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Tag:Bud Selig
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: October 17, 2011 11:11 am
 

Dodgers owner McCourt settles with ex-wife Jamie

McCourtBy Evan Brunell

The Los Angeles Times reports that Frank McCourt has reached an agreement with ex-wife Jamie to assume full control of the Dodgers.

Jamie is expected to receive $130 million in exchange for dropping her contention that she is co-owner of the Dodgers. This would be a major step toward Frank retaining the team in its bankruptcy battle with MLB, as Jamie's absence from the proceedings would clear the way for Frank to sell the television rights to the club, using the revenue to fund the team. He would have been unable to keep the team unless he beat both his ex-wife and baseball. Removing Jamie from the equation simplifies matters greatly.

The settlement will position Frank McCourt to engage in a head-on battle with commissioner Bud Selig to keep the team. McCourt still has a ways to go in the proceedings, however. For one, he will have to be able to use revenue from any television deal struck to complete his divorce settlement, which Selig originally rejected, setting up the path of events to come. Selig and Fox Sports do not want McCourt to be able to auction off TV rights, which McCourt is asking the court to allow so he can raise money.

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Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:19 pm
 

Selig says expanded playoffs unlikely in 2012

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

MILWAUKEE -- Postseason expansion is most likely going to baseball, but not as soon as next season, or at leas that's the impression commissioner Bud Selig gave when he spoke to reporters before Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

"I don't know yet," Selig said when asked if an expanded postseason could come in 2012. "I think that might be a little optimistic, but I don't know yet."

As for the idea of two more wild card teams, hearing Selig talk, it sounds like it's nearly a done deal. When asked what he thought about those talking about expanded replay, Selig chuckled -- "Since I'm the guy, I guess, I don't want to be too critical of me."

He expanded on the thought a little bit: "Well, let me start by saying I always enjoy -- you know, I'm a history buff, and you learn history teaches you so much if you look back. When I went to the wild card system in Boston in September of '93 -- and I always give John Harrington a great deal of credit for that, John Harrington and Dave Montgomery were my two faithful guys. They were really smart and understood schedules. 

"You remember I got killed. I was getting killed for a lot of things. It was brutal. He's ruining the sport, what's he doing, and so on and so forth. And we kept expanding and expanding and expanding, and somebody had to make an adjustment. You couldn't have 30 teams and just keep it at six.

"It's worked out, I think everybody would admit, better than anybody could have dreamed. You look back. That's why you don't make decisions based on one year. I know I've heard some people say, look, it's perfect, look what we had this year. 

"And it is correct. But you don't do it on the basis of one year, you do it on the basis of overall. 

I've said to everybody I think 10 out of 30 is fair. I think it will produce the number. I will tell you on my 14-man committee -- Tony La Russa is here today, so he could speak to it -- the vote is 14 to nothing, it's been all the way along. We spent hours talking about it."

Selig talked about a few other things, as well, including:

• The upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations: " I couldn't give you a timetable, because that's always dangerous. But they've been quiet, thoughtful and constructive. I hope we'll continue on that path. 

"Far different from the labor negotiations of the '80s, '70s, '90s, stories every day. They were painful. And I remember saying that a lot that this isn't helpful and it isn't healthy. You need to do your work and hopefully you can do it quietly. I think they have. And I give a lot of credit to both parties, Michael Weiner and the Players' Association and Rob Manfred in our group. We have Jerry Reinsdorf and Arte Moreno are part of the negotiating committee. 

"It's been good. It's really been very good. Very constructive. But we shall see what we shall see."

• On the use of the pitch tracker on TV broadcast: " Well, it's part of the world we live in. They do that in all sports now and different things. I really am not critical of that. If I were them, I guess I'd do the same thing."

He added, "I keep asking people how accurate those zones are and I get different answers from different baseball people.  But, a lot of competition out there, a lot of things. So I can't blame them for doing that, I really can't."

• On his meeting with prospective Astros owner Jim Crane last week: "I thought the meeting was constructive. And other than that I don't have anything to say about it. It was the first time he and I really spent any time together, and I thought the meeting was constructive. But nothing more than that."

• On TV ratings for this postseason without the big-market teams: "I'm satisfied. I really am. I think that having different clubs win is not bad at all. And I'm proud of that. But, you know, and I really mean this, what's better for ratings is something we just can't worry about. I think I looked at the last two weeks, it's been just miraculous. Produced great ratings, by the way, I might add. But that last Wednesday night of the season, only baseball -- and I've said this before -- could produce something like that."

• On the Mets' ownership situation: "No, I don't have any concerns. I've talked to Fred [Wilpon] a lot about it and they seem to be making good progress at what they're trying to do. And he feels comfortable with it and I really don't at this point. They've made no demands or anything. They seem to be moving along in the right path."

• On standardizing the designated hitter: "So we've done this 39 years. And I'll say it again, it would take some overall big event that maybe would force people to make a decision. But right now the National League guys don't like it. The American League does like it. And that doesn't bother me at all. 

"Somehow on a great night of irony, that one League has one rule -- and remarkably the fate of western civilization hasn't been changed."

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: September 24, 2011 12:35 pm
 

Report: MLB to add wild card, 1-game playoff

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball will add a wild card team to each league and hold a one-game playoff for each league to determine which wild card advances to the Division Series, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.

Sherman writes that one source told him the new playoff scenario is a "done deal," but another said nothing will be final until the collective bargaining agreement is ratified. The new system will possibly be ready for 2012, but will be implemented no later than 2013.

The report says both the players and owners hope to announce a new CBA during the World Series, although the two sides have not agreed on a slotting system for the draft. The two sides are also trying to finalize the new 15-team leagues with Houston moving to the American League, but that is hung up on the sale of the Astros to Jim Crane.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 23, 2011 5:59 pm
 

MLB wants judge to force Dodgers' sale

By Matt Snyder

The ongoing feud between Major League Baseball and embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took a huge step forward Friday. The MLB has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to order McCourt to sell the Dodgers (LATimes.com). A hearing is set for October 12.

McCourt is hoping to come up with a big TV deal that will enable him to retain ownership of the Dodgers, but MLB commissioner Bud Selig has the power to refuse approval of any deal, and is apparently planning on exercising that power. From there, the MLB reportedly plans to strip McCourt from ownership of the Dodgers once the team is no longer in bankruptcy protection.

"Mr. McCourt cannot hide the Dodgers in bankruptcy forever," the MLB filing read (LATimes.com).

One of MLB's biggest concerns is that McCourt has no other significant source of income, so the money he makes from the Dodgers will be used to help settle his messy divorce with Jamie McCourt and this isn't acceptable to Selig and company.

In case anyone is unsure that Major League Baseball means business, check this out, via LATimes.com:
The filing also cites three other grounds for possible MLB action against McCourt, including the Dodgers' dismissal of league-appointed trustee Tom Schieffer upon filing for bankruptcy.

"No one will pay the [Dodgers] to broadcast Dodgers games if the club is not part of Major League Baseball," the filing reads. "Consequently, the [Dodgers'] path in this case is a dead end or worse."
Yes, you read that correctly. Major League Baseball is threatening to kick the Dodgers out of the league. Now, this wouldn't be contraction, it would be a suspension and it's doubtful things come to this. It's just an illustration of how far Selig's office will do to wash their hands of McCourt.

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Ramirez willing to serve ban to play baseball

Ramirez

By Evan Brunell

Manny Ramirez is hoping to be reinstated to the major leagues, telling ESPN Deportes he would serve his 100-game suspension after refusing to do so in April and opting for retirement.

"I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team," Ramirez said. "I already informed [agent] Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process.

Ramirez tested positive in a drug test earlier this season as part of baseball's drug program that bands steroids, amphetamines and other performance enhancers. It was his second failed test, as he was linked to a female fertility drug in 2009 used to conceal steroid use. He served a 50-game ban that season with the Dodgers, later moving to the White Sox at the end of 2010 before signing a contract with the Rays in the offseason. When caught in April, he told baseball that he would rather retire than serve the ban. Clearly, he's changed his mind now that he's had time to reflect.

"If any team wants to sign me, I would play," Ramirez said. "If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement."

There are negatives that could prevent a team's interest. Ramirez would only be able to offer a maximum of 62 games out of Ramirez in production, returning in early August next season after not having played a major-league game for almost a year and a half at that point. Teams will also have to contend with Ramirez's attitude, and at this point is easily comparable to Barry Bonds and the overall distaste that pervaded Bonds so much that he eventually drew zero interest from teams despite indications he could still be an effective player.

However, drug suspensions are without pay, so the team wouldn't lose any cash in taking a lark on Ramirez, so you can expect at least one team to do so because it's a classic low-risk, low-reward system as long as the organization is comfortable with being known as the team that gave Ramirez a job after he seemingly burned every last bridge he had by leaving Tampa Bay high and dry by first breaking the rules and then leaving the team rather than serve the suspension. The Rays, whose playoff hopes are dwindling with a 2 1/2 game deficit in the wild card with a week left in the season, could have really used Ramirez's bat down the stretch even if he wouldn't have hit to the level of his glory days.

Ramirez was interested in playing for the Dominican Winter League, a stop he last played at in 1993-94, but is unable to do so because MLB has an agreement with the league. As a result, Ramirez must serve the suspension before he can participate in the DWL, and that is an impossibility for this season. Ramirez must receive permission from commissioner Bud Selig before he can join up with another club.

"I'm really interested and enthusiastic about playing baseball [in the Dominican Republic], but I can't control the future,'' Ramirez said. "Let's just wait and see what's the outcome of that meeting; it would be really sad if I'm not allowed to play.''

Even if Selig isn't predisposed to helping ManRam and no MLB team touches him with a 10-foot pole, you can bet Japan will be interested. The amount of hype around Ramirez would be large in Japan, as they would be able to see a true bona-fide MLB star play in the Japanese baseball league. Two drug suspensions or not, that would be a feather in the cap for Japanese professional ball.

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Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 10:13 am
 

Pepper: More to the Mets' 9/11 hats story?



By Matt Snyder


One big storyline that emerged in baseball Sunday night was the Mets not being allowed to wear first responder (NYPD, FDNY, etc.) hats during the national telecast on ESPN. They did wear them in pre-game festivities -- as seen above on Ronny Paulino -- but not during the actual game, per MLB rule.

It turns out, according to a report from the New York Post Tuesday, there may be more than initially met the eye. Reportedly, commissioner Bud Selig called the Mets Sunday night and was "irate" that the team threw Major League Baseball under the proverbial bus.

"[Selig] got embarrassed by it," a Mets official said (New York Post). "The game got moved into prime time because of 9/11, and [MLB] ended up getting embarrassed."

The report also notes that Joe Torre -- who was named as the person who ordered the Mets to not wear the hats -- said there was a league-wide memo sent out but nothing specifically about the Mets, nor was the message anything "heavy-handed."

And then there's this (New York Post):
But another source said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was "back and forth" with the commissioner's office on the matter until the proverbial 11th hour, when it was decided the Mets, on the hook for a $25 million loan from MLB, shouldn't risk the wrath of Selig.
So, if all this is true, the Mets basically forced their players to comply and let the commissioner's office take the blame in nefarious manner -- even though they didn't want to risk the wrath of Selig?

It's hard to know who to trust here. It seems like there's blame to be placed in both camps, but the bottom line is the players should have just been allowed to wear the special hats. It's a hat. Don't give me slippery slope on this. It's the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 in New York City. That's a special circumstance. Whether it's Wilpon, Selig, Torre or any combination of the three, someone dropped the ball.

"Moneyball" venom: There's a story in the LA Times about the "Moneyball" movie coming out and how polarizing it is. One telling quote is how, after winning the World Series last season, Giants executive Tony Siegle said "so much for Moneyball" in celebration. Later in the article, Siegle cops to having never read the book. And here's the crux of my criticism with those criticizing "Moneyball." The book wasn't saying A's general manager Billy Beane invented sabermetrics (he didn't) or that he was reinventing the wheel (he wasn't). It was just a story about a GM trying to find a creative way to compete with a less than competitive payroll. And he did for several years. It doesn't claim he invented on-base percentage or that he's a genius. It's a story. A good one. Maybe read the book before you complain about it. Nothing drives me more crazy than hearing something like "Moneyball doesn't work." Moneyball is a book -- and now a movie -- not a strategy.

More McCourt hate? Click here and check out the picture. Notice the MLB produced a poster talking about a special promotion where all the teams are giving money to Stand Up To Cancer. Also note the asterisk and specific mention the Dodgers aren't giving to the charity. The Sons of Steve Garvey notes that the Dodgers are giving proceeds to their own cancer charity (ThinkCure) and this could just be another way of Selig's office to sleight McCourt's administration.

More Rays' financial woes: It's no secret the Rays have money troubles, despite a stellar on-field product for the past handful of seasons. Payroll was cut after last season and several guys who had previously been key pieces were either traded or walked via free agency. Still, things are tighter than ever. " ... we’ve clearly fallen short on our financial projections," principle owner Stuart Sternburg said (TampaBay.com). "We have to make some projections but I could not have projected our attendance would be down what it was. I don't think anybody would have thought that either. ... Nothing positive happened financially this year. We were last (in attendance going into the weekend). I hadn't even realized that. I didn't forecast last."

Berkman's leverage: Outfielder Lance Berkman has enjoyed a career renaissance with the Cardinals this season and reports have indicated he wants to stay put. In fact, several reports from the St. Louis area said the Cardinals didn't trade Berkman when he cleared waivers in the last week of August because they feared that would prevent them from retaining him. So it seemed like a pretty sure thing he'd stay put. Not so fast, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss says it might not be a sure thing and that Berkman has leverage. Remember also, the Cardinals' payroll is going to be tight if they retain free-agent-to-be Albert Pujols.

'Man in White' travels to Minnesota? One of my favorite storylines of the season has been mocking those who really believe Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays are aided by a rogue sign stealer in Toronto. So, of course, since that story broke I make it a point to pass along whenever the Jays either don't hit well at home or explode on the road. And check this one out, courtesy of The Hardball Times: Bautista has seven career home runs in 34 plate appearances in Minnesota's Target Field. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Nick Punto and Tsuyoshi Nishioka have combined for 1,683 plate appearances in the Twins' new home. And they've combined for six home runs. Amazing. At his pace in that number of plate appearances, Bautista would hit 347 home runs.

Rangers staying in house: Some rumors have indicated the Rangers might be in on the Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder sweepstakes, but instead the Rangers are reportedly going to stick with Mitch Moreland at first base (MLB.com). It makes at least some sense. They'd be better served shoring up pitching -- All-Star starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is a free agent, too -- than worrying about beefing up an already potent offense. Plus, Moreland is only 26, really cheap and under team control for a while. If he further develops his power stroke (16 home runs and 21 doubles this year), he'll end up being a bargain.

No safety helmets for Philly: Despite second baseman Chase Utley suffering a concussion from being hit in the helmet by a pitch, the Phillies players are still declining to use a new, safer helmet model (Philly.com).

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 12:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Fister continues to impress



By Matt Snyder


Doug Fister, Tigers. When you hear people talking about teams not wanting to face the Tigers in the first round of the playoffs because you don't wanna see Justin Verlander twice in a short series, do not forget the Tigers now have a very formidable No. 2. Fister was brilliant again Sunday in a 2-1 Tigers win over the Twins, allowing just three hits in seven shutout innings. Since coming over in a trade from the Mariners in July, Fister is 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, the Tigers now have a better record than the Rangers and are five games behind the Yankees for the top seed in the AL.

Drew Pomeranz, Rockies. I wonder how long before the Indians want a mulligan on that Ubaldo Jimenez trade deadline deal? Pomeranz was one of the pieces the Rockies got back and the 21-year-old lefty dazzled in his major-league debut Sunday. He needed just 63 pitches to get through five shutout innings against the Reds, picking up the victory. He gave up just two hits and two walks.

Luis Valbuena, Indians. In the past two seasons, before Sunday, Valbuena was hitting .188 with two home runs in 345 plate appearances. So it was quite shocking to see the light-hitting middle infielder knock the ball around the yard Sunday. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored in a 7-3 win over the White Sox.



Jon Lester, Red Sox. The Red Sox's starting rotation is in shambles, but Lester should have been the one cog -- with Josh Beckett injured -- that could be counted upon. Instead, he could only get through four innings, due to a massive pitch count, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. The Red Sox lost 9-1, and saw their lead in the Wild Card race shrink to 3 1/2.

Tim Hudson, Braves. Like the Red Sox, the Braves are reeling and needed a big start. With Hudson taking the hill, it seemed like a good time -- considering the Braves had won six of Hudson's past seven starts. Instead, Hudson was battered for six runs and eight hits in six innings and the Braves were swept by the Cardinals. Even worse, a once-commanding Wild Card lead has shrunk to 4 1/2 games.

Major League Baseball. I usually never complain about the rigidity of professional sports leagues when it comes to rules on uniforms because of the slippery slope principle, but not allowing the Mets to wear the NYPD, FDNY and PAPD hats for Sunday night's game was a farce. You can make one exception without being worried about the precedent set.

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Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 10:42 pm
 

Selig wants more playoffs in '12, Astros to AL

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Bud Selig hopes to have an expanded postseason starting in 2012, the commissioner told Jeff Passan of Yahoo.com.

"It will depend on a whole series of things," Selig said. "The holdup is working out all the details."

Despite Selig's optimism, Passan writes a source tells him the chances of a 10-team playoffs next season are "iffy at best."

The biggest hangup is realignment. And that's being held up by the delay in approving Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros. Passan cites a source that Crane would be OK with moving his team to the American League West, creating six five-team divisions. Crane has little leverage, so moving the Astros remains Selig's best chance at evening the leagues with 15 teams each. According to Fox 26 in Houston, Selig has already asked Crane to move to the American League and the fact he hasn't accepted yet is why he hasn't been approved.

As for the exact format an extend playoff would take -- will it be a one-game playoff between the two wild cards or a three-game series? That's still undecided.

Selig also told Passan that he's still firm on retiring on Dec. 31, 2012, when his contract is up -- "even though a lot of people don't believe it," Selig said.

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