Tag:Bud Selig
Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:28 pm

Selig fine with Jeter's absence

By Matt Snyder

PHOENIX - One of the hot-button issues of the All-Star Game has been the no-shows, specifically Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter not being here even though he was elected as the starter and is not on the disabled list. He went 5-5 Saturday as he eclipsed 3,000 hits. There seems to be a buzz among some fans and media that Jeter owed it to the fans and even his fellow All-Stars to play in the game. Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't agree.

"I know what Derek Jeter is going through and his situation," Selig told the on-hand media. "If I were in his place, I would have made the same decision as Derek Jeter."

"Any suggestion I'm not happy with Jeter is false," Selig continued. "There isn't a player I'm more proud of in the last 15 years than Derek Jeter."

All-Star No Shows
Selig also made sure to point out that of the whopping 83 named All-Stars, 79 are present. Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Chipper Jones and Jeter are the four who didn't make the trip.

"Chipper Jones wanted to be here, but he's in the hospital today and obviously can't be here," Selig said.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 3:27 pm

Selig talks All-Star Game, replay, DH, more

By Eye on Baseball team

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig spoke to the press Tuesday and covered a litany of subjects, including pretty much every hot button issue at present. Here's a quick-hitting summary of what was said by the commish:

- On the Dodgers' current ownership mess: "Last year the same questions were asked about Texas and it turned out all right."

- "I've always liked realignment. Is there anything imminent? Someone quoted four sources and I'm the only one doing it and I haven't talked to four people. If you're talking about significant realignment, you'll have to wait."

- On moving one team from the NL Central to the AL West, leaving each league with 15 teams: "If you go 15 and 15, you'd have interleague play everyday."

- Selig has no issue with Derek Jeter not being at the All-Star Game. "There isn't a player I'm more proud of in the last 15 years."

- Citi Field -- where the Mets play -- has a great shot to host the 2013 All-Star Game. "They're looking good," Selig said.

- On the All-Star Game's current format, in which the winner of the game dictates what league will have home-field advantage for the World Series. "I like it, I like the way the games have been played since '03," he said.

- Asked whether the league with the best record in interleague play should instead determine home-field advantage in the World Series, Selig said: "You can't wait until the end of the season to plan the World Series." Of course, he didn't mention that interleague play is already complete and the All-Star Game isn't.

- On the number of MLB teams: "We don't need expansion," and "is contraction on the table? No."

- Selig did, however, express concern with the Rays' attendance issues. "I agree with Stu Sternberg. You have to be concerned."

- On expanding instant replay: "We will do more things ... ready to announce it soon. There will be some more replay, but very modest."

- Keeping the designated hitter in the AL and out of the NL seems to be the course for the foreseeable future. "It'll take some sort of catalytic event to take care of that issue," Selig said. He did say he liked the idea of "reverse DH," where there would be DHs in NL ballparks and the pitchers would hit in AL ballparks during interleague play.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 3:24 pm

A-Rod caught in illegal high-stakes poker ring


By Evan Brunell

Despite being warned to stay away from illegal high-stakes poker games by baseball, Alex Rodriguez has found himself exposed in a poker ring that also ensnared Hollywood A-list celebrities in Ben Affleck, Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire and other stars, Star Magazine reported via RadarOnline.com.

This revelation has drawn the attention of baseball, with senior vice president of public relations Patrick Courtney telling RadarOnline.com, "This is the first we have heard about this and we will look into it."

Maguire is currently being sued by Brad Ruderman, a hedge fund trustee who is currently in jail for running a Ponzi scheme and using the hedge fund's money to pay gambling debts. Ruderman ran the games along with Molly Bloom and lost around $300,000 to Maguire in the poker games before an FBI investigation busted the ring open in 2009. Maguire admitted to playing, but denied any wrongdoing, both in how he earned his money and that the games were illegal and not run by Bloom, who testified otherwise in an affidavit.

Rodriguez refused to comment on the story, according to ESPN New York.

"I'm not really going to get into any of that right now. We're going to focus on good little baseball here against a great team. ... Any basketball questions? Any boxing questions?"

Rodriguez played in one such poker game as recently as two months ago, which had a buy-in of $40,000. That sounds like a lot, but it's a drop in the bucket for A-Rod who will make over $438 million, plus a possible $30 million in bonuses for reaching 763 career home runs, in his career, which does not includes sponsorship income.

"Initially, A-Rod came to the game and simply watched,” a source told Star. “But once he knew what it was all about, he bought into the game. He played two or three times, I would estimate."

"I was surprised to see just how good a poker player Alex is," poker player Adam Bilzerian, who has played with A-Rod, told Star.

"I remember I was sitting at a table a few years ago at the Bellagio in Vegas and in comes Alex and the dude sat at the same table that I'm playing at,” he said. “The average buy-in was about $5,000 but you could buy in for $100,000 if you wanted to. There were about seven other players at the table. Alex busted everyone except me. I was like 'Whoa, this guy can play.' He had an amazing run. He won about $20,000 and left with everyone's money."

Seems like Rodriguez's poker face after slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS came with plenty of practice.

A-Rod was warned in 2005 by baseball that his involvement in illegal poker games in New York was dangerous and could affect his image. Rodriguez had attended games with professional player and friend Phil Hellmuth, a former World Series of Poker champion. Rodriguez was not punished or told to stay out of the clubs, but commissioner Bud Selig was reportedly very unhappy and was "keeping an eye" on Rodriguez and would get involved "if necessary."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:00 am

Pepper: Don't buy me peanuts or Cracker Jack

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to talk sweeps week in Major League Baseball, as the Phillies, Yankees and Mets go for sweeps in interleague series today.

BASEBALL FOR EVERYONE: A friend of mine has spent a good 15 years of his professional career around his great love, baseball. He's hoped to share that love with his son, named for his favorite player, Nolan Ryan. The two watch games on TV, but haven't been able to experience the game live.

Nolan hasn't been able to sit in the stands and wish for a foul ball to come his way or walk out of the concourse and see the field, hear the crowd roar as Ichiro Suzuki rounds second on his way to third or hear the pop of a Felix Hernandez fastball.

You see, two years ago, like any other toddler, Nolan ate some peanut butter. Soon, he could't breathe and broke out into hives. His parents loaded him into the car and rushed to the hospital. At one point, his mother decide they couldn't wait any longer and called 911 and they pulled over to the side as an ambulance rushed to their aid, closing the I-5. The paramedics were able to get it under control and doctors told them Nolan wouldn't have lasted much longer.

Nolan was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. Since then, they've noticed symptoms in their son if there is even peanut dust in the air. Safeco Field or any stadium was like walking into a poison trap for Nolan. 

Well, that won't have to be the case -- as the Mariners are one of the teams hosting peanut-free games this season, an increasing trend according to this Reuters article. Peanut allergies have doubled over the last decade, and nobody is sure why.

Five times a season, the Tigers offer peanut-free suites at discount prices, the next is Sunday against the Giants and all 70 seats are sold, the Detroit News reports. That's a good sign and hopefully encourages more of this.

PHILLIES GOOD: OK, this is hardly breaking news, but the Phillies' rotation is really, really good -- and that's even without Roy Oswalt.

David Hale of the News-Journal does the math for us, the current five starters in the rotation -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick -- are a combined 12-3 with a 1.33 ERA in June with hitters managing just a .194 batting average against. WIth Halladay, Lee and Worley starting this month, the Phillies have gone 13-0.

BLAME BUD: While Bud Selig is 100 percent right to want Frank McCourt out as the Dodgers' owner, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan writes that it's Selig's fault McCourt is in this position to begin with. Instead of finding the best owner for the team in 2004, Selig went with someone who would be on his side.

EXTENSION FOR HARDY: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is on several team's trade wishlist, but he may not be going anywhere. The Orioles have reached out to Hardy's agent to talk about an extension. Hardy is a free agent after the season. [Baltimore Sun]

NO FIRE SALE: After the Cubs released Doug Davis, general manager Jim Hendry met with the media and assured them there would be no "fire sale." While nobody wants the bloated contracts of Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Zambrano, Hendry insinuated he wouldn't trade the likes of Carlos Marmol or Ryan Dempster. [Daily Herald]

NO FIRE SALE… YET: The Dodgers haven't started "substantive" trade talks yet, but could begin doing so after the break, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets.

ZIMMERMAN'S CHANGES: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has struggled after rebuilding his throwing mechanics during a season, including allowing the game-winning run with a throwing error on Wednesday. But Zimmerman is convinced he's doing the right thing and it'll pay off in the end. [Washington Post]

WOOD CLOSER: The Cubs could get reliever Kerry Wood back in time for this weekend's series with the White Sox, CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney tweets.

ROENICKE, GREINKE MEET: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke met with right-hander Zack Greinke to "clear the air" after Roenicke felt some of his postgame comments were misinterpreted by the media after Greinke's two-inning start against the Yankees. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

BUCHHOLZ OUT PAST BREAK: After throwing a bullpen Tuesday, Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz said he won't make his next start and could be out until after the All-Star break. Buchholz is dealing with a muscle strain in his back. [Boston Herald]

STRASBURG'S MECHANICS: Stephen Strasburg is back throwing off a mound, but his mechanics look the same, some observers say. Does he need a change? Sports Illustrated's Will Carroll says he doesn't know (and if Will doesn't know, I certainly don't), but it would be wise for the Nationals to look into some biomechanics analysis to make sure his mechanics weren't the reason for his arm injury.

SWISH BEING SWISH: Nick Swisher said his recent turnaround on the field has allowed him to be himself in the clubhouse. [Wall Street Journal]

ECKSTEIN NOT RETIRED: Former Angels (among other teams) shortstop David Eckstein says he's not retired, he's just choosing not to play. There are teams that would be interested in the game's leader of grit, but isn't sure if he wants to return. He sounds like he just needs to be wined and dined in the right way and he'd return. [Los Angeles Times]

NAME GAME: Just as Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was responsible for Pete Rose's nickname, "Charlie Hustle," another Hall of Famer hung the moniker "Donnie Baseball" on Don Mattingly. Mattingly said Kirby Puckett gets credit for the nickname. [MLB.com]

NAME CHANGE: Remember the old XFL and Rod "He Hate Me" Smart? The CPBL -- the Chinese Professional Baseball League of Taiwan -- is apparently trying some sort of similar name-changing gimmick with its foreign players. One of those is former Royal Dan Reichert who is now Robert 38. [FanGraphs.com]

DODGERS DREAM TEAM: Steve Garvey has put together what he calls a "Dream Team" to buy the Dodgers, including another former Dodger, Orel Hershiser. [SportsRadioInterviews.com]

DIFFERENT DERBY: The Midwest League featured a different type of home run derby, which featured a hitting contest with more than 50 targets and prizes, including a dunk tank. Really, though, the biggest improvement over the big-league version is the absence of Chris Berman. [Benjamin Hill]

BUTCH'S TIRADE: Former big-leaguer Butch Hobson is now a manager in an Independent League, but his tirade from the other night is certainly worthy of the majors. Check him out has he does a combination of Lloyd McClendon and Terrell Owens. [h/t ItsAlwaysSunnyInDetroit.com]

MASCOT FAIL: Is that a sock or are you just happy to see me? Check out this independent league mascot in Amarillo, Texas. Yep. That's not good. [h/t Big League Stew]

BRING A PACKED LUNCH: I've always wanted to go see a game on one of the Wrigley Field rooftops, and I'd still like to -- I'm just not sure I would eat anything they have. Several rooftop businesses failed their health inspections recently. [Chicago Tribune]

CONGRATS CHONE: FanGraphs.com looks at the worst players in baseball based on 2010 and 2011 -- with Mariners infielder Chone Figgins edging Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the title.

CIVIL WAR-STYLE GAME: If you're in Savannah, Ga., this weekend, you have plenty of entertainment and dining options, but how about checking out some baseball at a Civil War fort? Fort Pulaski will host a game Sunday featuring rules from 1860. [Connect Savannah]

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 7:46 pm

MLB's termination threat nothing new

By Evan Brunell

If Major League Baseball does indeed file a motion to seize control of the Dodgers, as the Associated Press is reporting, Commissioner Bud Selig will have to assert his intention to terminate the franchise.

Dodgers Saga
Let's get the obvious out of the way: The Dodgers will not be terminated in the literal sense of the word. Baseball will continue to be played in Chavez Ravine for quite some time. This is all legal wrangling going on behind the scenes and would serve to clear out Frank McCourt and the mess he has wrought. Still, "terminating a franchise" is quite the attention-grabber, and it is not the first time baseball has threatened to terminate a franchise.

As Biz of Baseball detailed yesterday in a history of recent bankrupties in baseball, the same threat was used against the Texas Rangers before they were eventually sold to a group with Chuck Greenberg (since departed) and Nolan Ryan at the head. During a conference call with Judge Michael Lynn, an MLB lawyer said "If [Lynn] doesn’t confirm the (bankruptcy) plan, we’ll just terminate the franchise. We'll take over the g--damn franchise."

The judge later yelled at the lawyers in a hearing, but the threat obviously subsided. Baseball has only taken over a team once before, when the Montreal Expos became wards prior to the move to Washington. Montreal owner Jeffrey Loria took over the Marlins, with John Henry moving to Boston.

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:26 pm

MLB to offer Dodgers alternative financing

By Matt Snyder

There's a bankruptcy court hearing Tuesday with the Dodgers, Major League Baseball, Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt. It's very complicated with lots of moving parts, but let's try to summarize what's on the line (via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times).

- Major League Baseball is set to offer alternative financing to the Dodgers, as it would be a better deal and put MLB in better position to take over the franchise. McCourt's proposed financing is a $150 million loan, but there's a $4.5 million fee and 10 percent interest attached to said loan. There's no word just yet on MLB's counter-proposal, but the interesting twist is that MLB had previously said it would not provide financing to the Dodgers unless McCourt sold the team. So MLB's financing plan probably involves McCourt being forced to sell the Dodgers.

- If the bankruptcy judge finds McCourt's plan acceptable, the next step is the Dodgers trying to secure a massive TV deal. They'd have to persuade the court to override the MLB rule that gives the league rights to approve all TV deals.

- Basically, McCourt and his lawyers are challenging that Bud Selig has the authority to nix TV deals or loans in what Selig perceives as in the best interests of Major League Baseball. Selig has turned down a deal McCourt worked up with Fox to extend the Dodgers' TV contract at a significant fee. McCourt wanted to sell the TV rights immediately so he could get his hands on the money, but the current deal in place runs through 2013. MLB opposes that, in part, because McCourt would be taking money from the Dodgers' future to pay his 2011 bills and settle his divorce.

- Speaking of which, Jamie McCourt's attorneys are there to argue that the bankruptcy filing devaules the Dodgers, which is easily the biggest asset in the divorce that still needs to be settled.

The LA Times has posted the full MLB response to the bankruptcy filing. It's 20 pages and chock full of legal terminology, but if you want to read, click on through.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2011 4:51 pm

Selig releases statement on Dodgers' bankruptcy

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Here's the statement from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig on Frank McCourt filing the Dodgers for bankruptcy.

The Commissioner’s Office has spent the better part of one year working with Mr. McCourt and his representatives on the financial situation of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which was caused by Mr. McCourt’s excessive debt and his diversion of club assets for his own personal needs. We have consistently communicated to Mr. McCourt that any potential solution to his problems that contemplates mortgaging the future of the Dodgers franchise to the long-term detriment of the club, its loyal fans and the game of Baseball would not be acceptable.

My goal from the outset has been to ensure that the Dodgers are being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future for their millions of fans. To date, the ideas and proposals that I have been asked to consider have not been consistent with the best interests of Baseball. The action taken today by Mr. McCourt does nothing but inflict further harm to this historic franchise.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:34 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 11:32 am

Dodgers file for bankruptcy

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Dodgers have announced the team has filed for bankruptcy protection in Frank McCourt's latest attempt to stall the inevitable takeover of his team.

The team listed assets of as much as $1 billion and debt of $500 million in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

McCourt was unlikely to be able to make payroll at the end of the month, which would have likely triggered an MLB takeover of the team.

McCourt, of course, is upset with commissioner Bud Selig after he rejected a TV deal with Fox that would have kept McCourt's Dodgers ownership afloat.

"He's turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today," McCourt said in a statement. "I simply cannot allow the commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn't achieve with the commissioner directly."

The Wall Street Journal has the entire filing posted here.

Here are the team's unsecured creditors and what they're owed:

Manny Ramirez $20,997,086
Andruw Jones $11,075,00
Hiroki Kuroda $4,483,516
Rafael Furcal $3,725,275
Chicago White Sox $3,500,000
Ted Lilly $3,423,077
Zach Lee $3,400,000
Kaz Ishii $3,300,000
Juan Uribe $3,241,758
Matt Guerrier $3,090,659
Juan Pierre $3,050,000
Marquis Grissom $2,719,146
Jon Garland $1,211,538
Levy Restaurants $588,322
Andre Ethier $559,066
Jamey Carroll $508,791
Alexander Santana $499,500
Jonathon Broxton $423,077
Chad Billingsley $379,258
Continental Airlines $339,403
Casey Blake $332,418
Bank of America $316,243
Highmark Blue Shield $315,022
James Loney $294,643
KABC-AM Radio 790 $273,321
City of Los Angeles $240,563
Matt Kemp $216,944
Rod Barajas $196,429
P2 Promo $175,326
Hong-Chih Kuo $164,698
AVM Systems $160,000
Vin Scully $152,778
Scott McGough $150,300
Raydel Sanchez $125,000
Vicente Padilla $120,879
Francisco Villa $80,000
Jesus Valdez $75,000
Chris O'Brien $75,000
Deloitte Tax $74,000
Covington & Burling $73,397 

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Category: MLB
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