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Bud Selig thinks Home Run Derby needs some tweaking

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics hits

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics hits during batting practice for the MLB All-Star baseball game, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Minneapolis. Photo Credit: AP / Jeff Roberson

MINNEAPOLIS - It took exactly one night for the new Home Run Derby format to come under fire.

Unlike in past seasons, the leaders from the first round received a bye into the semifinals, meaning a long time between swings, with the most glaring example being Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins sluggers hit six in the first round, then sat, in temperatures that dipped to the high 50s, for nearly an hour before hitting again. He was eliminated in the National League semifinals, 1-0, by the Reds' Todd Frazier.

"It made a bigger difference than I thought it would," Stanton said, according to the Miami Herald.

Toronto's Jose Bautista led all hitters with 10 homers in the first round but, after a lengthy wait, was eliminated by eventual champion Yoenis Cespedes, 7-4, in the AL semifinals. A format that freezes some of the game's top sluggers would not seem to be in the sport's best interests.

"Do I think there are things that can be tweaked? I do," commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday.

But Selig also touched on the event's biggest obstacle, one it has faced since its inception: time. No matter the format, every year the contest drags for well more than three hours.

"Television wants a three-hour program and so there are a lot of complex difficulties," Selig said. "But I think we can do some things better. I'll try to be diplomatic about it."

Selig: Jeter 'remarkable'

During his meeting with the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Selig praised Jeter.

"If you were sitting around two decades ago and you said, 'Who is the guy that I want to be the face of baseball and be what this generation will remember,' you couldn't have written a script like this," Selig said. "I mean, he is just remarkable."

When relayed Selig's words, Jeter smiled.

"I'll try not to mess it up the next couple months," he said before turning serious. "When you have someone in his position that says something like that, it makes you feel good. I've always taken pride in how I've played the game and how I've respected it and how I've treated people so when you hear those words coming from the commissioner, it's all good."

No Bronx All-Star rerun

MLB has long made a point of awarding the All-Star Game to cities that build new stadiums, with Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park hosting next year's event. But Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, will not be getting one anytime soon, mostly because the old Stadium hosted the game in 2008.

"There's too many people ahead of them," Selig said of a Bronx return.

If MLB continues alternating the contest between the NL and AL cities -- its preference -- top contenders for the 2016 game should be Toronto, Baltimore, Arlington and Cleveland.

Bean an ambassador

Selig announced he had appointed former outfielder Billy Bean as a consultant who will serve as the MLB's first "Ambassador for Inclusion."

According to MLB, Bean, who made public in 1999 that he was gay, will "provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout Major League Baseball."


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