I spent yesterday at Major League Baseball's Manhattan headquarters, attending two several events.
First came a news conference in which MLB and the Players Association announced a welcome payment for players who retired before 1980 and who didn't accrue enough service time (four years) to qualify for baseball's pension plan. It was there that I saw the great Bob Tufts; his take on this issue is available if you click his name.
Then came Selig's annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors, during which he discussed the Mets matters. It was by far the most optimistic Selig has sounded about the future of the Wilpons and Saul Katz since the news broke of the need to sell a share of the team. Although, it should be pointed out, Selig - always careful with his words - made sure to largely place the onus on Steve Greenberg, the man running the sale.
Just from chatting with people in the baseball and business worlds, I'd still be very surprised if this minority investor - should it actually come to fruition - did not have some sort of understanding with the Wilpons and Katz regarding the future of the franchise. In other words, the right to buy the majority of the team if the Wilpons and Katz, given their myriad financial problems, can't stay afloat.
--The commissioner addressed several other matters, including the notion of adding an asterisk to Barry Bonds' home-run record. Ain't happening.
Selig continues to say he'll retire, while also continuing to point out that even his wife Sue doesn't believe him. It's worth pointing out that, while he has been threatening retirement for a long time, this is the closest he has come to the end of his contract without agreeing to an extension. When his deal ended in 2009, he re-upped in January 2008. And when his deal ended in 2006, he re-upped in August 2004.
He'll be 78 by the time this deal ends, and he'll have served 20-plus years as commissioner. I think the round-number thing intrigues him; he has spoken many times of "20 years" as commissioner, the same way Molly Shannon's "Saturday Night Live" character boasted, "I'm 50!"
That said...I think he loves the power, and the fame, and the money, and the private jet. And the actual work, for that matter. So I'll believe his retirement only when his successor is in office.
--The Mets actually won a game. Was Terry Collins trying to fire up his players with a first-inning ejection? Probably. David Wright broke out of a slump with a homer off one of his favorite pitchers, J.A. Happ.
--Ryan Braun, already committed through 2015, signed a five-year, $105-million extension with Milwaukee, which prompts the obvious question: Do the Brewers know something that the rest of us don't? What on Earth would compel Milwaukee to say, "Hey, we're a little anxious about our 2016 club. We'd better make sure Braun is still here"?
--Have a great day.