AT&T PARK — After an 800-mile trip from Safeco Field in Seattle, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig made AT&T Park the 18th stop on his farewell tour.
The 22-year commissioner covered a myriad of topics from the future of the Oakland Athletics to domestic violence before the Giants’ Thursday afternoon game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the twilight of his career, Selig reminisced about getting started to begin his press conference:
“Coming here brings back a lot of memories. My first day on this job, September of ’92, we got back from St. Louis. I told everybody I’d be in this job two-to-four months so I only missed by 22 plus years.”
Selig sat atop the podium in the press conference room and meticulously smoothed out the cloth table cover in front of him with both hands as he fielded questions about the Oakland Athletics new ballpark:
He acknowledged the flak he’s been taking as a result of the decision processes longevity. His blunt explanation left something to be desired:
“There is no question that the A’s need a new ballpark… I compare Oakland’s stadium, and I’m not trying to be facetious when I say that it reminds me of County Stadium in Milwaukee in the old days or Shea Stadium in its final days. That’s not a compliment in either case. They were both dumps.”
“This has been a back-burner issue because there’s nothing we can do until this litigation is resolved.”
The commissioner also weighed in on matters that hit a little closer to home for Bay Area fans:
“Barry Bonds set the record… One thing about commissioners, you get on a slippery slope when you start trying to change facts as they are… Whatever the record books say is what it is.”
In light of recent controversies in the NFL, Selig was asked about his stance on domestic violence policy reform:
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We are a social institution and I’m proud of our record in dealing with a myriad of subjects and we deal with them, I think, quite effectively.”
Selig curled his hand around his ear to better hear the followup question about a blanket policy for domestic violence in Major League Baseball:
“Yes, it has been discussed because we’re sensitive to all issues, but I’m not going to sit here and hypothecate [sic]. Fortunately, we don’t have that issue in front of us.”
Toward the end of the press conference, he went on to say that the subject would be something for the next collective bargaining agent and that he’ll be “long gone and teaching at the University of Wisconsin” by then.
Selig will be succeeded by Rob Manfred who currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball.