MINNEAPOLIS — Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was at Target Field on Tuesday to speak at a luncheon for the 20th anniversary of the RBI World Series, which will be hosted by the Minnesota Twins.
Inevitably, Selig was asked about the MLB All-Star Game in 2014. Selig has yet to announce where that year’s All-Star Game will be hosted, but many indications are that Target Field will be the site of the game.
“I made myself a little bet coming down here. I wondered how long it would be before somebody asked me that,” Selig said. “I’m still thinking about a lot of things. We’ll announce that in the near future.”
Selig added that the announcement “could well be” made some time in August. Target Field opened in 2010 and is in its third season. Minnesota has not hosted an All-Star Game since it was at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1985.
This year’s All-Star Game was held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and next year’s will take place at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Selig praised Target Field during Tuesday’s event, but would not go so far as to announce that the downtown Minneapolis ballpark would host the 2014 All-Star Game.
Here are some other noteworthy items that Selig addressed while in Minnesota.
On the increase of instant replay in baseball: “We are, when we have the right cameras, going to expand it to, as I call them, bullets hit down the left and right field line and trapped balls. And as I said before and I would say it again as well, baseball is a game of pace. I know everybody has reasons why you should do it and there are others that don’t. I think we’ve done enough. I’m quite satisfied. … There’s some people in baseball who probably think I’ve done too much. I’m very satisfied with where we are now. I think it’s good. I think we didn’t do too much. It is a game of pace and we have to be very, very careful not to disturb that. I’m comfortable with where we are.”
On diversity in Major League Baseball: “We have more diversity than ever before. Forty percent of our athletes come from either Hispanics, African-Americans or Japanese or Asian players, and I’m proud of that. But I do think in the pipeline you will see this get quite a bit better in the next three, four, five years. And we’re doing a lot to make that happen. … We need to do better. I always say that. We need to do better. … I feel good about where we are. We’re a long way from where we were 20 years ago, and much, much better. … We have more diversity today than ever before in our history, by far. So is it good? You bet it’s good.”
On how long he intends to stay as MLB commissioner: “Another two and a half years. That’s my contract. Nobody believes it, but I’m done. … I’ll be 80 years old. If I do it two or three months into the year after, I’m told now I’d eclipse (baseball’s first commissioner) Kenesaw Mountain Landis, so that’s something to think about, but that’s it. I love teaching and I want to write a book. There’s just other things I want to do.”
On Target Field: “Every time I come here, I think of Carl Pohlad, dearly beloved. The whole family’s been great. … When you’re in my position and you think about ownership, you think about doing what’s in the best interest of the sport. You think about putting your own selfish interests aside, which is tough. I don’t say that lightly. This family has been remarkable. … When I think of all the heartache that led up to it, it’s a great ballpark, great market. It’s worked out. Is it as good as I thought when I sat here the day that we opened? I knew it was going to be, but this is tremendous.”
On the Hall of Fame voting process: “You can debate that. That’s what people do, and I understand that. The writers control that process. The Veteran’s Committee controls other things. For the most part, I’m happy. There are some people I think should be in that aren’t, but I have to leave that to others because you go to every city and everybody says, ‘Oh, my guy should have been in.’ Maybe they’re right. But I think for the most part, the process has been very fair.”