Selig On CBA, Slotting, Rays, Epstein, Playoffs

Commissioner Bud Selig discussed several topics in an interview with Chris Russo of SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio today before Game 2 of the World Series.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • In regards to the ongoing negotiations about a new collective bargaining agreement, Selig said talks were "constructive," though it would be "pretty optimistic" to hope that a new deal could be announced before the end of the World Series.
  • The issue of a hard slotting system for the draft is "really critical" for Selig.  Buster Olney reported yesterday that Selig was unlikely to "dig in and fight" for slotting since doing so would prolong the labor negotiations.
  • Selig is hopeful that an extra wild card team in each league could be added in time for the 2012 postseason.  Selig hears from a number of managers that they would prefer a one-game playoff between each league's wild card teams, rather than a best-of-three playoff.
  • The commissioner is "concerned" about the low attendance in Tampa Bay.  The Rays "are a wonderful organization, produced a terrific team this year and finished last in the American League in attendance.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.  That’s bad."  The Rays' quest for a new stadium is not quite a "lost cause," as Russo describes, but Selig said he is "usually an optimist and I don’t have any reason to be too optimistic" about the situation.
  • Selig admitted that he could possibly be called in to decide the compensation the Cubs would owe the Red Sox for Theo Epstein.
  • Judging fair and foul balls could become reviewable via instant replay.  Besides this change, however, Selig said "there is no appetite anywhere, including mine, for any instant replay" of other plays.
  • "Never have so many [networks] been interested in acquiring our rights," Selig said in regards about MLB's next TV contracts for the postseason.

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