Commissioner Selig announced today that he has formed a special 14 person committee to “review all on-field issues”. The committee members include field managers, general managers and club owners and presidents that combined have more than four hundred and fifty years of baseball experience.
“The Committee will have the opportunity to review and make recommendations on all aspects of the game on the field, from scheduling, to playoff formats, to umpiring, to pace of game, to instant replay and to whatever other issues the Committee deems appropriate,” Selig said. “There will be no sacred cows.”
The committee is comprised of the following:
Field Managers – Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinals; Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers; Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Joe Torre, Los Angeles Dodgers.
General Managers – Andy MacPhail, formerly General Manager of the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs and currently President, Baseball Operations, Baltimore Orioles; Terry Ryan, formerly General Manager of the Minnesota Twins and currently Twins’ Senior Advisor to the General Manager; John Schuerholz, formerly General Manager of the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves and currently Braves’ President; and Mark Shapiro, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cleveland Indians.
Club Owners and Presidents – Chuck Armstrong, President and Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Mariners; Paul Beeston, President, Toronto Blue Jays; Bill DeWitt, Chairman of the Board and General Partner, St. Louis Cardinals; and Dave Montgomery, General Partner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Phillies.
Selig also named Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and columnist and broadcaster George Will to the Committee.
The formation of the committee was done completely by Selig. The committee is in an advisory capacity, and while Selig will weigh what is being said, the panel has no authority to make decisions.
“All I can tell you is I will be guided by what this committee comes up with,” Selig said.
Currently, no players or umpires are on the special panel that will advise. Selig said that he would be getting back to the Players Association on the panel, and that the current makeup of the committee was in its “genesis”.
Selig mentioned that the committee was an opinionated group, and reiterated more than once that there would be “no sacred cows”. He said that he looked forward to the first meeting, which would take place after the beginning of the year, most likely during the owners meetings scheduled to take place in Pheonix, Arizona.
While the topic of instant replay, umpiring and other issues surfaced during the 2009 postseason, Selig said that no one issue sparked the formation of the committee, and that he had been considering creating it for some time. He added that while the issues that surfaced during the postseason were of interest, here were a lot of issues he was concerned about
“This is not a reaction to some of things that happened in the playoffs,” Selig said. “I’m not saying that it didn’t keep moving me along in this direction, because it did. But, frankly, I had this idea in mind for a long time.”
Selig had Braves president John Schuerholz, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on the conference call, as well. When asked what the one issue that had been discussed and debated over the years that might get discussed, Schuerholz hit a topic that has been discussed for year.
“From my standpoint point, the designated hitter has been the issue that has lasted the longest and has been the most profound topic,” said Schuerholz. “That’s been the one topic of interest for me.”
When asked if he thought there needed to be one way of approaching the DH – having it uniform across both leagues – Schuerholz didn’t believe that was necessarily the case.
“I don’t think [the DH] has impacted the league negatively, at all, so the answer is, no.”
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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