Tag:Bud Selig
Posted on: March 6, 2012 5:58 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 6:37 pm
  •  
 

Will the National League adopt the DH?

David Ortiz

By Dayn Perry

Might the designated hitter rule, which has led to wars, mass divorces and religious schisms, be making its leisurely way to the National League? Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci quotes a highly placed baseball source who believes just that: "I would be shocked if 10 years from now there's not a DH in both leagues."

As for Bud Selig, he offers up a denial couched in a non-denial: ""At the moment there is no conversation about [the NL adopting the DH] . . . That doesn't mean it won't happen," the Commissioner tells Verducci. "I've always said it would take something of a cataclysmic event to get that done. Geographic realignment would be such a cataclysmic event."

The DH was born on April 6, 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the Yankees stepped in against Boston's Luis Tiant (he walked!), and the rule has been a firebrand ever since. Although the DH is used at most levels of organized baseball, remaking the NL in the AL's image has always been a bridge too far for purists. Some say it's not real baseball, and others, although the evidence doesn't support them, say the NL is at a disadvantage in the World Series and in interleague road games. 

​Under Selig, however, blurring the lines between the leagues has been the norm. In recent years, he's instituted interleague play and brought each league office under the aegis of MLB, thus stripping the NL and AL of much of the autonomy that had defined them for years. 

It's doubtful Selig will still be commissioner by the time there's a serious push to make the DH -- he tells Verducci as much -- but considering how much power he's accrued, it's a near certainty that the next commissioner will largely abide by the Selig Way. The opposite path to uniformity -- getting rid of the DH in the AL -- is an impossibility since the MLBPA would never agree to such a change. Indeed, it may be a simple matter of time before the DH at last barges into the senior circuit.   

​​​​For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:24 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 3:16 pm
 

MLB makes expanded playoffs official

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball will officially expand the playoffs to 10 teams starting this season, it announced on Friday.

MLB Playoff expansion
The announcement has been expected for a couple of days, if not weeks. The new format will add another wild card team, with the two wild cards to play each other in one game with the winner moving on to face a division winner.

However, there is one catch that ramrodding the legislation in for 2012 created. Because of the set day for the end of the season and the start of the World Series, for this season only, the division series will begin at the home of lower seeded teams and the first two games will be played there, followed by a possible three home games for the team with "homefield advantage."

For 2013 and beyond, the division series will return to the 2-2-1 format that has been used.

"The enthusiasm for the 10-team structure among our clubs, fans and partners has been overwhelming," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "This change increases the rewards of a division championship and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year, all while maintaining the most exclusive postseason in professional sports."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:06 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:18 am
 

Epstein compensation may be announced Tuesday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball is expected to announce the compensation the Red Sox will receive from the Cubs in return for the hiring of president Theo Epstein on Tuesday, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

According to Heyman, the compensation was negotiated by both parties with input from MLB. One thing that worked in the Cubs' favor was the fact Epstein only had one year to go on his contract and his relationship with John Henry was seen as deteriorating. The Red Sox are expected to receive a minor-league player or players in compensation for allowing Epstein to go to Chicago, but the perceived value of that player or players is what has been in question since Epstein's hiring in October.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:41 pm
 

Reaction to the death of Gary Carter

Gary Carter

Gary CarterBy C. Trent Rosecrans


The passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has brought an outpouring of emotion from those in and around baseball.

We'll collect many of the statements from those around baseball here.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig:
"Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time. 'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises.  Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Sandy, their daughters Christy and Kimmie, their son D.J., their grandchildren, his friends and his many fans."

Statement from Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon:
"On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family -- his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.  His nickname 'The Kid' captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes.  He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did."

Former Mets general manager Frank Cashen:
"The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons."
 
Former Mets manager Davey Johnson:
"Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff."

Gary CarterFormer Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry:
"What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win."

Former Mets teammate Dwight Gooden:
"I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn’t have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."
 
Former Mets teammate Wally Backman:
"He was like a big brother to me.  I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."
 
Former Mets teammate Tim Teufel:
"The baseball community has lost a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He was a good man and will be missed terribly."

Former Mets teammate Mookie Wilson: 
"The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench (on Twitter):
"I am so sad! The Kid has left us. I started calling him Kid the first time I met him. He was admired and loved. Thank you for our past"

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda:
"Gary Carter played for me with so much respect and enthusiasm for the game he loved. He was a Hall of Famer as a player and as a man. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we love him and will miss him."

MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner:
"We are saddened by the news of Gary Carter’s passing. Gary was one of the greatest players of his generation and his enthusiasm and passion for the game will live on in the hearts and minds of those of us fortunate enough to have watched him play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary’s family, his former teammates and his legion of fans in the U.S. and Canada.”

Former Expos teammate Steve Rogers:
"Learning of Gary’s passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a 'gamer' in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher. His contributions to the game, both in Montreal and New York, are legendary and will likely never be duplicated. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and children, Christy, Kimmy and D.J., and to his many friends and fans."

Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven:
"We both grew up in Southern Cal, though he was 3-to-4 years younger than I was. He was a great ballplayer and a tremendous family man, and I'll miss him."
 
Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk:
"We had a lot in common, from family to our profession. He endured a lot as a catcher, as did I. And making it to the Hall of Fame was over the top for Gary, as it has been for me. We knew each other for more than 30 years, he meant a lot to me. I'm crushed by his passing."
 
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver:
"Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. For a catcher to play with that intensity in every game is special."
 
Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams:
"Johnny Bench was the No. 1 catcher of the 70s. Gary Carter (was) the No. 1 catcher of the 80s."

Hall of Fame Jane Forbes Clark:
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Gary’s enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown. Our thoughts are with Sandy, Christy, Kimmie, DJ and the entire Carter family on this very sad day."

Current Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who played for Carter in the minors:
"The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That's what I’ll take from my two years with him."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Nine ways to improve Major League Baseball

By Matt Snyder

We're just a few days until all 30 teams will have had pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Just like any true baseball fan, I'm giddy with excitement.

Just like with anything, the major-league level sport could use some improvements. While MLB was tied with college football for the second-most popular sport in a Harris Interactive poll, the demographics show that baseball is in danger of drastically losing popularity, as the study showed most baseball fans are older than 50. Now, obviously that gives a solid 20-year window before doomsday really hits, but baseball still needs to be cognizant that growing the younger audience is key for long-term growth.

That means baseball needs to be a little more Blackberry/iPhone and a little less rotary phone. Remember, not all change is bad. At one point in time, it was a home run when the ball bounced over the fence. I wonder what the "purists" thought when they changed it to a ground-rule double? If you wanna call me names and claim I'm not a purist, below you'll find several targets. But make no mistake about it, I'm trying to find ways to make the game more exciting for the next generation. In this century, things move faster and people have less time to pay attention. Adapt or die, as "Billy Beane" said in "Moneyball."

So here are nine things I'd change about baseball in order to make it better suited for the next generation. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section and make this an interactive discussion.

1. Put in a pitch clock. I'm dead serious -- put it up like basketball has a shot clock. Not only is it, you know, a freaking rule that pitchers have to throw a pitch within 12 seconds of getting the ball, but this would add some drama for many younger fans. The best reason, obviously, is that the umpires would actually be forced to enforce the rule that they so often just ignore. The rulebook (Rule 8.04) states "The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball."

Has anyone ever watched Josh Beckett (pictured right, surely finding a way to avoid throwing a pitch within the first 20 seconds he has the baseball) pitch? I bet he's had outings where he never once threw a pitch within 12 seconds. It makes me feel like I'm watching Steve Traschel all over again ... well, except that Beckett's actually good. I'm not blaming Beckett. The umpires let him do it and he's not alone at all (Vicente Padilla also comes to mind). Just using him as an example.

2. Get someone with some common sense to rework the blackout rules. I've covered this before, so just click through and see how amazingly stupid it is. Bud Selig needs to hire someone to do something about it. Hell, I'll throw my hat in the ring and volunteer.

3. More Saturday day games. Sunday is fine, because everyone plays a day game with the exception of the ESPN Sunday Night Game. And I understand weekday games needing to be at night. But on Saturday, we usually get about three afternoon games and the rest are at night. This is the best time for families to get their kids to the game and many families don't like to have their kids out at the ballpark late Saturday night for many reasons. Why not just start the Saturday games at 1:00 p.m. local time? Especially when school is in session. I also wouldn't mind seeing Game 3 of the World Series falling on a Saturday afternoon. It's not like Saturday night is prime for TV ratings.

4. Expand replay to everything but balls and strikes. Why does someone like Ron Kulpa or Jim Joyce have to be burdened with an honest missed call for the rest of his life? The Joe Wests of the world are in the minority here, as most of the umpires are honest, hard-working guys who just want to get the call right. As the fast motion and without the benefit of multiple camera angles, calls are going to get missed. The insane thing is we have the technology to show they were wrong within seconds, yet don't allow the umpires to use it. Why not just have a centralized review office at the MLB headquarters where one replay official watches every game? You don't need to give the managers challenges or have the entire umpiring crew go underneath the stadium for 15 minutes. Let's just use some common sense and start getting every call correct. It's very possible.

5. Make the DH universal. I've written about this before and the reasons are very simple. First of all, it's insane that a professional sports organization has a different set of rules for two leagues, especially when the leagues play each other during the regular season and decide a champion by facing each other in the World Series. So you either have to take the DH away from the AL or add it to the NL.

And here's where the purists freak out and start calling me names, since I say add it to the NL. I wouldn't be averse to taking it away from the AL, just as long as the same rules are applied to both leagues. But adding to NL makes more sense here. The first reason is that the players union would obviously never allow the DH to go away, as it would cost jobs to veteran players. The second reason is it's better for offense, and we're trying to get kids to watch the games, remember? Plus, pitchers suck at hitting. We're supposed to be watching pro athletes at their best ... also realize teams don't have to use a DH. So if the Marlins want to bat Carlos Zambrano, for example, more power to them. Just don't come with this "baseball is meant to be played both in the field and at bat" junk. Pitching is a specialization. You don't make a quarterback play defense in football anymore.

6. Out with penny-pinching owners. Among the many complaints I'm waiting on in the comments section is that I didn't mention a salary cap. Here's the deal: With baseball's system, players are under team control for six years. That's a lot longer than other sport. And with the revenue sharing system, many small-market clubs are making hefty profits. Take 2010 (Forbes.com hasn't released the 2011 numbers yet). Did you know three teams lost money that season? The Red Sox, Mets and Tigers. Large markets. Guess who had the highest operating income? The Padres, who made almost $40 million. And after the season they traded superstar first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for prospects because they couldn't "afford" to sign him long term.

The problem with the difference in payrolls is mostly on these tight-fisted owners from the old boys club of owners. Just over a week ago, Joe Sheehan of SI.com wrote an excellent article about how owners like the Royals' David Glass, Athletics' Lew Wolff, Pirates' Robert Nutting and Blue Jays' Rogers Corporation are pocketing millions upon millions while crying that they can't afford high-priced talent (though I'd probably cut the Jays out there, to be fair).

The money is there, so it should be spent on improving the on-field product, not the bottom line of a billionaire. The fans of these teams and others deserve better. There should be more George Steinbrenners -- who would rather lose money while the team wins than vice versa -- not less.

7. Shorten spring training. The always-entertaining Brandon McCarthy, A's starting pitcher, wrote the following about spring training last week for SI.com's Hot Clicks: "It's so, so, so LONG: It's six weeks of practice and pretend games. It just never seems to end. It's like our version of Oregon Trail. By the time camp ends, someone's died of Dysentery, there's a bunch of new kids that have been born, and your feet are killing you."

He's right. How many fake games do you need? Cut out two weeks and ...

8. Start/end the season earlier. The reasoning is two-pronged. The first prong is that baseball in cold weather isn't near as enjoyable as baseball in warm weather. With the World Series creeping up on November, there are just too many chances for weather issues during the most important games of the year (remember Game 5 of the Phillies-Rays series). If spring training was shortened, the season could begin the third week of March. Yes, weather is bad for the first several weeks of the season in many parts of the country, but the scheduling is easier then. There are enough warm-weather and retractable-roof teams to cover the first month. The games aren't nearly as important as the playoff games and in the playoffs you don't get to choose the venue (how about a Minnesota vs. Chicago World Series in the first week of November? Shivers everywhere). So you'd start the playoffs the third week of September and the World Series would be over in the middle of October. The second prong is you cut away time in competition with the NFL. Sorry, the NFL is a monster and there's no changing that in the near future, so don't compete with it anymore than necessary. Two less weeks of facing off against the NFL would be great for the sport of baseball.

9. Blackball Jose Canseco. Oh wait, I guess he claims that already happened. Whatever, just please go away, Jose. Take Lenny Dykstra with you. #4TRUTH. Yes, I realize this doesn't have to do with MLB, but I just can't stand these guys. The game is much better without having them around it.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 1:53 pm
 

Epstein compensation decision expected this week

Theo Epstein

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Major League Baseball is inching closer to a conclusion in the Theo Epstein compensation talks, with a decision expected as soon as this week, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Both teams have already submitted briefs, and the commissioner's office has had time to look them over.

For Red Sox fans with images of Brett Jackson dancing in your head, well, you can stop. Word is the fact the Epstein had just one year left on his contract, and his deteriorating relationship with John Henry and Larry Lucchino, could affect what kind of return the Red Sox get.

Epstein was named the Cubs' president of baseball operations on Oct. 21. The two sides originally had 30 days to settle on compensation, but that deadline was then pushed back and ultimately sent to the commissioner's office last month.

The only precedent for a GM leaving his post and then taking another gig came in 1994 when the Twins' Andy MacPhail left Minnesota for the top job with the Cubs. The Twins received right-hander Hector Trinidad as compensation. Trinidad was ranked the team's No. 30 prospect at the time and never made it past Double-A. According to Baseball America, the Cubs' No. 30 prospect this year is outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., the team's 11th-round pick in 2001 and son of former Cubs shortstop (and top overall pick) Shawon Dunston.

The Marlins gave up two players, utility infielder Ozzie Martinez and reliever Jhan Marinez, to the White Sox for compensation in return for manager Ozzie Guillen. Baseball America ranked Marinez, a right-hander, the No. 6 prospect in the White Sox system, although it should be noted he'd be ranked much lower than that in any other system. The White Sox minor-league system is almost universally considered the worst in baseball by a wide margin. Martinez was not ranked by Baseball America.

Epstein should be worth more than a manager, and probably more than what the Cubs gave up 18 years ago -- but how much more will be what makes it interesting.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.



Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:31 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:19 pm
 

Selig expects expanded playoffs for 2012

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Baseball's expanded playoffs could be ready for the 2012 season, commissioner Bud Selig told reporters at SoxFest in Chicago on Friday.

Bud Selig
"I really believe we'll have the (extra) wild card fo rthis year," Selig said (via the Chicago Tribune.) "Clubs really want it. I don't think I've ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card."

The new wild card round would be one-game playoffs between the two wild card teams. The players and owners have already agreed to the expanded playoffs, with the only question being whether they'd begin in 2012 or 2013. The decision is expected by March 1, according to the Associated Press.

"We're working on dates right now," Selig said. "It looks to me like we'll have it, because I've told everybody we have to have it. It will be exciting. A one-game playoff and it will start the playoffs in a very exciting manner."

Also on Friday, the Associated Press reported that teams tied for the division tittle would now play a one-game playoff instead of using head-to-head record to determine the division winner. That will be necessary because of the new nature of the playoffs -- division winners won't have to play in the one-game wild card playoff, making winning the division more important than in years past.

The new format would also likely mean an end to the rule that doesn't allow two teams from the same division to play in the division series. The winner of the wild card would then play the team with the best record in the league.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.



Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:21 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:19 pm
 

Selig hopes to settle Epstein compensation soon

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cubs and Red Sox have made their proposals for Boston's compensation for allowing Theo Epstein to move to Chicago, but commissioner Bud Selig said he doesn't have a timetable for making a decision.

"I'd like to get it done as expeditiously as possible," Selig said Friday night at SoxFest in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The two teams have submitted written proposals, possibly including names of specific players, to Selig, according to the newspaper.

"The clubs tried to settle it themselves. I have a lot of patience because everything controversial generally winds up on my desk," Selig said. "In this case, I did give the clubs more latitude and hoped they could come to some conclusion. But they didn't and now it's my case."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com