Tag:Bud Selig
Posted on: March 22, 2011 2:34 pm
 

Selig reiterates his plan to retire after 2012

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bud SeligAlthough nobody believes it, Bud Selig has reiterated his plan to step down after the 2012 season.

Selig was recently (well, sorta recently, the interview was after last season, but before the winter meetings in December) interviewed by the University of Wisconsin alumni magazine, On Wisconsin and not only said he still plans on retiring after the 2012 season, but then plans to teach at his alma mater:

You’ll have served twenty years as commissioner in 2012, and then you’re going to retire, right?

I am. Now, there are many people who don’t believe that, including my wife and family and most owners. They don’t think I am, but I intend to spend a lot of my time in Madison. … I’ll have done this job twenty years, and anybody who understands this job [knows] that’s a long time — other than Kennesaw Mountain Landis, [I’ll have done it] longer than anybody else.

A tip of the ol' cap (or should it be a toast, since we're talking about a Badger? Or maybe just pour out a Milwaukee's Best) to Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo!'s Big League Stew and UW alumnus of 2001.

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Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig
 
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am
 

Pepper: Gordon's last shot?

Alex Gordon
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Remember when Alex Gordon was the next George Brett? Royals fans sure do.

Now, though, the former second-overall pick in the draft, is an afterthought in the deep, talented Royals system.

Taken ahead of the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki, Gordon has a career line of .244/.315/.355 in 1,641 plate appearances in the big leagues and has since been moved from third base to the outfield.

While no longer one of the core building-blocks of the Royals rebuilding job, Gordon still has some talent (and a little trade value). He's also starting to get hot in the Cactus League, going 8 for 12 in his last five games. He's also shown good plate discipline, drawing 11 walks.

"The timing was off. I was seeing the pitches good, I was just late and not making solid contact," Gordon told MLB.com. "Lately, I've been getting easy earlier and seeing pitches better and making good contact, and that's what it's all about. So definitely a big change in the last week."

Gordon, 27, spent his offseason working with Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, someone who knows a little bit about living in the shadow of the Royals' lone Hall of Fame player. Seitzer's emergence at third base moved Brett from third base to first in 1987 and even made the All-Star team as a rookie. Seitzer has been the team's hitting coach since 2009.

"I think I've pulled my hands back so I'm loaded instead of trying to find the load during the swing. I'm ready to go right off the bat," Gordon said. "I think that's helped, and I'm not late on pitches anymore, and I'm being aggressive."

With the Royals throwing out a placeholder roster for 2011 before the prospects begin to trickle in later this summer, Gordon may be getting his last chance to prove he's more than a Four-A player. Soon, that Royals influx of talent could make him the next Clint Hurdle in Royals history.

SILVA ON THE BLOCK: Three Nationals scouts, among others, watched the Cubs' Carlos Silva in his latest spring training start, ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine writes.

According to Levine, the Nationals and Yankees have had scouts at each of Silva's outings. Both teams are looking to fill their rotation and could afford Silva's $12 million salary.

Chicago has had good spring showings from Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, making Silva expendable.

Dave MartinezHAIR CLUB FOR MEN: With Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez now Rays, manager Joe Maddon wants his team to follow the example of his newest stars.

"I encourage the growth of follicles," Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times. "I want them all to go nuts with their hair this year."

Although Ramirez is known for his long dreadlocks and Damon is now sporting a fauxhawk, the inspiration for his goal of being "the hirsute club" was bench coach Dave Martinez's bushy beard (pictured).

"Sometimes I just go with my instincts, and I just think it could turn into a lot of fun for the group," Maddon said, noting he'll let his hair grow out as much as possible. "So whatever keeps you focused on the field and having fun off it, I'm all for it."

FORMER CUBS OK: The Chicago Tribune caught up with former Cub Micah Hoffpauir, who is now playing in Japan.

"My first earthquake," Hoffpauir told the Trib. "And good Lord willing, it will be my last."

Hoffpauir, now a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, was in his room on the 26th floor of his hotel in Tokyo when the earthquake hit, approximately 250 miles to the north.

"It felt like someone started shaking the whole country of Japan," Hoffpauir said. "At one point I thought, this building is going to fall down. But I was assured later that [swaying] is what the building was supposed to do."

He said he was evacuated from his hotel and was able to contact his wife in Texas to let her know he was OK. He said he has also been in touch with former Cub teammate Matt Murton, who was training further south in Osaka, and he was OK.

GARFOOSE FUNDRAISER: Author and Rays reliever Dirk Hayhurst will call you up and thank you personally if you donate $50 or more to Mercy Corp Fundraising for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (DirkHayhurst.com)

HIDDEN TREASURE: Investigators found a jackpot of 1986 Mets memorabilia in a  Port St. Lucie storage facility following their case of former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels.

Samuels is accused of theft and illegal gambling.

Among the treasure found in the storage facility was signed uniforms from the 1986 Mets team that defeated the Red Sox in the World Series. The collection is reportedly worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (New York Daily News)

SIZEMORE GETTING CLOSER: Indians manager Manny Acta said he thinks center fielder Grady Sizemore is scheduled to start running bases today and could be cleared to play in games sometime in the last 10 days of spring training. (MLB.com)

D-TRAIN OFF THE RAILS: Dontrelle Willis left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, tripping on a bat after backing up the plate on Bobby Scales' two-run single. Willis had a rough outing, allowing two hits and two walks while recording just a single out. (MLB.com)

THANK YOU, COME AGAIN: Commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday that the stake in the Diamondbacks once owned by Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad has been sold. Current Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick absorbed the eight percent of the Diamondbacks  for $21 million. Moorad's group owns 49 percent of the Padres. (MLB.com)

HARDEN OUT OF ROTATION MIX: Rich Harden is officially out of the race for the Athletics' fifth-starter sport. Harden could still find a spot in the bullpen, but it's getting crowded too. Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer are still competing for the fifth starter spot, with the losers then looking to make the bullpen. (San Francisco Chronicle)

STATS FOR DUMMIES: The great Joe Posnanski gives you a primer on advanced offensive statistics. (JoePosnanski.com)

LINEUP CONSTRUCTION: Little has more breath and keystrokes wasted on it more than lineup construction. It's a fan's favorite nitpick to show why their manager is an idiot, yet it doesn't really matter that much in the long term. (Although, it makes the most sense to get your better hitters at the the top of the order, because they get the most at-bats). But anyway, Astros manager Brad Mills discusses his philosophy for filling out his lineup card. (Houston Chronicle)

RAYS RESURRECTION: Former top pick Matt Bush is making a comeback in Tampa's training camp. (Tampa Tribune)

BASEBALL PROJECT: If you missed our Ear on Baseball podcast with the Baseball Project, what's wrong with you? Seriously?

Anyway, you can catch up with Scott McCaughey, who says despite touring the world with various rock bands, he's always kept up with baseball because it's a "a sort of zen thing for me" and reading boxscores is "like meditation" -- I think we can all understand that. (Athens Music Junkie)

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More MLB coverage
Posted on: February 25, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Reports: Selig to hire Torre

Early Friday afternoon, a press release was sent out by Bud Selig's office that the commissioner would make a "major on-field announcement Saturday." The announcement will come at 1:15 p.m. ET, but if reports are correct, we don't have to wait.

Jon Heyman of SI.com was first and several others have since also confirmed that Joe Torre will be named the executive vice president of baseball operations, meaning he will oversee on-field activity and be one of MLB's top-ranking executives.

No official word yet on what the job specifically entails, but it's possible he'll be looking at issues like the length of games, instant replay and other things of that ilk. Player and manager discipline should be involved as well. We do know the position is the one vacated by Sandy Alderson and oversees the position of vice president -- which is also vacated at this time.

This appears to be a great hire by Selig. Torre is a career baseball man who has always had the reputation of being level-headed and thoughtful. As fans, we should be able to count on Torre to do things in the best interest of the game and to stay fair in the process.

-- Matt Snyder

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 25, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: February 25, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Selig nixes potential loan from FOX to McCourt

Frank McCourt was ready to accept a $200 million loan from FOX until baseball's commissioner stepped in. According to the Los Angeles Times , the Dodgers owner was going to use the team's cable TV rights as collateral and accept the money. The report stated if he wasn't able to repay, the Dodgers' deal with FOX would be extended by as many as four years. McCourt has money woes due to a massive debt -- upwards of $430 million, according to reports -- and also due to a messy and costly divorce from his former wife Jamie.

The divorce certainly clouds matters for McCourt, since Jamie contends she is still a half-owner of the Dodgers. Any deal made would be subject to division by the court, in her view. Frank, of course, believes he is the sole owner of the Dodgers and can make any deal he wishes.

But McCourt is going to have to find another way to get himself out of the hole, because Bud Selig reportedly blocked the loan.

Back in 2004, when McCourt bought the Dodgers from FOX, he was lent $145 million by the company. He used his Boston parking lots as collateral, but FOX has since foreclosed on the property and sold it.

Basically, the whole situation is a mess. It won't affect the Dodgers on the field per se, but payroll could become quite strapped in future seasons for a franchise that should be able to handle one of the league's biggest payrolls.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 7:08 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 7:10 pm
 

Bud Selig optimistic about labor negotiations

Commissioner Bud Selig was part of the owners meetings that wrapped up Thursday and spoke about the looming labor negotiations to take place.

Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire Dec. 11, but unlike all the other sports, there has been no whispers of a potential work stoppage. And that's how Bud likes it.

"Look, the thing that I've said all along is that there's a constructive relationship now," Selig told the media, according to MLB.com. "Negotiations are always tough. [The players' association has] their players to represent, and I understand that. Rob and his people will do the same thing.

Negotiations are expected to take place in a few weeks, and this time it will be with the input of general managers, who have offered their opinions on various things such as instant replay, the postseason and the draft.

"It was a benefit, I think, especially at the front end of these meetings," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman of the inclusion of the GMs. "It gave the Commissioner a good chance to find out just what the general managers think. It's been great, healthy."

Where the NBA, NFL and NHL are tinged with rancor over labor agreements, all is smelling roses in baseball land -- and Selig believes things will only get better.

"There's no question that nobody could've believed -- starting with me -- that we'd have 16 years of labor peace in a sport that had eight work stoppages," he said. "That's really remarkable. ... The last six years are the best six years we've ever had and I think this will move up a little. That's how good I feel about it."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig, MLB
 
Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:38 am
 

No changes to replay, playoffs for 2011

Bud Selig Expanded playoffs and instant replay may be coming to Major League Baseball, but not this year, commissioner Bud Selig told MLB.com .

"There continues to be fruitful talks about it, but they're definitely off the table for this year," Selig told MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom. "Really, I think that's what we've been saying all along."

Few expected the expanded playoffs this season, although there was some hope replay use could be improved for 2011.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig, replay
 
Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Selig all wrong about baseball's origins

Bud Selig
It's probably a bad sign when the guy in charge of a sport doesn't have a clue about its origins.

Last month, commissioner Bud Selig sent a letter in response to a question from autograph expert Ron Keurajian, who was seeking to clarify Selig's position on the game's origins for a book he's writing. This is what the commissioner had to say:
As a student of history, I know there is a great debate whether Abner Doubleday or Alexander Cartwright really founded the game of baseball. From all the historians which I have spoken with, I really believe that Abner Doubleday is the "Father of Baseball." I know there are some historians who would dispute this though.
The thing is, Selig is totally and completely wrong. No "student of history" would ever conclude that Doubleday invented baseball. The truth is, nobody invented baseball -- it evolved over time. The Doubleday story is based primarily on a single letter to a newspaper from a friend of Doubleday's who claims to have seen him draw a baseball field in the dirt.

How did the letter come to be accepted as baseball's origin story? As with many things that get completely screwed up, there was a committee involved. In 1905, the Mills Commission was appointed to settle a dispute about how baseball came into being, and they latched onto the story for several reasons. The Doubleday tale makes baseball a unique American game, and not a permutation of the British game of rounders. And Doubleday, who by the time of the Mills Commission had been dead for 12 years, was a Civil War hero who made a fine mythic figurehead.

As more than a century of research has concluded time and again, the Mills Commission story was hogwash. Doubleday was said to have "invented" the game in 1839, but references to baseball have been found as far back as the 1820s. As baseball historian Donald Honig said, "As far as anyone knows, [Doubleday] was as removed from the game as a Tibetan lama and didn't know a baseball from a kumquat."

The Doubleday fable is a nice story, and it essentially resulted in Cooperstown, which rules, so some good came out of it. But there's no doubt it's a fairy tale. You'd think Selig would know that.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig
 
Posted on: November 4, 2010 5:02 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 5:53 pm
 

Sparky Anderson remembered

Sparky Anderson One of my favorite memories of newspapering was when an editor at the Cincinnati Post asked me to call Sparky Anderson for a story I was doing.

"Do you have his number?" I asked.

Nope, no need. He was listed. Thousand Oaks, Calif., George Anderson. A simple call to information and I had his number. Minutes later, I was on the phone with the Hall of Fame manager. The next 30 minutes I got to listen to Sparky Anderson tell stories about the Big Red Machine.

A year later, in 2005, I met Anderson and did a story on the Reds retiring his number. His former players joined him in a news conference, and Anderson didn't say too much, he just sat back as Johnny Bench and Tony Perez held court, telling their stories of Anderson. Anderson just laughed, and the old team was together again, performing at a top level -- because of Anderson.

On Thursday, some of those same people are telling stories, but in a more somber way. Here's some reaction from around baseball.

• Tony Perez: "Sparky was a great man and a great manager. He was the man who put together some great teams and made us go. We will miss him. We love him."

• Pete Rose: "Baseball lost an ambassador today. Sparky was, by far, the best manager I ever played for. He understood people better than anyone I ever met. His players loved him, he loved his players, and he loved the game of baseball. There isn't another person in baseball like Sparky Anderson. He gave his whole life to the game."

• Gary Nolan: "I have a lot of respect for Sparky Anderson and am very saddened to hear of his passing. He was a heck of a manager and handled personalities on the team very well. Sparky and I had quite a few conversations about pitching philosophy, and the way he used his bullpen was the key to his success. He was like a father to the guys on the team, a heck of a leader and a great baseball mind."

• Tommy Helms: "Sparky saw what he had and was able to get the most out of them. He was a people person. He knew how to handle people and get them to get along. If you can get even 90 percent of 25 guys on the same page, you're doing a good job. With Sparky, even if everyone didn’t get along off the field, by God they were all together when they were on it. He just did an outstanding job and treated everyone with class.”

• Reds owner Bob Castellini: "All of baseball mourns the passing of one of the game's all-time great managers and ambassadors. In one way or another, Sparky touched the life of every Reds fan. Every person who visits our ballpark and Hall of Fame is reminded of his contribution to the success of this proud franchise. We offer our prayers and support to Sparky's family and friends during this difficult time."

• Bud Selig: "I am truly saddened by the loss of Sparky Anderson. I have lost and all of Baseball has lost a dear friend. Sparky was a gentleman, a great baseball man and a superb ambassador for the game.  Sparky won three World Series Championships with the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers, leading several of the best teams of the last 40 years and holding the most wins as manager for both tradition-rich franchises.

"I recall with great fondness the many hours we would spend together when his Tigers came to Milwaukee. Sparky was a loyal friend, and whenever I would be dealing with difficult situations as Commissioner, he would lift my spirits, telling me to keep my head up and that I was doing the right thing.

"On behalf of our game, I send my deepest condolences to Sparky’s wife, Carol, his three children, his nine grandchildren, and to all of his fans in Cincinnati, Detroit and throughout Baseball who were touched by this great man."

• Al Kaline (via Detroit Free Press ): “Sparky was one of the greatest people I’ve met in baseball. He was a leader to his players both on and off the field. He was an incredible person and I cherish the time I was able to spend with him. He was a great leader and a great baseball man.”

• Lance Perish (via MLB.com ): "He was always pushing and cracking the whip. He just pushed the right buttons all the time. If there was ever, in my collection of my baseball career, a guy who always seemed to know the buttons to push or things to say, he did it. It's a real tribute to him as a manager, but he seemed to know the personality of everybody on the team and who to delegate what to, when to put the right guy in the right situation. Everything worked out."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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