NEW YORK -- In what has become a tradition during All-Star week festivities, for the eighth consecutive year, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is planning to address baseball fans around the world in a live Internet chat session today, just hours before the big game at Yankee Stadium.
Selig will spend about half an hour answering questions at MLB.com's booth during the DHL All-Star FanFest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on 34th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET. The chat will be carried live on MLB.TV and the Baseball Channel.
Fans can submit their questions now via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's chat session should have some spice to it, particularly with the Yankees hosting the All-Star Game during the 85th and final season at the current Yankee Stadium. Plus, Selig is currently facing hot button issues like whether to institute instant replay for the first time on home run calls -- fair or foul, in or out -- and the serious issue of exploding maple bats. It's also shaping up as another exciting season on the field with close division and Wild Cards races in both leagues.
The annual FanFest hosts more than 40 baseball-themed attractions, including state-of-the-art video batting and pitching cages and interactive clinics. Last year, it drew more than 125,000 for its five-day run at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco. Opening on Friday in New York and running through today, that figure is sure to be shattered this year.
The chat has evolved since 2001, when Selig took questions via the Internet for the first time from his Milwaukee office. The next year, the media was invited and a press conference followed the session. In 2003, the current FanFest format, with fans in attendance, was implemented, and is preceded in a different venue by the Commissioner's question-and-answer session at the annual All-Star Game meeting of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Each year during the chat, Selig answers about 20 questions addressing the state of the game.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.