It’s no secret the Red Sox have a desire to host another All-Star Game, and on Friday, team president Sam Kennedy said they’ve conveyed that desire to Major League Baseball.
“We would love to have an All-Star Game here,” Kennedy said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the MGM Music Hall at Fenway, which is set to open in the fall of 2021. “In fact, I talked to some of the folks at MLB about the possibility.
“We need to work and figure out a time that would work for the convention centers. But we’ve told MLB that we would like to host.”
The last time Boston played host to the All-Star festivities was in 1999, and that event was full of memories for Red Sox fans. Pedro Martinez dazzled as the American League starting pitcher, striking out five batters over two innings to steal a lot of the headlines.
But the signature moment came when Red Sox great Ted Williams was driven onto the field to be honored by the players and the Fenway crowd prior to the game.
“We’d like to make it happen [again] in the near future,” Kennedy said with a smile.
Work to do for Bloom
Speaking of All-Stars, Kennedy said there still haven’t been any formal discussions with Mookie Betts about a contract extension, though he did note that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran spoke to Betts’s representatives at the GM Meetings in Arizona last week.
Kennedy’s hope is that Bloom can find a way to configure the roster in a manner that allows the Sox to keep Betts, who is heading into his free agent year, while still reaching their goal to shed payroll.
“Chaim’s reputation is creativity and turning over lots of stones and looking at different opportunities,” said Kennedy. “So we’ll see where this offseason leads us. It’s been interesting to see, over the last couple of days, deals getting done and the market moving more quickly.”
On Thursday, catcher Yasmani Grandal signed a four-year, $73 million deal with the Chicago White Sox, a record for the club. Betts will be worth a lot more than that; he should be creeping up on some record numbers of his own, including a payday approaching $30 million for 2020.
As for Bloom, Kennedy said he’s still getting settled, but he’s already seeing what made Bloom so successful in Tampa.
“He is so bright,” Kennedy said. “He has a way of describing complex situations and breaking it down in a simple way, which is a real skill and a real talent. He’s in that mode right now.”
Bloom will spend Thanksgiving week here in Boston, with the Sox having so many question marks on their roster. They have emphasized the importance of keeping the lines of communication open between the coaching staff and the front office, and so far, it’s a role Bloom has thrived in.
“I’m incredibly impressed,” Kennedy said. “I’m impressed with him mostly as a person, and his ability to connect with people and work with the group of men and women we have in the department.”
No further comment
As MLB continues its investigation into accusations that the Houston Astros illegally used technology to steal signs, Kennedy elected not to comment on how that might affect Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Houston’s bench coach in 2017. “Alex acknowledged that he did speak to MLB and wants to leave it at that, as he should,” Kennedy said. “We’ll see where it all goes.”