MLB Draft Brings Vibrant Crowd, Enthusiastic Bud Selig To Studio 42
MLB held its annual draft at the MLB Network studio in Secaucus, N.J., for the fifth straight year, and the event posted its largest and most vibrant crowd with a packed Studio 42. Nine draft hopefuls were present, many accompanied by loud, exuberant families. "This really is terrific," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said between announcing first-round picks. "The players who have come up (to the podium) have been so excited. They're so intense. This is what we had in mind (when seeking to elevate the draft as an event). I love this."
Selig acknowledged he was enjoying making a slow, deliberate enunciation of each team with the upcoming pick being "on ... the ... clock." He joked, "I do take particular relish in that. I wish I could do it during owners meetings." Selig did make a few podium gaffes, announcing several early first-round picks, including top overall selection Mark Appel, as being in the "2000 First-Year Player Draft."
Meanwhile, Selig said he remains "optimistic" the league can reverse its attendance slide this season, now standing at more than 3% amid wet weather continuing to plague the Northeast and Midwest. "We have a lot of games to make up, and I do hope the weather turns better," he said. "I study this every day, and to hear people say it's an excuse, well, it's not an excuse. It is not an excuse when your box office is affected."