As part of this past offseason’s collective bargaining agreement, the league and Players Association agreed to a possible alteration to All-Star festivities. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports that the commissioner’s office now has authority to add one or more players to each league’s roster to honor a player’s career achievements.
“In addition to the 32 players elected and selected to the All-Star Game, the Commissioner may choose to add one player that he selects to each League’s roster, in recognition of each player’s career achievements,” the clause states. “If special circumstances warrant, the Commissioner may select more than one player to each league’s roster.”
It’s a discretionary clause the commissioner doesn’t have to exercise in any season, but Rosenthal argues the league should apply to it Albert Pujols this year. There’s a fairly easy case to be made for doing so. The three-time MVP is playing his final season with the Cardinals, and he’s sure to sail into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. A ten-time All-Star, he won’t earn a selection to this year’s game on his 2022 performance, but he’s among the greatest players in MLB history. Pujols last appeared in an All-Star Game in 2015.
The 2022 All-Star Game will take place at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles had been set to host the festivities in 2020, but they were canceled as part of pandemic protocols. The contest is scheduled for two weeks from now, July 19.