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Bud Selig talks about Orioles' All-Star hosting hopes, MASN dispute

NEW YORK -- There’s been no decision on which city will host the 2016 All-Star Game or any resolution to the ongoing MASN broadcast dispute between the Orioles and Washington Nationals, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday.

During his annual All-Star session with members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Selig said the policy of alternating host cities between the American League and National League will continue – so the 2016 All-Star Game will be held in an AL ballpark and the 2017 game in an NL park.

But Selig said no progress has been made toward determining which cities will serve as host after Minneapolis in 2014 and Cincinnati in 2015.

Baltimore, which hasn’t hosted since 1993, and Washington, which hasn’t since 1969, have both expressed interest in having the midsummer classic in the near future. That doesn’t mean either – or both – will land the game within the next four years.

“There are a lot of cities that want the All Star Game, it isn’t just Baltimore and Washington,” Selig said. “There are a lot of people that want it. It’s amazing how that has evolved.”

Only three other American League teams – the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays – have not hosted an All-Star Game since 1993. And the stadium situations in Tampa Bay and Oakland are not showcase-worthy at this time.

Selig didn’t give a timetable for when a decision would be made or whether it would be feasible to have the event in consecutive years in a small geographic area such as Baltimore and Washington.

“It’s turned out to be such a great event, great for business, great just all the way around,” Selig said. “And people are really fighting for it. So I’ll start looking at ‘16 and ‘17. Because people need a lot of lead time for hosting an All-Star Game.”

Selig also addressed the MASN TV dispute between the Nationals and Orioles – but he provided little clarity and more of a non-update update.

“Have spent a lot of time talking to both clubs, and even very, very recently, and we continue to do that and hope that we’ll have some type of resolution and we’ll continue to work at that,” Selig said. “Really, it’s been a difficult situation but I’m always hopeful that we can work out a resolution and we are working on that right now.”

The issue has been ongoing since after the 2011 season, when the Nationals sought to increase the value of their TV rights, which are controlled by MASN, the Orioles-run regional network. The sides have not been able to come to an agreement on increased fees – which Selig was hoping to have completed a year ago.

“Let’s put it this way, it’s not an easy situation to resolve,” Selig said.

In the nearly hour-long meeting with reporters, Selig also addressed MLB’s investigation into the Miami-based anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis and its involvement with several high-profile players.

“It is thorough, it is comprehensive and it is aggressive,” said Selig, who would not suggest a timeline for when the investigation will be completed or when suspensions will be announced.

MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner, who spoke to the BBWAA membership after Selig left, said that with built-in appeals and hearings, he would not expect suspensions to come at least until September, perhaps later.

Weiner, who is battling brain cancer and is limited to a wheelchair, said contingency plans are being made in case he cannot continue in his role leading the union. Former union chief Donald Fehr is not expected to return to that position, Weiner said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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