KANSAS CITY -- In what has become a tradition during All-Star Week, Commissioner Bud Selig plans to address baseball fans around the world in a live Internet chat session today, a day before the Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium.
Selig will answer questions in front of an audience during the MLB All-Star FanFest at the Kansas City Convention Center beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. The event will be carried live on MLB.com.
Each year during the chat, which he is holding for the 12th consecutive year, Selig answers about 20 questions from fans about baseball and the state of the game. If Selig has time after answering questions submitted via MLB.com, he takes some from fans in the audience.
Fans can submit their questions now via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's chat session should generate much interest, particularly with the Royals hosting the All-Star Game for the third time in the history of Kansas City baseball and for the first time since 1973.
The season is also exciting on the field, with close division races in both leagues. Heading into Friday's action, 15 teams were at least within 10 games of a Wild Card slot. The Royals, in particular, head toward the All-Star break within hailing distance of first place in the American League Central and a Wild Card berth. They haven't made the playoffs since 1985, when they won their first World Series.
The annual MLB FanFest hosts more than 40 baseball-themed attractions, including state-of-the-art video batting and pitching cages and interactive clinics. It's a popular draw, annually attracting more than 100,000 fans. This year's five-day begins Friday.
The Commissioner's 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 news conference followed the session. In 2003, the current FanFest format, with fans in attendance, was implemented in Chicago before that year's All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.