Selig asked about A’s and Rays, says same stuff Selig always says

Tonight is the baseball All-Star Game, which means commissioner Bud Selig meets the media, which means the media ask Selig about the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays situation, which means Selig says what he always says:

“[The Rays] have run a great operation; they’ve had very competitive teams,” said Selig. “To see they are No. 29 in attendance is inexcusable. Nobody can defend that. This is a very competitive baseball team.”

Selig said the only answer is a new ballpark, which has met stiff operation there. As for the Oakland situation, Selig said, “It is in my hands, in my committee’s hands. Many people say, ‘What’s taking them so long?’ It’s a very complex issue on both sides. It has further issues and the committee has been extremely thorough. They are spending an enormous amount of time with many people, and when they’re ready to come back to me, which I hope will be in a reasonably short period of time, we’ll move forward on that.”

As my old Baseball Prospectus colleague Jason Collette notes, Rays attendance may be low, but it’s actually up this year despite Evan Longoria being out with an injury. And the Tampa Bay area still has a recession that is exceptionally in the crapper. But then, it’s not clear who Selig is refusing to excuse for the attendance problems — maybe he meant Congressional Republicans for blocking a second stimulus package.

As for the A’s, meanwhile, this whole “the committee is still at work” thing is getting kind of ridiculous now. The current situation is pretty well summed up by recent tweets from two longtime Bay Area baseball reporters:

At this point you have to wonder if Selig is hoping that either he or A’s owner Lew Wolff will die before he has to make a decision on this. Which at the pace things are going, is entirely possible.

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13 comments on “Selig asked about A’s and Rays, says same stuff Selig always says

  1. For just a split second, I read “Eva Longoria.”

    That would definitely help attendance.

    (Sorry.)

  2. Neil – please check where did this typo occur? In the original? “which has met stiff operation there.”

    Note to Mr. Selig – if you’re going to rate teams in terms of attendance numbers, some team or another will always be in 29th place.

    I read ‘Eva Longoria’ too!

  3. RE: Selig: “To see they (Rays) are No. 29 in attendance is inexcusable. Nobody can defend that. This is a very competitive baseball team.”

    Inexcusable? What’s inexcusable is Selig, MLB, & Rays ownership trying to extort the taxpayers into financing a new stadium for a team that while they may be good, is in a market that simply is NOT interested in baseball!
    Look across the state at Miami! The Marlins are 2 time World Series Champions met by fans with a collective apathy that as a Cubs fan, is infuriating to me. Further, the Marlins screwed the Miami taxpayers royally, and lo and behold, a new stadium has NOT brought attendance up!
    The fact is, MLB/the Owners awarded franchises to places like Arizona, Denver, & Florida, simply for the quick upfront dollar$ that a new franchise coming into the league has to provide to MLB.
    Any other “maintenance” associated with those new-ish franchises is the responsibility of that respective team/owner/the city’s taxpayers (according to MLB).

  4. Miami attendance is up – they’ve gone from last in the league to 18th. Though that’s still not a great omen for the future, as attendance has nowhere to go but down from here (the first year in a new stadium always sees the biggest attendance boost).

  5. It is clear Lew Wolff needs to sell the team. By most accounts, he wants to use the A’s simply to prop up his real estate holdings in and around San Jose.

    Oakland has several solid sites for a new stadium. I pray that with new ownership the A’s will remain in Oakland. We need a “baseball” owner, not a “real estate” owner.

  6. Selig has the same problem as the Ricketts: instead of being grateful for making $X, they want $XX because they’re unrealistic & greedy. Unless every single game in every MLB park is soldout for decades, they will never be satisfied. It’s ridiculous.

  7. Dean, how would opening a ballpark prop up his real estate holdings that are nowhere near the ballpark site?

  8. Selig is just upset that half the league is drawing below average attendance. Is there anything wrong with that?

  9. It never ceases to amaze me how jealous Cubs fans are of the Marlins & ’03, and how they think since they fill the ballpark up they deserve a championship. Nobody is forcing you to buy those tickets or to be a Cubs fan.

    Neil – when your sport makes over $7+ billion a year, I think you’re doing alright. It’s petty & completely insulting to the fans who actually do show up to Rays games to whine about their 29th attendance. Going to the ballpark isn’t a job, it’s a treat. I get sick & tired of hearing my team’s GM complain that “if you don’t show up, we won’t make the team better!” It is insulting & infuriating.

  10. Neil,

    Just wondering, did the former used car dealer give us any indication of which team should be 29th in attendance???

    As noted by someone above, the only way to positively prevent any team from finishing 29th is to contract to 28 teams.

    Just sayin’.

  11. Mark –

    That’s a hell of an generalization about Cubs fans being “jealous of the Marlins and 2003.”

    No one is forcing us (yes, I’m a Chicago fan) to remain Cub fans or buy tickets, what I take issue with is dopes like yourself making a statement of opinion based on no evidence produced in this comment stream about Cub fans believing our team “deserves a championship.” Apparent apathy of Marlins fans is what I commented on, NOT the Cubs somehow being more “deserving” of a championship due to a larger fan base and team history.

    Oh, and get your facts straight as well, the ballpark has NOT been “filled up” for at least the last 3 seasons, thus the many promotions the Cubs are employing to get fans to come out to Wrigley.

  12. And how is not true Cubs fans aren’t jealous of the Marlins two championships (you brought those up, not me). Every argument I hear between Cubs & Marlins it’s ‘the Marlins don’t deserve those championships; not in their short existence or apathy’.

    I do know the Cubs sell most of their tickets in February & I do know fans have been dumping their tickets on StubHub like crazy trying to recuperate their losses & I do know about Red Sox & Tigers fans packing the place recently. Wrigley Field draws a LOT of fans for teams that don’t win very much. Don’t tell me they’re not selling boatloads of tickets because they are. Buying & showing up are entirely two different things.

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