SBD/June 6, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Picking His Spots: Selig Presides Over Final Draft As MLB Commissioner

Selig said it was unfair to compare MLB's draft with those of the NBA and NFL
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Thursday night presided over what is scheduled to be his final MLB Draft as the league’s top exec before his planned retirement in January, but he said he has not begun to heavily dwell on events such as this being the final iterations of his baseball career. “I’m not to that point yet,” he said. “I really don’t think about it in that regard. But I would say I’m so comfortable with my decision that I’ve sort of accepted this now. But I’ve still got eight or nine months left. Near the end, I think, this will be more in my mind.” The draft was held in the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J., for the sixth straight year, drawing seven draft hopefuls in attendance. The event has shown slow, steady growth in prominence and fan interest in recent years, but still significantly pales compared to the massive amounts of attention paid to the NFL and NBA drafts. Selig argued the comparisons between the various sports’ drafts was unfair given the scope of college football and basketball. “Everybody wants to compare this draft to the NBA and the NFL. But remember, college kids in those sports have great publicity," he said. "College football is really big. College basketball is really big. I think we’ve come a long way, but I also think we need to do more, publicize more and do more things, because in the end, for the millions of fans of each franchise, this is the lifeline. It’s that important. I cannot stress how important this day is.” As in prior years, Selig continued to take particular joy in his slow, deliberate announcements of each upcoming team being “on ... the ... clock.” He also began the draft with a series of remarks in memory of the late Don Zimmer.

CAPTAIN CAVEMAN: Selig earlier Thursday made his first-ever visit to the MLB Fan Cave in lower Manhattan, now in its fourth year of operation. He addressed the draft prospects in town as well as the current Cave Dwellers, placing the commissioner in front of a group all 27 and younger. Selig: "It was a very good experience. l loved the kids and the questions they had. I really enjoyed myself and it was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed being around the kids."
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