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Selig: You “won’t recognize” baseball in a decade

Mar 8, 2013, 11:35 PM EDT

Bud Selig AP

Of the many things changed under Bud Selig’s watch as commissioner of Major League Baseball, the World Baseball Classic may end up being the most impactful. Selig, though, hopes to see international competition expanded, even such that the World Series is finally true to its name. Via J.J. Cooper of Baseball America:

“What is the final goal long after I’m gone? The thought of having a real world Series and the interest in the world I can’t even imagine,” Selig said. “Yes it has economic potential that is huge, but from a sociological standpoint that is greater.”

To further explain, Selig elaborated. “Someday you get the United States vs. Japan as an example.”

Selig went on to say that, if done right, “you won’t recognize the sport in a decade.”

Major League Baseball has moved glacially slow on most of its own issues, such as dealing with performance-enhancing drug use and implementing instant replay, but has worked swiftly in addressing specific issues like adding a one-game Wild Card playoff and evening out the American and National Leagues team-wise. So it remains to be seen if this is an achievable goal for Selig and his successors, as it is highly dependent on the time, money, and man power devoted to the project. A truly international game would be quite interesting, though.

  1. ruphillyfan - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Hey Bill,

    Congrats on the expanded work with NBC. Love your work over at crashburn.

    Isn’t the number one key to a successful “true” world series the participation of the games best? Based off of what we’ve seen with the WBC, he has to considering heavy incentives for participation.

    • Tarkus - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      The vast majority of the world’s best players are already competing for the World Series. It’s not like MLB is comprised only of players from the United States.

  2. calicokiller49 - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    It will get a lot more interesting, once they put a salary cap in place. The MLB is getting more ridiculous every year.

    • bigharold - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM

      Tell it to the MLPA. The absolute BIGGEST impediment to a cap is the players.

      • js20011041 - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

        Can you blame them? Would you want your employer to institute an arbitrary cap on what they pay labor? You realize the entire goal of a salary cap is exactly what the name implies, right? To artificially limit salary and increase the profits of the owners. We already have competitive balance, and even the “poor” teams are swimming in money. If an owner in baseball doesn’t want to spend money, it’s because he doesn’t want to, not because he can’t.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        LOL @ “arbitrary”
        And LOL @ “already have competitive balance”

      • js20011041 - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        misterchainbluelightning, not trying to be a dick, but do you know what arbitrary means?

        Also, we have seen teams like the A’s and Twins from the early 2000s make consistent playoff runs as well as the Rays from the last five years. We have seen time and time again that well run teams are successful and poorly run teams are not. Regardless of payroll. We already have revenue sharing, the luxury tax, and competitive balance round draft picks. We’re seeing smaller market teams lock up their stars longterm like you would not have seen ten years ago. At what point do you say enough is enough and that sufficient accomodations have been made?

    • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      All a salary cap would do is force some teams to make more money than they currently do. If anything, MLB should increase revenue sharing so that every team is capable of retaining home grown stars. Installing a salary cap will never allow the A’s, Rays, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, ect. to spend to the cap (unless you make that number really low) to achieve competitive balance.

      To clarify, competitive balance does not mean that different teams win all the time or that dominant and bad teams don’t exist….it just means that every team is playing on the same financial field and their baseball decisions reflect standings/results rather than their financial power.

      Without massive revenue sharing (which will not happen in MLB because each team has independently grown its brand rather than MLB as a league doing so, as in the other sports), a cap won’t do anything but force a few owners to make more money and further artificially depress salaries.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM


      • abaird2012 - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Are current salaries really “artificially depressed”?

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:20 AM


        The draft prevents amateur players from signing for market value.

        The new CBA has rules that cap spending on international amateur players.

        Player salaries are artificially deflated for the first 6 years of their career, during which time they are not allowed to market themselves to the highest bidder….which people in every other profession are allowed to do.

        Yes, once a player hits FA, he can make what the market will bear….but for the 6-10 years of his career before that….he can’t.

      • jwbiii - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        “Are current salaries really “artificially depressed”?”

        Mike Trout just signed a contract for $510k. His teammate, Josh Hamilton, just signed a contract for 5/$133M. Would you not say that Trout’s salary is being artificially depressed?

    • American of African Descent - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      A salary cap will not guarantee competitive balance. High payroll does not guarantee championships (ask the Mets, the Dodgers, and the Cubs), and a low payroll does not mean your team won’t be competitive (ask the Twins and A’s of the early ’00s, and the Rays now).

      Want real competitive balance? Let’s use competitive principles. In the competitive market, when management isn’t doing well, an activist investor comes in, launches a proxy war, and inserts his own team. Why not the same in baseball? Currently, you have teams like the Pirates and the Royals that haven’t fielded competitive teams in 20 years. There is no penalty for ownership. What I propose is that if you can’t win over half your games once every seven years, MLB buys you out and sells to a new ownership group. That would make things interesting.

  3. fearthehoody - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    i used to think ol bud was the worst commish on the planet. Then a man named Roger came into our lives.

    • handsofsweed - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      And his midget sidekick named Gary.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      First of all, HBT commenters have a long-standing informal policy of not talking about that other sport, but if we’re going to break Old Gator’s Third Wall™, Gary Bettman is a much worse commissioner than Goodell, and if you want to talk about the planet there is a man named Sepp Blatter who makes them all look like saints.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Just like Selig, Bettman is only doing his job, which is to enact the decisions of NHL owners….it is NHL owners that are far worse at managing their team/league than other leagues, not Bettman. Goodell has much more power to make enact non-business decisions in the NFL and he has done horribly. The CBA gave him the ability to be the final voice in a lot of decisions with regard to players safety and discipline, and he has managed to make just about as a bad a series of decisions as one could.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Apparently that wall needs a fence… 😦

  4. iamjimmyjack - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    This is America’s past time. Not Japan’s. leave baseball the way it is.

    • hcf95688 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:05 AM


      • paint771 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

        No, with iam’s attitude, I think he spelled it right.

  5. dawgpoundmember - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    I love any post that involves Selig. I think he is the exception to the rule baseball will tell you when you are done, not vice versa. MLB not only created major sports, but “commissioners?”

    He has kept baseball going, and way more competitive, but drained at the same time with the Oakland A’s stadium, home field advantage decided for the all-star break, and the slow progress of expanded replay, he needs to know he has got to go.

    I’d like to know your take on commissioners.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    “Yes it has economic potential that is huge, but from a sociological standpoint that is greater.”

    Sociological? Okay – I’ll give him credit for not being full on pompous and saying “solving world problems” or “promoting harmony among nations”. But either he does not understand what the word sociological means, or he is full of himself.

  7. ET Sport - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    L’ha ribloggato su ET Sports.

  8. thebadguyswon - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    All I care about when it comes to baseball in ten years is that Bud Selig isn’t in it.

    • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      I also care that Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller, and Yadier Molina are widely regarded as future first ballot HOFers after playing their entire careers in StL.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM


      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Sure, why not. It would be great if he was good enough that Pasta diving Kozma was a thing in 10 years.

        Somehow, I feel he might be a minor league instructor or college coach in 10 years.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        You say that like it’s a bad thing.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        BTW, I hope you saw this:

        (It’s probably a little over the top, but still.)

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        I had not….I’ll give it a read. Just finished a couple of hours of snow shoveling after getting 14-16″ yesterday.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Wow! How awesome. It was 70 here on Thursday but 57 with a cold wind yesterday. Today is supposed to be 65 but rainy all day. We usually get a last ice storm sometime in mid March. Then it stays warm…until it leaps to being hot. I’m so jealous. Mind those puppies’ feet.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Are you in the part of OK that has been beaten down by drought the last couple of years (I realize that includes nearly the entire state)? I saw a forecast for this summer…looks like you’ll be getting a repeat performance.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        The whole state is technically in a drought (year 3!) but I am not in the worst of it. I expect more water rationing this year…and a continuation of bleeding the aquifers dry at an alarming rate. Don’t get me started on that.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Is that the ogalala? That was always a big issue when I was in Lubbock, always cracked me up that the only people that could legally use it, are the ones that drain it down so fast. Nothing like trading the future for a slightly better today

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        Agreed, but you can’t force people not to farm in a place entirely unsuited to the purpose. I tell you — Americans. Some people learn by reading, some by doing, but it seems like we have to learn by peeing on an electric fence multiple times.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Eh, that makes us just like everyone else…you just don’t get to see people from the rest of the world do it first hand on a daily basis.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        I saw the same thing when I lived on the western slope in Colorado. The bad thing is that we know that’s what we’re doing, and we do it anyway. I guess when it’s gone people will leave and we’ll talk about lost communities.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Yep, people always act like future negative predictions can’t/won’t happen. In part, this is probably because evolution has always selected for strategies with short-term benefit….it just isn’t “natural” to plan that far ahead (years or generations) because no one has been able to do it before. Now we can, but if it comes with any cost at all, there is always going to be resistance….especially from people making money off of fucking up the place.

        We are pretty much screwed at this point, it is just a question of how long it takes to hit the cliff….so far, it is pedal to the metal….makes me wish I was older….less chance of being around to see it.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        I thought you were old as dirt. lol Maybe that’s why Jim Inhofe is so adamant in his opposition to global warming. He won’t be around for our comeuppance.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        Some dirt is pretty young. Freshly composted organics = brand new dirt.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        lol No wonder you are so protective of your lawn.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        Just finished reading that piece….I had not seen it, good story. I do remember reading a story about Almonte while he was at a junior college, must have been the same place/coach. Sad that the kid appears to have been blackballed for something that was done to him…more than something he did himself.

  9. ridgeavenuehr - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Imagine the variety of concessions at the ball parks!

  10. chill1184 - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I do admit an actual world series (in the similar guise of the Caribbean World Series) would be pretty awesome

  11. gatherspeed - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    He wants international competition, yet he could not get the Expos out of Montreal fast enough…

    • ptfu - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      Ah, you beat me to the punch :-)

    • American of African Descent - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      That’s not quite fair. Montreal had never been a baseball town, the stadium was a dreadful place to watch and play a game, and the one year the team was amazing was the year they canceled the World Series. Baseball was not going to be viable in Montreal for another 20 years.

      The tough thing about having a truly “world” series would be the logistics. All of the best players in the world already come to the United States to play. I suppose you could put together a tournament where each player plays for his national team . . . you could call that tournament something like the World Baseball Classic, and hold it every four years . . . Of course, you’d need to find a way to motivate the very best players to play in that tournament so that the tournament would reflect the best talent a particular country has to offer.

  12. chumthumper - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    If it has anything to do with putting more $$$ in owner’s pockets, of course they’re gonna act on it quickly. Dealing with PEDs and instant replay don’t do that.

  13. ptfu - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Bud says he wants “a real world Series”? Ha! That would require vision, decisive leadership, and plenty of arm-twisting/charisma to pull it off. Not exactly Bud’s hallmarks (nor should they be, as his job is essentially to be a mouthpiece/foil for the owners).

    Under Bud’s watch, there are now fewer teams based outside the United States. (Thanks again to Jeff Loria for nuking Montreal.) THIS is now the Great Internationalizer? Bud won’t even let the A’s move to San Jose! Maybe he would facilitate their move if they wanted to go to Japan or Puerto Rico…and if you believe that, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    The only way I won’t recognize baseball in a decade is if Bud’s no longer the commish. Small chance of that, though, as he will outlive us all. Yes, he promised he would retire, and I’ll believe his retirement when I see it.

    • chill1184 - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Puerto Rico could be viable as they did try to lure the Expos down there until MLB ultimately decided on Washington.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      When he finally does retire (or dies in office), we will have one helluva party, no?

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        I read the NYT article you recommended to ‘lions. Dominicans on the prairie. Who woulda thunk it? Seriously, it sounds like they’re doing right by those boys, given them an opportunity to an education as well as playing ball. Good stuff. Prior to that article, this is what I thought of OK:

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        lol Sometimes we earn our reputation, Burgie.

      • umrguy42 - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        I recommend a wooden stake through the heart, and possibly silver bullets. Just to be sure. And/or destroying the head/brain. Wouldn’t want a comeback by an undead Bud…

  14. Uncle Charlie - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Impactful, huh? What a perfectly cromulent thing to say!

  15. dirtydrew - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    The best thing that could happen to baseball is Bud kicking the bucket. He ruined the game with steroids and uncompetitive teams like the Royals, Pirates, Padres, I thought the WBC would pit USA vs Japan…hello?

  16. gbar22 - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    I think the only people who truly want an international game are commissioners and owners for the cash. As a fan I don’t like the idea of putting teams in all sports all over the planet.

  17. scoocha - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The article hits on the right points – Selig can’t solve the PED situation, can’t get replay expanded because of incompetent union umpires, but he wants to make sure there is a team playing Djibouti in 10 years.

  18. ndrick731 - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Well I hope the money grubbing bitch enjoys what’s left of his miserable life before he goes straight to hell upon his not soon enough demise.

  19. kw27p - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Get a salary cap and get rid of the allstar game home field advantage tragedy and I will become a baseball fan again. Maybe

  20. bat42boy - Mar 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    After his so called leadership, it is hard to recognize baseball, the way it should be played, today.

  21. subpop77 - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Yep boys and girls gone are the days of the AMERICAN pastime were here for the $$! So hand it over SMDH.

  22. 1historian - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    FYI – I am an old fart.

    You can have all the series all over the damn world if you want, the money will be unbelievable, blah blah blah.

    I won’t be there. Baseball lost me years and years ago – MLB, that is.

    Come this spring there will come once again the day when I go back to watching High School or college baseball sitting on the sideline with a beer in my hand and my black lab with me, and other old farts there. No words necessary.

    THAT is baseball to this old fart

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