PHOENIX – Baseball commissioner Bud Selig admitted Saturday he has put his ideas for realignment on paper, but that’s as far as it has gone thus far.
“When I am on long airport rides I will fiddle around with divisions and things,” Selig said at Maryvale Baseball Park during a spring training game between the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers. “The one thing about it: You come up with 100 different (scenarios).”
There have been reports in recent weeks that one of the subjects the 14-person special committee Selig designated four months ago was the idea of “floating realignment” in which teams would not be fixed to a division, but free to change divisions from year to year based on geography, payroll and their plans to contend or not.
Selig wasn’t ready to go that far with the concept just yet.
“I’ve always believed in realignment and we have done a lot in the last 18 years, but we really have not discussed that subject,” he said. “It’s a subject that has been on my mind for a long time, but is there anything to report? No. There have been some stories but that is way ahead of where we are.”
At the same time, Selig, who has been commissioner since 1998, said it will be looked at by the committee.
“I do believe it can work, just like I did in the wild card, interleague play and revenue sharing,” he said. “When you do things, whatever you do in baseball, you got to do it with permanence so whatever you do you’ve done. It’s something I want to keep thinking about.”
Selig was asked about what else he would like to accomplish before leaving office, and he went directly to labor negotiations.
“No one ever would have ever dreamed if you lived through what I did back in the Marvin Miller-Bowie Kuhn era where there was anger and work stoppages (that there is a good relationship between the two sides),” he said. “We are going to have 16 years of labor peace and I hope for a lot more after we get done with this next one.
“I really believe that is why the sport has grown so dramatically.”
Selig also touched on the possibility of an international draft, and Kansas City receiving an All-Star game bid.
“When they went to the draft in 1965, they did it because clubs were so concerned with the Yankees winning all of the time,” Selig said. “The objective is to do what they did and perpetuate what they did in 1965. That is for labor negotiations. I believe in slotting and the international draft. I think it helps small and medium markets.
“In fact, I think it is critical.”
As far as the All-Star game being held in Kansas City, Selig said the Royals organization has done all the right things to put itself in line for the game after the renovation of Kauffman Stadium.
“I am going to have to do some juggling over the next five or six years because there is a long list (of teams wanting to host it),” he said. “You just have to make what you think is the best pick. I have a great regard for Kansas City. We will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”