02/08/2015 03:16 EST | Updated 04/10/2015 05:59 EDT

MLB opts for bidding to determine all-star game host

Paul Beeston insists he has a good relationship with Rob Manfred, who is preparing for his first season as commissioner of Major League Baseball.

If true, it would go a long way in helping the Toronto Blue Jays’ future attempts at securing the all-star game for a second time.

Going forward, Manfred has said there will be a bidding process to determine the host city for the all-star game. For the past 82 years, all-star games have alternated between American and National leagues.

The process would begin in 2017, the earliest Toronto could be awarded the game, as Cincinnati and San Diego have already been named hosts for the next two years.

Last August, Beeston, who was president and chief operating officer of MLB from 1997 to 2002, opposed Manfred’s election. He beat out Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan for the commissioner’s job.

Recently, Beeston told a Toronto sports radio station that Manfred was one of three strong candidates.

Manfred told ESPN last week that factors in determining a host city would include which team and city can produce the best experience, presumably for fans and players.

Toronto’s then-SkyDome was awarded the 1991 all-star game, which drew 52,382 fans.

When asked at last week’s State of the Franchise event at Rogers Centre when Blue Jays fans could expect the Midsummer Classic to return, a hopeful Beeston said “sooner rather than later.”

“I spoke with the new commissioner the other day about that very subject,” said Beeston. “It’s about time [MLB] brought [the all-star game] back here. It is our turn. We’re going to push that.

“There are a lot of teams that want it but, from our point of view, we deserve it.”

Beeston added his discussion with Manfred didn’t include a specific year Toronto would prefer to host the all-star game, only that the Jays are interested and would be submitting a proposal.

During the all-star festivities in 1991, Baltimore’s Cal Ripken stole the spotlight in the Home Run Derby, swatting 12 homers in two rounds.

Former Blue Jay Cecil Fielder also delivered a few prodigious blasts in the Derby.

Second baseman Roberto Alomar was the lone Blue Jays starter for the game, won 4-2 by the AL. Outfielder Joe Carter and Jimmy Key, the winning pitcher of the all-star game, were reserves.