ST. LOUIS - Bud Selig called a news conference before Game 7 of the World Series Friday to brag about the game he loves.
And who could blame him?
In the last two months, the Commissioner of Baseball has presided over a September stretch run that kept fans on pins and needles right to the final day of the season. That final night of the regular schedule has been described as the most dramatic single day of regular season baseball in history.
In the playoffs all but three series went the distance, including this World Series.
“I would not be ashamed to tell you,” he said, “that Thursday night in the 11th inning, after everything that went on, I’m really proud to be the Commissioner of a sport that has produced what just happened.”
He bragged about the possibility of having “our 10th different champion in 11 years.”
“We have parity like we’ve never had before. And we have had a historic run by the Cardinals. When the Cardinals were in Milwaukee in August and they were 101/2 out, Tony (La Russa) told me “we’re not done.”
Selig spoke on a variety of subjects.
- On TV ratings: “Fifth best year we’ve ever had; 73 million, which even a decade ago we couldn’t even have thought of. (Thursday) was Fox’s biggest night in six months. Game 6 was the most-watched World Series game without Boston or New York, since 2002. We already have more people bidding on our national television contract than ever before in our history.
- On banning beer in clubhouses: “I think each club has to make their own decision but make it sensitively and use common sense.”
- On overall baseball revenues: “It is going to increase this year. We don’t know how much yet but it will increase, despite all the doom and gloomers.” (Baseball had $7 billion revenues last year).
- On expanding instant replay usage by umpires: “We’ll do some minor things, look at fair or foul down the lines, but you know how I feel about the pace of the games.”
- On finding a successor for himself when he steps down at the end of 2012: “There isn’t a mechanism in place, but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about.”