SBD/October 31, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Commissioner Selig Pleased With Drama From World Series, Regular-Season Metrics

MLB attendance exceeded 74 million for the '13 season
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's "joy" last night at Fenway Park after the conclusion to the '13 season "reflected that of the sellout crowd that was celebrating all around him," according to Paul Hagen of MLB.com. Selig said, "It was a great World Series -- drama, excitement. I often say that I think baseball is a social institution. But you saw it. You saw it in Boston and you saw it in St. Louis. It's been remarkable for me and remarkable for the sport. ... There was something about it, even with the things that were unexpected. It was just great. ... It's two great baseball towns, and I have so much respect for both organizations. It's been a great series for the sport." Meanwhile, Selig is "pleased overall" with the '13 season. He said, "Another great attendance year. We went over 74 million, which five or 10 years ago, I would have been dancing on the table. Attendance is good, revenues are good. [MLBAM], the Network ... I'm really comfortable and proud with where we are" (MLB.com, 10/31). FOXSPORTS.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes, "Baseball’s critics say the national pastime is passé," but the '13 World Series "proved them wrong." The Red Sox and Cardinals "treated the world to a memorable six-game Series, in which two iconic franchises displayed the sport’s present reach and future potential." There was "nothing banal or routine" about this year's World Series. Baseball is "back if it ever left." The Fall Classic "proved it" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/31).

WORLD SERIES VS. SUPER BOWL: ESPN.com's Jim Caple compares the World Series to the Super Bowl and writes, "The problem with the Super Bowl is the NFL plays the game in a neutral, (usually) warm-weather city, filling a sterile stadium with business people on corporate expense accounts who have no vested interest in who wins or loses, other than the team on which they placed their bets." On the other hand, MLB "plays the World Series in the very cities and parks where the two participating teams play all season," and this is the "way it should be." A World Series atmosphere "simply cannot be matched by the Super Bowl, no matter how many Roman numerals you add." Caple: "There was so much anticipation for a Game 6 clinch that when I got off a very crowded T at Kenmore Square 3½ hours before the first pitch, the sidewalks were already so clogged with fans that I wound up walking in the street to get to Fenway Park." No Super Bowl site "can match Fenway for atmosphere." The Super Bowl is "little more for a neutral city than a week of excessive partying by people with no dog in the hunt," whereas the World Series is a "near-religious experience for its fans when it is played in their city" (ESPN.com, 10/31).

HAIL TO THE CHIEF? FS1’s Jason Gay said of former President George W. Bush serving as the next MLB commissioner, “You would be skeptical at first. He’s a former president (and) that might be kind of a step down in terms of job responsibility. However, when you consider what the MLB commissioner’s responsibilities are the next commissioner after Selig has a lot to do.” He added, “However, the name of the game, at the end of the day for a commissioner in any sport, is ownership franchise value and George W. Bush would be their man” (“Crowd Goes Wild,” FS1, 10/30).
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