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Bud Selig holds court: discusses replay, Wahoo, Montreal, chewing tobacco, and much, much more

Jul 15, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 4.04.26 PM AP

MINNESOTA, MN — Commissioner Bud Selig held the town hall-style meetings he always holds at baseball’s jewel events — the Winter Meetings, the All-Star Game, the World Series — and while we all argue and discuss this stuff all the time, when the Commissioner speaks, things happen. Or at least start to happen. Dormant topics are given new life, much-discussed topics are put to rest or, more often, the can is kicked down the road a bit. The point: Selig’s comments on these things shapes the conversation, so let’s buzz through Bud buzzed through late this morning here in Minneapolis:


Selig was asked about the exhibition games held in Montreal last spring. He said “I thought that was marvelous,” and said that Montreal would be “an excellent candidate in the future” for relocation of a franchise. He did note that the ballpark was a big problem, so it’s not as if Major League Baseball would move someone there any time soon, but one gets the sense that the Lords of Baseball would like to maintain Montreal as a reasonable bluff at the very least.

Length of Games

Some contradictory comments here. As we noted earlier today, Selig said that “television wants a three-hour program” when it comes to the Home Run Derby, but also noted that he’d like to “accelerate the pace of the game.” Given that TV and the commercials they show — especially during the playoffs — often lead to long games, this is not going to be an easy nut to crack.

Chief Wahoo:

Selig was asked about the Indians racist mascot. Obviously seeking to avoid the sort of controversy which has engulfed the Washington Redskins and the NFL, Selig went to one of his favorite plays from his old playbook: feigning ignorance. Selig said “I’ve never had anybody talk to me” about Wahoo as an issue and said the Indians have had polls and studies that indicate people don’t care. Which has zero to do with whether a red-faced racial caricature is appropriate or not, but go ahead and wave a poll. Selig also famously said no one he knew ever said baseball needed instant replay. He continued saying it until the very moment instant replay was introduced.

Instant Replay/Plate Collision Rule

Speaking of instant replay, Selig said it could use some tweaking but that he’s generally pleased. I think that’s fair. Someone asked him about the stalling process managers use before deciding to challenge and was asked about whether managers could throw a flag, perhaps. Selig said:

“In certain cities you may have a whole laundry bag coming out on the field.”

I would assume he’s talking about Philly there. As for the home plate collision rule, Selig said that it will be on the books in 2015 despite it being considered an “experimental” rule at the moment and despite some criticism of its implementation. Selig said we haven’t had any horrific collisions at home plate yet, however, and that’s the point. Which also explains the logic of the rock I keep in my pocket, but we’ll leave that go for now.

Smokeless Tobacco

In the wake of Tony Gwynn’s death, Selig was asked about baseball getting tougher on smokeless tobacco. Selig said that’s a matter for collective bargaining but noted that, at some point, grown men are allowed to make their own decisions and that all the league can practically do right now is communicate to players how dangerous it is and hope they make good decisions.

Derek Jeter

As everyone else has been asked about Derek Jeter this week, someone asked Selig about the retiring Yankees Captain. Selig totally ripped Jeter a new one, saying that the game will be better once he’s gone.

Oh, wait. No. He said “How lucky can this sport be to have the icon of this generation turn out to be Derek Jeter.”

That strikes me as an odd way to put that, but Bud’s sentiments seemed quite sincere, so let’s give the Commissioner credit for being a fan with some passion. As he always truly has been if you watched closely, but it’s kinda neat to see Selig showing it in his official capacity.

  1. billybawl - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Cueing Phillies fans in 3… 2… 1…

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      You spelt phan wrong.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        You spelled “spelled” wrong.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        Check your Oxford Concise dictionary.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:52 PM


      • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        American dictionaries often butcher the English language. Have to use an English dictionary for the correct spelling of many English language words.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Mr. Webster warned us about people like you — with your pro-monarchy spelling and your Tory slang. Bah!

        I hope we do well tonight and kick some NL tail!

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        Canadian had something fishy on his mind. 😛

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        As a verb, spelt is a simple past tense and past participle of spell. As a noun, spelt is a variety of wheat. Now you know.

    • Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      The joke is on Craig – Phans don’t do laundry.

    • mbellwoar - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      You don’t find it cliche at this point to assume that Philadelphia fans are going to do the most outrageous nonsense? It’s a tiresome media stereotype

  2. Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Bud closed his Wahoo remarks thusly: “And you can believe me, because I never lie, and I’m always right.”

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Shorter Bud: “I’ve never heard anybody mention what a lying sack o feces I am.”

    • clemente2 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Nick–I like your moniker. Brought me back to the old days, sitting in a room with a portable phonograph in the dark, listening over and over….”So I bit the eagle off”….

      • Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Heh-heh – yes indeed. One of the things about the old days that was undeniably good. Firesign – making tomorrow’s old farts laugh yesterday.

  3. trbmb - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    I plan to celebrate with immense joy on the very day this clown retires. Enough of him. Then we can immediately welcome the next Ownership stooge.

    • paperlions - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Well, that is the job description. The commissioner works at the pleasure of the owners. His job is to do their collective bidding and to absorb all of the negativity from their decisions that he implements.

  4. historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    If no one has ever talked to Herr Bud about Wahoo, how does he know there are polls?

    • dondada10 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      Angie Harmon, is that you?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:12 PM


  5. scoochpooch - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Wahoo, racist in your opinion.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      No one scooch the pooch. He just wants some attention.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Indeed, and in the opinion of most people who understand what racism is, IMHO.

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        Those people should probably seek professional help.

  6. ih1357 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Since when did Slider become a racist mascot?

  7. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Question: Are the matters of players being allowed to drink beer, smoke cigars, or have their girlfriends in the dugout during games a matter solely for collective bargaining, or do teams and/or MLB have rules about them? If it’s the latter, then why no rules on spitting what looks like loose fecal matter in dugouts or on the field?

    • dredddog - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      What’s next? You can’t cuss on the field because of all these on field mic’s? Babe Ruth thinks your all puss***.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Leave the vagina out of it.

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        I’m sure Babe Ruth thought a lot of things 80 years that most of us have moved on from.

        What’s so masculine about chewing tobacco anyway?

      • indaburg - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Dredddog meant to say “pusillanimous.”

      • Nick Danger - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        You model your life and opinions on those of Babe Ruth?

        I’ve always wanted to know what pig knuckles taste like, but without actually eating them myself. It’s kind of a sick fascination. Please share.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        That’s what Ruth said when batting with his pinkie removed from the handle

  8. chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    This is why liberals crack me up. Yes, by all means let us spend our time worrying about team mascots. That’ll solve all the problems Native Americans face. My guess is that Native American groups would love it if Craig and his colleagues would spend one tenth the amount of words wasted on Wahoo or the Redskins calling attention to conditions on reservations.

    But hey, keep blathering about mascots so you can tell yourself you’re making a difference.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      Because leaving the racist mascot there is fixing things? Be sure and let us know what all you are doing to help Native Americans. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        That makes sense – because just like Craig I have a public platform to use to draw attention to the issue…oh wait no I don’t.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        A blog is free; go start one.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        To SocraticGadfly:

        Yes, because my blog would have the same sort of national exposure as one hosted by an NBC writer. Brilliant.

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Everyone should move out of Oklahoma then.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM


    • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      It’s definitely an easier article. The Indians and their logo are on the television every day, so the general public is more aware of that. The general public doesn’t see the failing educational structures on reservations on television every day because they aren’t part of a billion dollar industry, so they have more trouble relating to those types of issues. It’s quite unfortunate.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        Exactly, so wouldn’t it be great if a writer with a loyal following and a public platform would, at the very least, fold in some – you know – important stuff into an article about a logo on a hat?

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        And, far-right conservatives really care about that? I’ve seen this head fake before.

        Of course, those “Injuns” are just welfare cheats, especially when “all of them” are stealing white folks’ money with casinos, too.

    • mikeinthevine - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Cause everyone knows what a friend of Native Americans conservatives are. Go back to watching Rush…. Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t have a TV show anymore. OK, back to FAUX News.

      • halfthemoney - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        I must have missed something; why are all conservatives lumped in with Rush and Fox news? I find it hard to believe that all liberals are truly concerned with the plight of the Native American.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:36 PM

        I think both sides could do better – but only the liberals are patting themselves on the back for trying to deal with cosmetic racism rather than actual racism.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        and not for nothing but feel free to look up John McCain’s record on Native American policies.

      • Reflex - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Please define the difference between cosmetic and actual racism. I hold that they are one and the same. Racism is racism. NBC does not pay Craig to blog about reservations. They do pay him to blog about baseball. So when racism appears in the context of baseball it makes absolute sense to do what Craig does and call it out.

        It may not seem like it helps to you. But then your a privileged white male, so it really is not your place to make that determination. Every bit helps to those who are downtrodden, and yes for many Native Americans this is a major issue they have been fighting since the 50’s. It really does not matter if you agree or not.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Reflex – real racism = the conditions Native Americans experience by living on reservations; cosmetic racism = BS like team names and logos.

        This is not simply a Craig Calcaterra thing – I’ve said the same thing about the jackwagon writers who are using all of their space to talk about the Redskins; but using Craig as an example, in the last 2 days he has also blogged about cheeseburgers and beer – safe to say there is some leeway in what NBC pays him to write about.

      • Reflex - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        So basically you, a privileged white male, gets to decide what is racism for minorities. Got it. I totally forgot that they really have no right to define that for themselves. Its pretty uppity of them to fight for these issues, and white people who support them are disingenuous in doing so since they are not instead using every opportunity to go after the injustices that you personally feel are legitimate.

        So what would you say is a reasonable and genuine level of support? How about this: A honest supporter of Native Americans should support repatriation of lands stolen, and a ongoing payment of the natural resources being profited from by the United States on land that was taken from Natives. If Craig was advocating for this *real* solution to Native American poverty and injustice, would you be up in arms on this blog advocating in favor of his views? After all, there is nothing ‘cosmetic’ about a solution like that.

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        The dinosaurs were here before the native americans so maybe we should be paying them for the land. Makes about as much sense.

      • Reflex - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        True, because native americans are the same as wild animals. Not at all a racist observation on your part…

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        That was exactly my point 😦 You are the maroon making that comparison,,, Racist.

  9. disgracedfury - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Why would anybody ask if he didn’t help start the PED rampant age,help John Henry(friend) steal the Red Sox in a backdoor deal ,suspended a baseball year,have a tie in a all-star game, had doctors give A-Rod testosterone, had his workers get stolen documents and give an unknown man cash(which is illegal when the police told them not to, help a drug dealer who gave drugs to children(Bosch) to make a witch hunt on A-Rod and made money off of PED users.

    Selig is worst than A-Rod but Selig,Manfried, MLB owners,Players Association looked the other way for money purposes than throw Ped users under the bus when Congress told Selig to retire and be ashamed of himself.Selig is a snake.

  10. mikhelb - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    “Selig was asked about the Indians racist mascot.”

    That’s one of the worst editorializings you have done, that is cheap even for a blogger like you.

  11. mikhelb - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    And i agree with other posters who have said it is better to do something in favour of indigenous groups of people than to oppose mascots because they look like they could be a display of latent racism… and hey, I understand racism in that I am Mexican and have experienced racism first hand both from indigenous groups and from fellow “white men” like me (until I say i am mexican you can not tell because of my complexion, skin/hair colour and accent); there are other butthurt posters who see racism everywere because it could be that themselves are racists and try to deny it, while I have seen people who are not racists and do not see racism everywhere because for ’em everybody is equal. I have worked with indigenous people in Baja, those groups belong to the people which own casinos in California but themselves are not recognized by those who were born in the US and are indigenous (same for the indigenous people of Sonora), even if US legislation gives them a free pass to cross the border without the needs of non-indigenous passports, indigenous people from the US being racists towards their same people who are from mexican territory, now, that is odd.

    • Reflex - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      None of that belies the fact that removing racist mascots is a good thing, of course. It may not be the perfect thing, but it is a better thing, and a huge mistake people often make is letting the perfect be the enemy of the better.

      There is no need in this day and age, and there never really was, for a team to use a racist mascot.

  12. rcali - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Yeah, leave Slider out of this. He was born that way! I’m wondering if the NBC bosses require the writers to go overboard with their racist team names and mascot stuff? You got a football writer calling the Washington Redskins the Washington Football team, another ripping the MLB Commish, I can only imagine the rage going on in the “Inside the Irish” tab…….what…..nobody is losing their mind over a caricature of an Irish guy mascot for a team named the “Fighting Irish.” Hmmmmmm

    • Reflex - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Lots of people have demolished the strawman around the Fighting Irish issue. Quite frankly if the Irish did have a problem I have no issue taking out that team name either, although as many can point out the circumstances are significantly different. But yes, Redskins and Chief Wahoo are explicitly racist, and absolutely should be abolished. That they are still around in 2014 is a disgrace.

  13. 4cornersfan - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Put Chief Wahoo on the back burner and let’s talk about the assassination of the tool who beats that drum for four hours.

  14. sethjl - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Minnesota is my favorite city in Minnesota.

  15. revrn2 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Someone please find a nursing home to put Selig in he is so lost he can’t find his shoes without a roadmap. Well except for when he pisses then he finds them.
    The only thing I ask please don’t get another tool like the loser the NFL has.

  16. drachaarendee - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    The ‘People Not Mascots’ Logo is meant to be a Native American protest caricature of the racists Chief Wahoo logo of the Cleveland Indians Baseball team. It was originally painted in 1992 by David Jakupca at the historic ARK in Berea for the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance along with the Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC) incorporating elements of the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts, it has drawn criticism from some sportswriters, fans and local businessmen, but gained immediate acceptance among humanitarian, religious groups and Native Americans. It gained international popular attention when it was it exhibited by ICEA at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria and has become one of the most recognized anti-racists logo’s in existence. It also caused repercussions for the groups connected with using the logo in protest demonstrations and this has been documented in the INTERNECINE MATRIX..
    Google Reference Link:

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