Let The Sun Shine: Selig Maintains MLB Not Giving Up On Achieving Success In Florida
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appeared at a Politico Playbook breakfast event yesterday morning in N.Y., and said he has not given up achieving success for the league in Florida despite both franchises located in the state ranking at the bottom of the league in average attendance. Both the Rays and Marlins are facing significant struggles this year, though for different reasons. The Rays are seeking to complete their sixth straight winning season, but rank just 29th in home attendance with an average of 17,791 per game, as Tropicana Field is far from the bulk of the Tampa metro area. The Marlins, meanwhile, last fall conducted a highly debated dismantling of its roster following its unsuccessful debut season in Marlins Park, and currently rank last in attendance with an average of 17,417. The club also has the second-worst average local TV audience this season with 18,000 households per game. "We haven't given up on Florida," Selig said. "The demographics are still too good." Selig addresses several other topics during the roughly one-hour Q&A session with chief White House correspondent Mike Allen. He said no decisions will be made regarding the A's sought-after relocation to San Jose until an antitrust lawsuit levied against the league by the city of San Jose is resolved in some fashion. Selig said he still intends to retire in January '15 at the conclusion of his current contract, though did not given any further clues regarding a potential successor. He also maintains his plan to write a memoir of his time in baseball and says he has "hundreds, hundreds of boxes" of archival material. Meanwhile, in a more unusual query to Selig, he was asked his choice of at bat music if he was a player. His response, with a smile: Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
CONCERNS OVER PLAYER SPENDING: The AP's Ronald Blum reported Selig is "concerned about spending on players, whose average salary rose" 6% to $3.65M on Opening Day. MLB's revenue is "projected to reach" $8B this year, and Selig wants clubs to "spend less than half on players." Selig said, "We've made some new television deals and our clubs got a little excited, and so we may go over 50 percent, and that's dangerous. I think we have to work on more mechanisms" (AP, 7/15).