Bud Selig Expresses Support For New Replay System; Addresses Growing Diversity In MLB
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and several club owners yesterday expressed support for the league's newly expanded instant replay system despite numerous high-profile issues in recent days and open questioning by some managers, including the Red Sox' John Farrell. Speaking at the MLB Diversity Business Summit in N.Y., Selig said, "When you do anything new like this, there's always going to be a glitch or two, but this is off to a wonderful start. I spoke to (MLB Special On-Field Committee member Tony La Russa), and have studied all the numbers that (MLB Senior VP/Baseball Operations) Peter Woodfork has given me, and we're really pleased. Frankly, we couldn't have imagined it going as well as it has." Eighty-four calls have been reviewed thus far in the '14 season, with 28 of them reversed. Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said, "I don't expect any system to be perfect. It's no different than before instant replay. ... It's a vast improvement over what we had. And I think it's going to be great." MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman, meanwhile, expressed additional hope of solving baseball's long-running blackout issue and implementing widespread in-market live game streaming. Currently, only the Blue Jays stream their games locally, and the Yankees recently shut down their "Yankees on YES" in-market streaming service after five largely unsuccessful seasons. "There are lot of people at the table, from the league to the teams to the (RSNs) to the distributors. What we need to do as a sport is solve this behind the scenes for the betterment of the fans." Bowman said finding a resolution this season would represent a fitting sendoff for Selig, currently in the final year of his contract and eyeing retirement. But Bowman added the caveat, "If in fact it is his final year" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
GROWING THE GAME: MLB.com's Paul Hagen noted Selig spoke yesterday on the anniversary of late Baseball HOFer Jackie Robinson's "integration of baseball." Robinson's daughter, Sharon, "presented Selig with a large frame of No. 42 and a plaque from her and her mother, Rachel." Selig was "deeply moved by the gesture," and said, "You have no idea. I don't often have a hard time articulating my thoughts, but this, it's really something" (MLB.com, 4/15). On Long Island, Will Sammon writes the "legacy of Robinson ... lives on because of Selig" (NEWSDAY, 4/16).
ODDS & ENDS: MLB.com's Spencer Fordin noted Steinbrenner at the summit was asked
"how to make a positive impression in an interview." He said, "Be
confident. Not arrogant, but confident. And be excited about what you've
got to offer. We really look for people -- whether it's someone coming
to be an employee or a vendor -- that have a good story to tell about
their product or their service. That's something that's very important
to us, but it's also important to have a track record, to be active and
established in the community." Meanwhile Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg
said that the "most important thing for baseball is to maintain its
current fanbase and to find a way to expand." Sternberg said, "It's
relatively clear in our head: It's reaching the young families. Families
that are forming" (MLB.com, 4/15).