Selig: Wrigley Field has All-Star game "appeal"
Commissioner Bud Selig said the prospect of holding the 2014 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field in its centennial year is an ''appealing'' choice.
Speaking during an impromptu press conference during Wednesday's game between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, Selig said there are some hurdles to cross before the Midseason Classic can be awarded to the venerable ballpark, which opened in 1914.
''A lot of things to work out here, but it's appealing,'' Selig said. The 2012 game will be in Kansas City, while the locations for 2013 and beyond have yet to be announced.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his siblings have been active in seeking funding to renovate Wrigley Field and also have expressed interest in having the All-Star game there as part of a season-long centennial celebration in three years.
''(Ricketts is) young, aggressive, great family,'' Selig said. ''People always said to me that the Cubs need a good family running this club and they need somebody they can identify with.
''Tom Ricketts and his family are off to an excellent start. They have a lot of work to do. They know they have a lot of work to do, and he and I have discussed all of this.''
Selig said he's confident that the Cubs have the right ownership group in place.
''It's a franchise we need to be not only really competitive but economically viable,'' Selig said. ''(Ricketts has) his work cut out, but is he the right guy to do it? You bet. I'm very, very confident in that.''
For his part, Selig said he has been a long time admirer of Wrigley Field.
''My first trip to Wrigley Field was in 1944,'' Selig said. ''The nice part about it is the neighborhood looks the same, and so does the ballpark.''
Selig touched upon other hot button issues, parroting statements he's made elsewhere.
Selig mentioned baseball's need institute some sort of international draft for foreign-born amateur prospects. He reiterated that baseball's amateur draft needed to be reformed because of ascending signing bonuses.
During an appearance at Wrigley last season, Selig insisted that baseball would likely expand upon its current playoff format. He was more reserved on the topic on Wednesday, saying it has ''significant appeal'' but needs to be discussed during baseball's next round of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement, which is due to expire on Dec. 11.