Commissioner Bud Selig appeared on the John Feinstein show on Wednesday and was very blunt about several baseball topics. Most notably, Selig offered strong opinions when asked about the ongoing sewage problems at O.co Coliseum — aka Oakland Coliseum — and the A's growing need for a new stadium. From the John Feinstein Show:
“It’s a pit,” Selig said. “It reminds me of old County Stadium and Shea Stadium. We need to deal with that. I’ve had a committee working on it for two or three years, and there’s no question we’re going to have to solve that problem.” But hasn’t the committee been working on it for a long time? What’s the hold-up? “We have, John, but I’ll tell you it’s far more complex,” Selig said. “Look, you have one team that wants to move and the other team doesn’t want them to move, and it’s a very complicated situation. Before I leave, I’m satisfied we’ll work out something.”
The A's desired destination continues to be San Jose, but the San Francisco Giants have claimed ownership of the San Jose market and remain unwilling to budge. Those issues have already been dragged out over the past couple years, and now include a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by the city of San Jose against Selig and MLB. Until the legal matters can be resolved, the A's and MLB will be stuck in a holding pattern. And even if the A's were eventually allowed to build in San Jose, we're talking another year or two added before they're playing in a new home.
That's not nearly soon enough for Selig, who made it clear he's not thrilled about the O.co Coliseum playing a prominent role in the postseason.
“I’m not happy about it,” Selig said. “It’s an unfortunate mess. I wish there was an easy solution, but in truth, there is not an easy solution.”
Selig also weighed in on the Rays attendance problems at Tropicana Field, calling the situation "disgraceful." And offered this response when asked who he considered the all-time home run king between Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.
“Henry Aaron and I, as you know, have been extremely close friends for 58 years now; it’s hard to believe,” Selig said. “I believe he’s the greatest player of my generation. I saw him — I wish everybody could have seen him in the ’50s when he was young and not trying to pull everything. He was unbelievable to watch. Unbelievable. He’s a man of class, a man of dignity. He’s represented our sport beautifully, and his carer is legendary. I’m not going to say any more on that. You can figure out from my answer, I’m sure.”
Considering Barry Bonds was ignored in that response, we can. The only topic pushed by Feinstein that Selig wouldn't touch was Alex Rodriguez, but who can blame him on that? He'll have plenty of time to talk about A-Rod once his hearing begins on Monday in New York.