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 Selig anticipates testing progress

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PostSubject: Selig anticipates testing progress   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:52 pm

Selig anticipates testing progress
Proud of game's status, Commissioner eager to detect HGH

By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com

04/11/10 6:40 PM ET

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, in a recent interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said there will be an announcement "very shortly" regarding potential adjustments for baseball.

Although Selig did not discuss specifics of the announcement, he did say it would not involve realignment. Though he's "always liked realignment," Selig said that the concept "has not been discussed" and is still "a long ways away" from becoming a reality.

The Commissioner, who recently said he plans to step down after the 2012 season, also said he hopes to see a test developed for human-growth hormone and that he wants the pace of games to improve. Selig told the Post-Dispatch he is pleased with the current testing procedure for performance-enhancing drugs, but he expects to implement HGH testing while he's still the Commissioner. When developed, a test would start at the Minor League level, like testing for steroids and amphetamines did.

"Dr. Gary Green of UCLA is working on it," Selig told the Post-Dispatch during an hour-long interview from his offices in Milwaukee this week. "That's important -- very important to me. I'm confident we're moving in the right direction."

Recently, veteran umpire Joe West made headlines when he criticized the Red Sox and Yankees for the slow pace of their games, calling it "a disgrace to baseball." Selig also wants to see some improvements in that area.

The first two games of the recent Yankees-Red Sox series lasted 3:46 and 3:48, respectively, while the third contest -- a 10-inning affair -- lasted three hours and 21 minutes.

Selig told the Post-Dispatch that his blue-ribbon panel is looking into the situation, and he believes timeouts called by hitters could be prolonging some games.

"It's guys stepping out of the batter's box," Selig was quoted as saying. "Hank Aaron told me, 'We never got out of the batter's box.' And Joe Torre told me the same thing. You watch guys now -- they're in the batter's box, and it's ball one. Then they get out, and they're adjusting everything. I said to the committee, 'What are they adjusting? They didn't swing.'

"We live in a fast-paced society. The game ought to be played the way it's always been played. You watch a 2-1 game, and that ought not to take three hours and four minutes."

While always open to exploring ways to improve the game, Selig likes the current state of baseball.

"The sport has never been more popular," the 75-year-old Selig, elected as the ninth MLB Commissioner in July 1998, said. "A year ago, I really had trepidation because of the economy, and I still have that. But our gross revenues were up a little, and if I take the two New York ballparks out -- the smaller capacity of those ballparks -- we were down about 4 or 5 percent in attendance, which is amazing. The clubs are reporting in that every ticket sale is at least the equal of last year. Spring Training attendance was up 5 percent, which is a very hopeful sign.

"We have unprecedented labor peace. Whenever the focus stays on the field, it's the greatest game in the world. And we've got more competitive balance than we've ever had."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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