A few things for MLB’s new commish to consider
After more than 20 years serving as Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig is retiring.
He became the acting commissioner in 1992 before he was elected in 1998. He took over a league in a mess and righted the ship. Namely, he tried to rid the game of steroid use with a stricter drug-testing policy, cleaning up the MLB’s image.
Selig created revenue sharing in an effort to bring parity to baseball. Two teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, were added in his first year.
He created interleague play and realigned baseball into three divisions in each league. He facilitated the transfer of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., moved his former team, the Milwaukee Brewers to the National League and the Houston Astros to the American League.
He also created a more competitive All-Star Game, with the winning league receiving home-field advantage for the World Series.
Selig did a lot of great things for the game, but there is more that can be done.
So, I have some recommendations for the new commissioner:
■ First and foremost, allow the Oakland Athletics to move to San Jose if it can fund a stadium.
The Athletics have wanted to move there for some time. Obviously, San Jose is a thriving city where the A’s can get the financial support to compete with the rest of the teams in the league. So, what’s the problem? The San Francisco Giants are claiming territorial rights in San Jose. The Giants’ Class A Advanced team is there.
Here’s the thing. Selig approved the Montreal Expos’ move to D.C., even though the Orioles didn’t approve of the move for the same reasons. Precedent was set by Selig, and that shouldn’t change. Selig’s office has refused to get involved in the San Jose situation, but the new commissioner should allow the A’s to relocate while keeping their Oakland fans.
Also, the A’s are the only team in the major leagues sharing their stadium with an NFL team. They should be allowed the same benefits of a new stadium as the rest of the teams.
■ Although interleague play has added more interest and gives fans an opportunity to see teams they normally don’t see, the odd number of teams in each league creates at least one interleague game each day. That is unnecessary.
Baseball needs to add two more teams to create two 16-team leagues. That would help the schedule tremendously. Each league would have four divisions with four teams. The divisions would be North, South, East and West.
Look at Charlotte to go in the NL South with Atlanta, Miami and Tampa Bay. The other expansion team could be Portland or San Antonio.
The Colorado Rockies could remain in the NL West with Arizona, the L.A. Dodgers and San Francisco, or go to the AL South with Kansas City, Houston and Texas, if Portland is a better choice for expansion than San Antonio.
■ Reduce the number of games in a season from 162 to 156. The season would remain the same number of weeks, but each team would get one day off each week.
This would eliminate the weekday day game, which is usually the lowest attended game and in theory would reduce some costs to go with it. It would allow the players an actual day off each week. We all need at least one day off of work to rest and recharge, right?
Remember, players show up for work for a 7 p.m. game by 3 p.m. and go through all of the preparation even if they don’t play.
■ For the playoffs, eliminate the wild card and reward each division champion a postseason berth. Also, the team in the World Series with the better regular-season record should have home-field advantage.