Entries Tagged as 'bud selig'

MLB panel to announce proposed changes April 4


A panel has been taking a hard look at the current way the game of Major bud-seligLeague Baseball is being played.  And before you know it, April 4 to be exact,  there will be an announcement if there will be any proposed changes. If I know the MLB, there will be some.  They can’t leave well enough alone.  

Bud Selig is at the forefront of this effort. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the big issues the panel hopes to address:

  1. Eliminating the All-Star-World Series home advantage
  2. Adding instant replay for balls hit down the foul lines
  3. Changing the playoff schedule
  4. A variety of “pace of game” issues


The pace of game issue has been a thorn in MLB’s side for a while.  Jonathan Papelbon was fined $5000 last year for taking too long on the mound.  Now it’s come to light that three teams, the Yankees, Dodgers and the Red Sox  have been particularly named by this panel as violating the pace of game.  According to Stats LLC, all three teams average over three hours. 

As for the playoff schedule, I know many fans that would back the panel on a change on this one.  The early proposed change is to eliminate current days of rest to shorten the overall postseason. 

There are a few other issues being discussed.  Those include changes to the amateur draft and realignment to “better group teams of similar economic situations”.  I’m not sure exactly what that means and I’m not sure I want to know.

Now most of these rule or policy changes should they see the light of day, won’t take effect right away.  We wouldn’t see the changes to the postseason, for example, till the 2011 season.  As for the game play changes, they might take effect sooner.  Changes to hasten the pace of baseball games, for example, would probably take effect ASAP.  MLB feels they are under the gun by fans to speed the games up. 

And if you’re interested in how *I* feel about the above proposed changes:

  1. Yes, let’s just pretend it never happened.  Despite how it was trumped up by MLB and media, the home advantage rule had limited effectiveness.
  2. No, though I’m not surprised it’s being proposed.  Proponents of the original instant replay rule claimed over and over that “it will only be used for home run calls”.  I knew it would be a slippery slope. 
  3. Yes.  The postseason schedule takes too long and the cynic in me wonders if it’s to prolong how long money can be made from it.
  4. It depends.  I don’t like long games either but I also don’t like changing how players play the game.  I wonder what MLB would have done about Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky, had he played in these times.


Your thoughts?

Selig’s on-field committee: Where are the players and the umps?

Bud Selig has announced the formation of a 14-person committee that will discuss all “on-field” matters.  Selig claims there are no “sacred cows” and top of his list is “pace of game”. 

What is interesting is the composition or perhaps what is lacking from from the committee.  Here is list:

Current Managers

  • Tony La Russa
  • Jim Leyland
  • Mike Scioscia
  • Joe Torre

Current or Former GMs

  • John Schuerholz
  • Andy MacPhail
  • Terry Ryan
  • Mark Shapiro)
  • Chuck Armstrong
  • Paul Beeston
  • Bill DeWitt
  • Dave Montgomery 

special advisor

Frank Robinson 

media observer

George Will

The good news is that have some current managers on the committee.  Though as the as the article points out, there will be no current players or umpires submitting their feedback.  In my opinion, if you’re going to be talking about issues that relate to on-the-field or gameplay issues (for example, oh I don’t know… pace of game), it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some input from players. 

And to not include any umpires is beyond me.  After all, they will be the ones who will be enforcing any rule changes, if any.

And mark my words, there will be some.  Because if Selig says “pace of game” will be among the first topics discussed, those aren’t just idle words.  He’s making a definitive statement that something will be done about pitchers like Jonathan Papelbon

…and really, George Will?  I respect his knowledge of baseball but whenever I hear his name in the context of the sport, I can’t help but think of this SNL video.

Some words of calm wisdom from Tom Glavine… or is it damage control?

Tom Glavine talked to the press Friday about PED testing standards in the major leagues.

“I think that it’s easy to sit on the outside, look at what has happened and blame Bud Selig or Don Fehr and the Players Association by saying that one of these guys or all of these guys knew more and should have known more,” Glavine said. “You know what? I don’t think it’s fair to say that.

While I’m certainly not ready to absolve Bud Selig on the matter especially considering what he said the other day about not taking responsibility on the steroid issue, Glavine’s point is somewhat well taken.  The fans and the media are busy playing the blame game and most of the dialogue I hear is more directed at hatin’ on the player rather than solving the problem. 

My friend Nick once told me, “C’mon, fans like to boo!”.  Of course, he was talking about within a ballgame.  However, you could extend his point to the broader context of Major League Baseball and problems it faces.  A lot of fans (most?) would just as soon read the headlines and listen to the sound bites throw ARod to the wolves.  Most of the media, unfortunately, is complicit in this as well, fueling the fire of contempt rather than providing good solutions to the issue. 

I’m not an ARod fan and I’m certainly not condoning what he did.  I’ve just seen and heard what has happened in the past with similar issues.  Bonds, McGwire, the list is long and problem is still here. 

Glavine does advocate for consequences for Alex Rodriguez, as well he should, 

“There comes a time for everybody in life — I don’t care where you are or what you do — that you have choices to make, and sometimes people make bad choices.  If you make a bad choice, then that’s your responsibility to deal with the consequences of that bad choice, and certainly Alex is having to deal with that.

However, baseball management was definitely responsible, at least in part, for not quelling the steroid issue at some point.  With his statement to the press, Glavine needs to be careful while he treads a fine line between calm, reasoned thought and being a ‘yes’ man for the MLB (ironic since he is the player rep for the NL). 

All parties need to take responsibility…

Does Bud Selig deserve his raise?

So Bud Selig has gotten his extension and raise and a lot of detractors out there are already questioning the decision.  I’m not really a Selig fan but let’s face it, from a business standpoint, it’s not surprising that he was given his contract extension and salary boost. 

Yes, there are some high profile problems (steroids) and bonehead decisions (2002 All-Star Game) that remain a sore point with the fans.  But when it comes to the important matters (money), at least when it comes to the owners and the business of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig is turning the trick. 

Do you all remember when baseball was in its doldrums?  Before Cal Ripken’s streak?  Before McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s home run race?  Even before that when NBA was king of sports?  Not any longer.  Baseball is now breaking attendance and revenue records. 

Not only that, Major League Baseball has made strides in the online realm with one of the best pro sports web presence.  Now I’m sure Selig didn’t have a whole lot to do with the day-to-day operations of MLB Advanced Media but it certainly happened under his watch.

Finally and this may be a stretch but can Selig take a little credit for some semblance of parity in the MLB?  Is it possible that in the past few years, we’ve teams in smaller markets establish some success?  Or is that just coincidence? 

The point of all this is that MLB is a business and as of now, business is booming.  Selig probably deserves what’s coming to him.  The big question is how he’ll handle 2009 and what the economic downturn will deal the baseball industry. 

Selig’s new contract takes him into 2012 when he’s said that he will retire.  Selig haters, don’t hold your breath.  He’s said this before. 

This year’s rule changes to be considered

MLB team owners are set to decide on two rule changes for Major League Baseball.  They’re relatively minor changes but worth noting. 

The first rule change only codifies what essentially took place during the rainy Game 5 of the World Series between the Phillies and the Rays.  Under current rules, these games only become official when the trailing team record 15 outs. 

Selig used rules governing suspended games at the time, but said had it been stopped with the Phillies leading, 2-1, in the fifth, the game would have gone into a rain delay until it was safe to resume.

“We’ll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here,” he said.

After the last owners’ meetings in New York in November, Selig said he told the owners that his interpretation of the rule would be codified.

The second change under consideration regards  how the decision is made who hosts one-game tiebreakers.  Currently, coin flips a few weeks beforehand are used to make the decision. 

Teams are asking that head-to-head records be used instead. 

Influential Sports Businessmen: how do you rank them?

Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal in their special report lists The 50 most influential people in sports business.  Oh, cut the crap and just say businessmen ’cause I didn’t see any women on the list. 

George Bodenheimer, prez of ESPN and ABC Sports heads the list.  Bud Selig came in at sixth. 

Two points of contention…

I would have raised Bob Bowman,  president and CEO of MLB Advanced Media from his position of 29 on this list.  I’m not exactly a fan of Bowman with his digital rights managements issues but no one can argue what he has done for MLB in the past few years.  He’s brought video (and audio) content to the fans, developed a high quality web site for the game of baseball and now he’s going to set up a network for the game (that major cable systems will actually carry). 

Scott Boras is at 42.  Is there any business man in baseball who holds such influence in where many players play, how much they make and how long they play?  He sets the bar for the players he represents and in turn, the ones he doesn’t. Again, not necessarily a fan but I’m surprised to see him ranked so low. 

Selig the Great

Wow, I think I found one of the few Bud Selig-lovers out there.

You can read the article yourself but it ends with this (emphasis mine):

The problems are many, and answers are hard in coming.      Some are obvious.     Others are obscure.      Bud Selig has been right more than he’s been wrong during his stewardship, and I think history will rank him among the great Commissioners.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Instant Replay on its way??

Bud Selig is expected to make a decision soon regarding instant replay.

It doesn’t take much to read between the lines to know that his mind is already made up.  He just needs the numbers and PR to back him up. 

From USA Today:

Selig was once a staunch opponent of replay, but a spate of missed home run calls this season has changed his stance.

This is faulty reasoning and bad logic.  If instant replay is a bad idea, then don’t let a few bad calls in one season change your opinion. 

And as I’ve said before, you certainly shouldn’t implement this mid-season.  MLB claims that teams don’t need to vote on this because this isn’t a "rule change" but it’s pretty dang close.

Paula Duffy from the Examiner has an interesting idea.  Start the experiment just before the 2008 playoffs.  I guess I would prefer that to doing it mid-season.