a curious decision mostly because it breaks the recent pattern of alternating between American League and National League parks. The 2015 All-Star Game will be in Cincinnati after 2014's contest in Minnesota, so it was the AL's turn. The last time they went back-to-back in the same league was when the 2006 and 2007 All-Star Games were hosted in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, respectively.

You don't have to look very far to imagine why Baltimore fell out of the front runner spot, given that the Orioles-owned television network is in court against MLB right now. I've found it curious all along that MLB would be considering doing that favor for the franchise with those court proceedings active. More likely, the reports about the 2016 All-Star Game were supposed to represent some kind of carrot to get the Orioles to give up the fight over MASN rights fees. If they really thought that would work, they don't know owner Peter Angelos very well.

MLB will get another chance to tweak the Orioles' nose about All-Star Games next year at this time. The Nationals have a new-ish stadium and have not yet hosted an All-Star Game, making them one of the top choices for the "usual" National League year to host. It would be purely coincidence if the AL's year got skipped when it "should" have gone to the Orioles and the next NL-scheduled year would go to the Nats, I'm sure. That was sarcasm just there.

San Diego last hosted the All-Star Game in 1992, so they haven't had one in their new stadium yet either. There are more new NL stadiums that haven't hosted games than AL ones. There may not have been any shenanigans. If you believe that, let me tell you about this bridge I've got for sale...