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Baseball commissioner Bud Selig discussed MASN TV dispute, future All-Star sites

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told a group of reporters Tuesday in Minneapolis that he believes there will be a resolution in the ongoing dispute between the Orioles and the Washington Nationals over Mid-Atlantic Sports Network television rights by the time he leaves office.

Over the past few years, the same question has been posed to Selig, but in his annual All-Star Game media session with members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday afternoon, he gave his first indication that a solution could be on the horizon.

“Yes, I would say there’s a good chance,” Selig told reporters when asked if there could be a compromise before the outgoing commissioner leaves his post in January. “We’ve spent an enormous amount of time. We’re working through a lot of really tough details.”

In order for the Nationals franchise -- then owned by MLB -- to relocate from Montreal, Orioles managing partner Peter G. Angelos received 90 percent ownership of the newly created MASN network as a compromise for allowing the Nationals to move into the Orioles' market region.

The deal allowed the Nationals to renegotiate in 2012, but the sides have been unable to find a common ground in sharing network rights. MLB intervened to try to resolve the dispute, but it’s still going on two years later.

Selig also said MLB plans to award the 2016 and 2017 All-Star Games before he retires.

The Orioles have applied to host the 2016 All-Star Game and, in May, Selig called Baltimore a “very, very viable option” to host the annual event in two years.

Camden Yards has hosted the game just once previously (1993). The 1958 All-Star Game was held at Memorial Stadium.

Both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are candidates to land the event in the upcoming years. Selig has said he would like to keep the game rotating between cities in difference leagues, which means the 2016 game would go to an American League city after next year’s midsummer classic is played in Cincinnati.

Since the Orioles last hosted the game in 1993, only Toronto, Oakland and Tampa Bay are ALcities that have yet to have the All-Star Game. But ongoing stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay don’t make them viable sites.

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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