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November 17, 2023

MLB’s All-Star Backpedal in Georgia

Atlanta will host the game in 2025, but the league didn’t offer an apology for its disgraceful move two years ago.

There’s not yet any truth to the rumor that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will throw out the first pitch of the 2025 All-Star Game in Atlanta, but he should.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Thursday that Atlanta has been awarded the honor of hosting the game in July 2025. After his utterly disgraceful and transparently political decision to yank the game from the city in 2021, Manfred ought to be groveling in apology. Instead, he mostly whiffed.

In 2021, you may recall, MLB went along with the lies of leftists like Stacey “Election Denier” Abrams regarding Georgia’s election integrity law. Given the questions from both sides about the outcome of elections in the state, Governor Kemp and his fellow Republicans were right to shore things up.

Predictably, however, rather than debate the merit of policy choices, Democrats ran around shrieking “Racism!” President Joe “Unity” Biden decried the law as “un-American” and an “atrocity” and laughably asserted that the legislation “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” He said he’d “strongly support” moving the All-Star Game in retribution.

The demagoguery from the president and others provided all the cover Manfred needed to punish Atlanta and Georgia — which, as we noted at the time, actually punished the minority business owners who lost out on $100 million in revenue from game-related economic activity.

In the end, this lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and longtime Georgia resident gained immense satisfaction from the Braves proceeding to win the 2021 World Series — in Houston, Texas, no less, another state that had passed an election integrity law. It was simply marvelous to watch Braves fans boo Manfred as he choked through the words about it being his “honor and pleasure” to have to present the World Series trophy to the team, the city, and the state he recklessly slandered a few short months earlier.

Joe Biden, by the way, still hosted the Braves at the White House after that win — albeit with a White House race-based smear against the team’s Native American-honoring name. You just can’t win with these people.

As for Manfred, he’s now singing a different tune.

“I commend … the entire Braves organization,” Manfred said in announcing the 2025 game. “As a model of success on and off the field, the Braves deserve to host the All-Star Game.” He added, “We look forward to working with the Braves and local leaders to deliver a memorable All-Star Week that brings people together and benefits the community in many ways.”

Mmm, bringing people together. That’s what baseball is about, and we’re glad to see Manfred finally remembers that.

He also remembered that people weren’t happy with him two years ago for dividing people by politicizing a baseball game. “I made the decision in 2021 to move the event,” he said Thursday, “and I understand — believe me — that people had then, and probably still have, different views as to the merits of that decision. What’s most important is that the Atlanta Braves are a great organization.”

The Braves were a great organization in 2021, though at the time Manfred considered that secondary to making a grandstanding political point.

It’s telling that he did not remember to apologize or say anything further about his gross treatment of the city and state he now honors — an honor extended with the law in Georgia still almost entirely in place. He also did not remember to recognize that he was wrong on the merits. Georgia had record turnout in 2022 despite Democrat cries of “voter suppression.”

“Georgia’s voting laws haven’t changed,” Kemp noted, “but it’s good to see the MLB’s misguided understanding of them has.”

That Manfred intends to just sweep all that dirt off the plate as if he didn’t make a dirty play is deserving of another round of boos. We suppose, however, that we ought to be glad that Atlanta will get another crack at hosting the All-Star Game less than two years from now. Here’s hoping it’s under a different MLB commissioner and definitely a different president.

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