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SELIG TO TAKE REALIGNMENT PLAN TO ATLANTA, BUT WHICH ONE?
Published September 15, 1997
MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig was interviewed by Fox's Chip Carey and Steve Lyons before Saturday's "MLB on Fox" telecast. Selig, on realignment: "The schedule really right now just doesn't work and that's a disaster for all 30 clubs ... we're trying now to deal with individual club concerns." Selig, asked if he had a concrete plan to present at the owners' meetings in Atlanta this week: "Not at this point. I mean, we have a significant number of plans ... with variations off those plans." On the search for a full-time commissioner: "There are serious candidates, but we've agreed ... that to protect them and everybody else that this is to be done on a very confidential basis ... we haven't set a timetable, but I have said recently ... that hopefully by the end of the year we'll have somebody at least ready to come on board" ("MLB on Fox," 9/13). PETER'S PRINCIPLE: Giants Owner Peter Magowan said that he is "prepared to take his fellow owners to court to prevent" an MLB realignment plan that would move the A's to the NL, according to Henry Schulman of the S.F. EXAMINER. Magowan said that the "legal basis for a suit would be the Giants' franchise agreement, which decrees the Bay Area as Giants territory" in the NL (S.F. EXAMINER, 9/14). MLB owners will meet Tuesday through Thursday in Atlanta, with realignment on the agenda. Padres President Larry Lucchino, a member of the realignment committee, thinks a decision will be reached on a '98 schedule: "Fortunately and mercifully. We need to move on to the schedule. We need a (1998) schedule and we need some decisions. The world isn't waiting for a perfect decision. It's just waiting for a decision" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 9/14). PARTY FOR FIVE: In L.A., Ross Newhan writes on Selig's five-year reign as acting commissioner: "No one criticizes Selig's passion or work ethic. He is on the phone 10 to 12 hours a day, earning the $2 million a year his colleagues pay him." But one NL owner said, "I criticize Bud for agreeing with everybody he talks to, whether he agrees with them or not, and I also think five years is a very long interim period." Newhan: "Selig has also tended to insulate himself among allies, making sure that Reinsdorf and Minnesota owner Carl Pohlad, among others, are always on the executive council and other influential committees to help Selig control vote." The NL owner adds that a "majority" of NL owners would oppose Selig's possible candidacy for the full-time position in part due to a "marketing void." The NL owner: "That's where baseball has really suffered. Deals just aren't getting done. The '97 season was a total loss in that regard and there's no excuse for it. Greg Murphy was hired [as MLBE President] with a lot of fanfare, but he doesn't have Bud's support. It's a real void. We're not generating the income we should" (L.A. TIMES, 9/15).