MLB commissioner Bud Selig is retiring at the end of next season, in case you missed it — and as Deadspin hilariously points out, if you did miss it, he’ll probably announce it a few times more — but he’s not going to leave without waving a few more vague threats at the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays stadium situations, because that’s his job, after all.
Here’s Selig on Wednesday, talking to CBS Sports’ John Feinstein about the Rays’ last-in-the-league attendance despite a playoff-bound team:
“That’s just disgraceful,” Selig said. “I don’t know how much blunter I can be than that.”
Selig didn’t say whether it’s the Rays management who should be disgraced, or Tampa-area fans, or maybe himself. (He’s retiring in disgrace because he couldn’t figure out how to get a winning team in Tampa Bay make the Rays profitable make people go see baseball games even after the owner spends years telling everyone what a dump his stadium is!) Maybe we can just agree to blame Josh Lueke — I bet everyone could get behind that.
And on the subject of the Oakland Coliseum:
“It’s a pit,” Selig said. “It reminds me of old County Stadium and Shea Stadium. We need to deal with that. I’ve had a committee working on it for two or three years, and there’s no question we’re going to have to solve that problem.”
(Editor’s note: Milwaukee’s County Stadium was decidedly not a pit. With its exposed-steel superstructure and catwalks to get to the upper deck, if you squinted a bit it actually resembled Wrigley Field without the ivy. But we digress.)
But hasn’t the committee been working on it for a long time? What’s the hold-up?
“We have, John, but I’ll tell you it’s far more complex,” Selig said. “Look, you have one team that wants to move and the other team doesn’t want them to move, and it’s a very complicated situation. Before I leave, I’m satisfied we’ll work out something.”
Ooh, is that … a promise? A prediction? An idle statement that Selig hopes everyone will forget about by the end of next season, and if they don’t, he can just talk about how disgraceful it is that everyone couldn’t settle their differences?
I think I’ll go with Door #3, though it’s always possible that that pending San Jose antitrust lawsuit against MLB will shake something loose, even if it’s only getting the San Francisco Giants owners to set a price for territorial rights, which A’s owner Lew Wolff can then decide whether he’s going to match. Still, if you gave me even odds on whether the A’s situation will be resolved by the time Selig finally departs the commissioner’s office, I’d put my money on “leave it for the next guy to handle.”