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Washington, D.C. and Nationals Park to host 2018 MLB All-Star Game?

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It's been one of the worst-kept secrets in baseball for the last few months and though an official announcement hasn't been made (yet) even more reports now say that Washington, D.C. and Nationals Park will host the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

Photo via Brendan Sheridan (aka @md_dc on Twitter).
Photo via Brendan Sheridan (aka @md_dc on Twitter).

Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell included the following paragraph in a January 19, 2015 article on the Washington Nationals signing right-handed starter Max Scherzer to a 7-year/$210M free agent deal:

"[Ted] Lerner, 89, may have even more than Scherzer to be happy about. The MLB All-Star Game almost certainly will come to Nationals Park in 2018. In baseball, one man essentially decides such things: the commissioner. And one man can change his mind. But before Bug Selig retires at the end of this month, people with reason to know tell me Washington will be announced as the 2018 All-Star Game host and that the Nats already have been told. They’re wisely holding their breath and their tongues until it is made public."

Bud Selig never did announce Nationals Park as the site of the 2018 Midsummer Classic before he retired and Rob Manfred became Major League Baseball's Commissioner, but the Nationals made their bid for a future ASG public in mid-March, kicking off a campaign (#DCisReady) designed to convince MLB that D.C. was indeed a good choice to host the event for the first time since 1969 when it was held in RFK Stadium.

The Nationals made their bid official in a Curly-W blog post/press release:

"The city submitted a strong bid to Major League Baseball, and we need your help to share with MLB that Washington, D.C. is ready to host. Washington hasn’t hosted the All-Star Game since 1969 – but as we launch our 10th anniversary season, we believe D.C. is ready!"

This afternoon in Nationals Park, a conspicuous banner in front of the Red Loft and above the Red Porch caught the attention of just about every one of the 36,998 peope in attendance for the Nats' final exhibition game of the Spring:

A few hours after the Nationals' 4-3 loss to the Yankees, CSNWashington and NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman reported that the announcement on the location of the 2018 All-Star Game will be coming soon:

"New commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to officially award the 2018 MLB All-Star Game to the Nationals on Monday, according to league and club sources, bringing the Midsummer Classic to the District for the first time in 49 years."

Manfred was already scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. on Monday to throw out the first pitch before the Nats and New York Mets meet for the first time in 2015, and Zuckerman writes tonight that the Commissioner, "will make the announcement with club ownership, which formally submitted a bid for the game earlier this year."

The press room in Nats Park was in fact set up for what looked like a major announcement this morning, so both Nats' skipper Matt Williams and Scherzer (in his pre-Opening Day press conference) were forced to speak to reporters from a lecturn on the dais which also had seating for four set up with two seats on either side...

ASG in D.C. ... in 2018? #DCisREADY!!