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Bud Selig has no problem with Jeter’s absence, says radical realignment not imminent, says other stuff

Jul 12, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

Bud Selig Reuters

Every year Bud Selig gives a big press conference on All-Star day. This year’s version just went down and, as usual, it was a rapid fire series of comments which pretty much set the official word of Major League Baseball on a ton of different topics. Highlights:

  • The complaints of some notwithstanding, Selig has no problem with Derek Jeter being away from the All-Star Game. Says he would have made the same choice in Jeter’s place and that there has been no player over the past 15 years he respects more than Jeter. If baseball blogs had the same standards of partisan political blogs I’d do a headline saying “Selig questions Jeter’s absence,” but since we’re better than that I think I’ll let it lie.
  • Selig said baseball would look at the rule which prohibits pitchers who threw on the Sunday before the All-Star Game to play in the game. Many have questioned this, inasmuch as Tuesday is often a bullpen session day for Sunday starters, so why not let them throw 20-25 pitches in the All-Star Game? Cole Hamels was complaining about this yesterday. Seems like some option should be involved for teams and pitchers.
  • Selig was asked about radical or massive realignment as many talked about a few weeks ago. He said there was nothing imminent on that, and generally downplayed it all, so I would guess it isn’t happening.
  • He said that the David Einhorn buy-in to the Mets is basically approved pending he and the Wilpons finishing the paperwork. Said it was a good deal for the Mets. Not sure what else he’d say.
  • Said that he had all kinds of things he’d like to say about the Frank McCourt litigation, but that he couldn’t. God, I know how that feels.
  • All but said that the 2013 All-Star Game will be in Citi Field, which is what everyone has basically known for a long time. I don’t get why baseball takes so long to formally announce this kind of thing.
  • He’s surprised by the Tampa Bay Rays’ low attendance this season and understands the concerns of Rays’ ownership. I would guess that if the Rays could figure out a way to move, Selig would support it.
  • At the same time, he totally dodged a question about the Oakland Athletics’ situation and the 28-month-long committee meeting that is holding up their future.
  • Selig “likes” tying home field advantage in the World Series to the All-Star Game. He probably also likes Miracle Whip on corned beef sandwiches.
  • When asked why they¬†couldn’t just use the best record in the regular season to determine home field advantage for the World Series, Selig said “You can’t wait till end of the year.” ¬†Which I guess means that the current system is totally rigged, because you don’t know which park will host the first game of the World Series until the LCSs are over now as it is. Troubling, or incoherent? You be the judge!
  • Selig said that he’s definitely retiring after the 2012 season like he has promised. I will believe it when I see it.
  • He said that there would be some sort of instant replay expansion, albeit limited. Likely on fair/foul calls.
  • He said that he likes the idea of using the DH in NL parks and letting pitchers bat in AL parks during interleague play. Really. Reverse rules. I’m not sure whose idea that is, but it’s … odd.

He said other stuff. Nothing radical of course because he’s Bud Selig, and that cuts both good and bad at varying times. But hey, at least it’s what we’re used to.

  1. jontler - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I’m all about the Miracle Whip on corned beef sandwiches.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Darth Selig, my hero. 90% of what you say is to further divide the sport. I can’t say anymore about this. He angers me in that picture. Looking all smug and everything. He sends me into a boiling temper of epic proportions.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      He looks like his gas finally built up enough pressure to escape from around his head.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        Yeah, it’s all the hot air and BS that spews from his mouth escaping from the top of his head.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        I was going more for the head up his a$$ reference, but either works.

  3. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Selig also probably likes cake!

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      Boston Creme Pie. Less controversy, perfect compromise, Bud in a nutshell.

    • The Common Man - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      No, Selig absolutely, unequivocally, loves Frozen Yogurt. Because he’s the devil.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        Frozen Yogurt is something all of can agree is evil.

      • umrguy42 - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        Given that (as part of our pictures, even!) my bride and I just had frozen yogurt “concretes” on our wedding day this past Saturday, I have to disagree that it’s evil :p (But Bud is certainly the devil.)

      • boxchain - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        He seems like a prototypical ‘ice milk’ kind of guy

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      He likes Boston Cream flavored New York style cheesecake.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

        And yes, I am baiting piebabies into something here—if I could only figure out what….

      • natstowngreg - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        Whereas cheesecake is superior to either pie or cake (at least, cake as defined by the cake extremists), my opinion of Bud just rose (ever so slightly).

      • Lukehart80 - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Cheesecake is a ladies’ dish.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Defaming cheesecake? I shall have to ask you to step outside, sir. Cheesecakes at 15 paces.

  4. spudchukar - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Troubling AND incoherent.

  5. heynerdlinger - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    FWIW – Playoff tickets are sold to season ticket holders in strips knowing which games the home team would play in the WS (i.e., a Red Sox season ticket holder will get tickets for games 1, 2, 6, & 7 if the AL has home-field advantage). That’s the only logical reason why MLB feels that it can’t wait until the end of the season to know which league has home-field advantage in the WS.

    It should also be said that the home-field league has always been known ahead of time, since it always alternated until the current system was put in place in 2003.

    Now, the counter argument here is that the other two levels of playoffs are sold as 3 and 4 games sets each, even though the home-field advantaged team won’t be known until a few days before each series.

    I still say that it would be better to tie the WS home-field to the overall league records in interleague play.

    • hystoracle - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      But you don’t print your playoff tickets until you are actually in the playoffs. They aren’t sent out in March unless you are extremely arrogant and thumbing your nose at the baseball gods.

      They also seem to be able to make it work in every other sport – Basketball, Hockey. They also play series. Teams don’t send you Stanley cup Finals tickets before the first round of the playoffs.

      • hystoracle - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        You could also sell tickets to 4 games per playoff level regardless of team and just have season ticket holders apply the unused tickets to the next season. It isn’t rocket science just 21st Century.

      • Lukehart80 - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        Especially since the refund/credit is exactly what they already do in the event of a series that doesn’t go the full 5 or 7 games.

      • heynerdlinger - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        Not only do they print playoff tickets before they are actually in the playoffs, they collect payment on those tickets before they are actually in the playoffs.

        To paraphrase Bud Selig: You can’t wait until the end of the season!

  6. Senor Cardgage - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    The reverse-DH rule during interleague play has been floating around for several years, and I’ve always thought it was appealing. Give the National League fans the chance to see designated hitters (and not just the ones you can shoehorn in at first base). Give the American League fans the chance to see their pitchers hit. (The pitchers are going to get the same number of at-bats regardless, so why not do it at home?)

    • SmackSaw - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      Abolish the DH. That fixes everything.

      • Senor Cardgage - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

        By the same token, why not just abolish pitchers hitting. Either way, the whole “the DH is good”/”the DH is bad” argument is beside the point. The point is that if these American League pitchers are going to be hitting anyway, it would be better for them to hit in front of their own fans.

      • paperlions - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        Why not abolish having SS hit? That way we can really enjoy some good glove work.

      • SmackSaw - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM


        Pitchers hitting is a part of the game. Also, it’s a perfect time to take a leak.

      • hystoracle - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        Imagine if they had the DH in Babe Ruth’s day. He may never have hit so many HRs. (Remember he was a pitcher as well)

  7. Ari Collins - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    I actually kind of like the reverse rules. For all that I prefer the DH, it’d be novel to go to Fenway and see Beckett have to hit.

    • heynerdlinger - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      It’d be novel right up until he comes up with two men on with two out in the bottom of the 6th inning of game 1 of the World Series with the Sox down by 3 runs.

      • Senor Cardgage - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        What? You wouldn’t do it backwards in the World Series. Just regular-season interleague play.

      • hystoracle - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        If your down by three runs then he isn’t pitching too great and the 6th inning would be a perfect spot for a double switch. With the $$ they spend on their roster they should have a quality backup at every position.

        No DH brings in a lot more strategy into the game. The manager becomes more relevant during the game. But it isn’t going anywhere because the MLBPA isn’t going to give up those jobs.

      • heynerdlinger - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        I missed the point about it being interleague play, but I have to disagree with the strategy comment. Managers choosing between two bad options doesn’t equal strategy. Pitchers will almost always bunt with less than two out and men on base. Late in the game, you will see the double-switch. It’s always the guy that made the last out, and no relief pitcher is ever going to hold a bat by design. If pitchers hitting brought more strategy into the game, you’d see more variety in the decisions that managers make.

        At least in the American League managers can make decisions based on the pitcher’s performance on the mound alone and not have to worry about whether making a change will cost him elsewhere. The end result is having the best pitcher available against the best hitter available.

        National League baseball is more about the execution of standard tactics than it is about the strategic decisions of managers. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. It’s just not what I’d call “more strategy.”

        And as for the lost jobs, I think it’s still common for National League teams to carry the same number of pitchers as their American League brethren. The only way that you reduce jobs is by cutting back on the 25-man roster. Even if you were to free up the salary of a guy like David Ortiz, that money will end up being redistributed to the other players on the team eventually. So you might give up one high paying salary for the DH, but you’d pick up an overpaid reliever or pay too much for your left fielder instead.

  8. rcali - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Bud, you look tired. I would retire now before the first pitch by a 5 year old raffle winner decides the winner of the World Series.

  9. ck101 - Jul 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Coming to Bud Selig’s defense is one of the last things I ever thought I’d do . . . but what he’s getting at about not being able to wait until the end of the season is that there are many, many logistical issues that need to be worked out in advance of the World Series. In addition to the ticket issues mentioned above, there are things like reserving hotel rooms for the teams, media, etc., stadium availability, travel plans for all the administrative people, planning around NFL games in the host team’s city – putting on a World Series is not a simple matter. If you at least know which league will host games 1, 2, 6, and 7, you can cut down on that somewhat and make things a little more manageable. I still think Selig ought not to be allowed to speak in public or to handle sharp things, but there actually is a reason baseball needs to determine which league will host which games ahead of time.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      So, we should find some way to figure out who the WS teams are prior to the end of the season? Sure, why not make it best record in the first half gets home field over the best record from the other league? The rest of the season will just be for sh!ts and giggles—oh, and money.

      But seriously, tie home field advantage to better league record in interleague play, or go back to the alternating sites.

      If you NEED to make the ASG count for something, make it winner gets next year’s ASG or something like that. The All Star Game is an exhibition for the fans, nothing more—except for a cash cow for Selig’s office.

      • hystoracle - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        How about this novel concept – the team with the best record at the end of the season gets home field advantage. We seem to be able to determine this for the other rounds of the playoffs before the last game of the season every other year. If not, that is even better and more exciting. Every other sports league in the world that utilizes playoffs seems to be able to figure out how to make this work. Probably because it is pretty simple.

        NYY Better make sure Jeter sits out the last weekend of the regular season so he isn’t too “physically and emotionally exhausted” for the playoffs.

    • tolbuck - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      I find it amazing the NHL and NBA can figure out the logistical issues but MLB cannot. Doesn’t give me much confidence in MLB’s braintrust.

    • tifosi73 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM

      Prior to 2003, only 14 AL teams in even years could host the World Series and 16 NL teams could host in odd years. You knew this years in advance.

      Since 2003 in every season, you have to wait until the ASG to cut down to those figures above. Prior to the game ALL 30 teams could host.

      How is this easier? Years in advance versus mid-July of the current season.

      Based on how teams were playing you could cut about half the teams off the shortened list by the ASG.

      Go back to alternating.

      The NBA and NHL (with a commissioner there who battles Selig as biggest idiot in all of sports) can figure this out and make it work.

      Why not baseball?

      Oh, wait. Selig is in charge.

  10. danberman4 - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    That last one is odd. I don’t know any NL fans have been waiting to see a game played with the DH in their home park. I mean you do get extra hours of play because the games are so long, but still. Maybe it’s a backdoor way to show AL fans how much better the game is without it. But I don’t like the idea much.

    • gabrielthursday - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      As much as I am in favour of the reverse-DH rule, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were far more popular in AL parks than NL – while we might not like to see our ace hit all year, AL fans would probably love to see Verlander or Romero take their hacks and perhaps get a hit or two. I’m not sure NL fans will be terribly excited to see their 4th OF get a couple more ABs.

      • scatterbrian - Jul 12, 2011 at 6:55 PM

        The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that watching pitchers hit in-person is supposed to be more enjoyable than seeing it on TV or on the internet. Every AL fan has seen their pitchers taking fruitless hacks in interleague games, it really isn’t going to be any more unique or compelling to see it from a seat in a stadium.

        Besides, the vast majority of fans get their games from the TV/internet or don’t go to every single game, so this pseudo-novelty of having AL pitchers hitting in AL parks would only be seen in-person by a small percentage of an AL team’s fan-base.

    • nlfan865 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:58 PM

      these are the kinda things you get when the commisioner of baseball is treating the game like he is running Barnum and Baileys Circus…Good thing hes not involved in the PGA hed have them putting thru windmills at Augusta….

  11. scatterbrian - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Mentioning the Rays situation while continually dodging the A’s situation is insulting and irresponsible. Yes, I am a biased A’s fan, but the fact that this situation has festered for so long is a disgrace no matter what team you support.

    Selig can suck it.

  12. Chipmaker - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    World Series home field was never an issue before this All-Star Game decides notion was implemented.

    That aside, the entire season interleague series (252 games) would be a better choice for assigning WS home field than the All-Star Game is.

    • ta192 - Jul 12, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      Alternating the home field advantage worked quite well for a century, but Selig needs to “fix” something in order to feel relevant. Might as well be something that’s not broken…

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