The Latest: Cubs, Sox All-Stars have October on their minds
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Latest on the All-Star Game (all times local):
David Ortiz was quick with an answer when asked what he hoped to get out of his 10th All-Star Game: ''Home field advantage.''
The winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series, and Big Papi would love to wrap up his career at home in late October.
Kris Bryant also knows how much that would mean if the Chicago Cubs were to make it to the World Series.
''I know I'm going to go out there and try my best to impact the game,'' Bryant said. ''You're seeing more and more of what this game really means in the playoffs and home-field advantage. Playing in the wild-card game last year, we wished it was at Wrigley Field because the atmosphere was just intense as the visiting team.''
Big Papi has an appropriate throne for his All-Star finale.
David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox got the prime locker in the San Diego Padres' clubhouse for the midseason classic. The slugger is set up in Matt Kemp's locker, which comes with a big recliner.
Ortiz was mobbed by media and fans on the Petco Park field when he stepped out for batting practice. This is Ortiz's 10th All-Star Game, and he's feeling the vibe of what the game has brought to downtown San Diego.
''It never gets old,'' he said. ''It's always interesting. You always want to be part of it. The All-Star Game is the All-Star Game.''
The Chicago Cubs aren't here to take part. They're here to take over – one side of the visiting clubhouse at Petco Park.
The Cubs' seven All-Stars occupied all but one locker on one clubhouse wall. In order from the door, the Cubs had Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler.
Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves was crammed into the far corner, the only other player with a locker on that row.
''It's our whole row here,'' Bryant said. ''To see our jerseys hanging here like this, it's special. It says a lot about our fans. We've seen so much more excitement around our team early on this year. That's huge for us to go out there under those situations.''
A bat used by Jackie Robinson in 1953 and a jersey worn by Sandy Koufax in 1966 were among the top six items sold during an auction at the All-Star FanFest.
Robinson's bat sold for $103,500. The Koufax jersey went for $184,000.
The other top items were: a 1912 ''Smoky'' Joe Wood Boston Red Sox world championship medallion, sold for $86,250; a ball signed in 1919 by Babe Ruth, sold for $63,250; and two Tony Gwynn national championship rings sold together for $112,125.
Jake Arrieta is more than willing to pitch for the NL in the All-Star Game if needed.
He would also welcome another day off as he attempts to recover his form for the second half of the season.
The Chicago Cubs right-hander left the decision up to manager Terry Collins as he prepared for his first All-Star experience at Petco Park.
''I told Terry that if I'm needed, I'm in,'' Arrieta said in the NL clubhouse before the game. ''But if there's other guys that really want to be in the game, I wouldn't mind a day off.''
Arrieta struggled – by his standards, anyway – in his final five starts before the break, getting through no more than six innings in any of them. San Francisco's Johnny Cueto was chosen for the All-Star start over last season's Cy Young winner, and Arrieta said he understood the call.
Arrieta says it ''isn't going to hurt anything'' to pitch an inning of relief, but he's not desperate to get into his first All-Star game.
Baseball fans are packing the streets of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter in anticipation of the city's first All-Star Game since 1992. Jerseys representing teams from across the country are everywhere, as are T-shirts with the All-Stars' names and numbers in traditional Padres brown and gold.
Thousands of fans already entered Petco Park to watch batting practice before the players went to center field to pose for photos.
San Diego is hosting the midsummer classic for the third time, and the first in the Padres' sparkling downtown stadium.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says a lawsuit filed by minor league players claiming they don't earn the minimum wage ''is not a dollars-and-cents issue.''
Some minor leaguers earn as little as $1,100 a month, The suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco in 2014, could go to trial next year.
Manfred says the suit is about ''the irrationality of the application of traditional workplace overtime rules to minor league baseball players. It just makes no sense. I want to take extra BP. Am I working, or am I not working?''
He adds: ''This is an area where excessive regulation could have a really dramatic impact on the size of minor league baseball.''
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred admits the sport ''slipped right at the beginning this year'' when it comes to pace of play.
The average time of a nine-inning game was 3 hours, 13 seconds prior to the All-Star Game, according to the commissioner's office. That is up from 2:53:04 at last year's break but down from 3:02:41 during the first half in 2014.
Manfred says ''pace of play for me is like dandelions in your front lawn. I just can't get rid of it.''
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it clear that the Athletics' search for a new ballpark will be confined to Oakland.
Manfred says, ''I am committed to Oakland as major league site. I think that if we were to leave Oakland, I think 10 years from now we would be more likely than not looking backwards saying we made a mistake.''
He adds: ''Oakland is more likely than not to be a better market five years from now than it is today.''
Major League Baseball is keeping expansion ''on the backburner'' until Oakland and Tampa Bay get new ballparks.
Both teams have long sought new stadiums, but no proposals in their current territories have gained traction.
Commissioner Rob Manfred says ''the Tampa and Oakland situations need to be resolved. Both of those clubs need new major league quality facilities.''
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says ''the absence of a Latino manager is glaring.''
Atlanta fired Fredi Gonzalez in May and replaced him on an interim basis with Brian Snitker.
Speaking to the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Manfred says ''there are 30 jobs and there are 30 high turnovers jobs when you're talking about field managers, and you're going to have an ebb and flow in terms of diversity.''
David Ortiz's jersey is the most popular this season, judging by sales on MLBShop.com between Jan. 1 and the All-Star Game.
Ortiz, 40, plans to retire at the end of the season and is a 10-time All-Star. He also topped the sales list during the 2013-14 offseason, after winning his third World Series title with the Boston Red Sox.
Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is second, followed by Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, San Francisco's Buster Posey, the Cubs' Jake Arrieta, St. Louis' Yadier Molina, Washington's Bryce Harper and the New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard.
The concessionaire at Petco Park expects to sell 24,000 hot dogs, 16,000 orders of chicken fingers, 18,000 pounds of French fries, 98,000 peanuts and 45,000 bottles of water at the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game.
Delaware North executive chef at Petco Carlos Vargas created two new items for the game: a Hashtag Dog featuring a hot dog, tempura butter, club soda and shredded potato, and ASG Michelada drink with Estrella beer, poached shrimp, lime, habanero pepper, Clamato juice, lime juice and tajin spice.
Given the fresh fish in the area, items also include mahi mahi tacos and Ahi tuna poke stuffed avocado.