MLB commissioner Bud Selig is happy with most everything going on in baseball as the All-Star break approaches. He is pleased with the growth of the sport and with the more than 40 million votes cast for the All-Star teams.
During a recent conference call, Selig said he still very much thinks that "this time it counts" has helped the All-Star Game become more important. He also likes the play of the Nationals and understands the importance of their young stars to the future of the game.
How has home-field advantage changed the All-Star Game?
Selig » "The fact is that years ago we ran into a period where there were a lot of players that tried to find excuses and didn't want to play. We haven't had any of that. There were some people who were critical of 'this time it counts.' It's worked well, and it worked well right from the beginning. You see players now that are happy to go. In fact, the only people unhappy now are some people who didn't make it."
What do you think of the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper?
Selig » "Baseball has always been built on future superstars in our game. Having talented young men like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in Washington is good for the game. They have made the Nationals a legitimate contender and have energized that fan base. The Nationals are a team with plenty of good young players, and [this] bodes well for their future as well as the future of the game in Washington."
Why are you letting All-Stars tweet from the dugout?
Selig » "It's after players are removed from the game. It's another contact to our fans, which is important to me. It's a reason this sport is growing as much as it is. One thing I've learned in this job is never to say never. I like what we're doing in the All-Star Game, and I think this will contribute to our younger fans having the kind of contact they want to have with players. I'm very comfortable with where we are now."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!, on washingtonexaminer.com.