Stopping the baseball season for the Olympics is impractical.
“First of all, we’d be playing to Thanksgiving, maybe Dec. 1,” Selig said. “It just isn’t possible. I wish it was.”
Selig said baseball had stopped discussing a possible future shift of the All-Star game from its traditional Tuesday to a Wednesday slot. He said he’s not concerned that the tied All-Star game of 2002 in Milwaukee, when the teams ran out of pitchers, is mentioned as part of his reign.
“I don’t regard this as part of my history. It happened,” he said. “The fate of western civilization, by the way, wasn’t changed one iota as a result of that tie, lest anybody get too concerned about it.”
He also repeated his concern about the Tampa Bay Rays, who are next-to-last in the major leagues with a home attendance average of 17,791 despite contending in the AL East.
Selig called the situation “beyond disappointing” and “economically not tolerable.”
“You look at a club in the major leagues that’s competitive that’s averaging 18,000 people a game. That may have been OK in 1956. It’s not OK today,” he said. “There’s no question there’s a stadium problem there. There’s no debate about that. The question is what to do about it and when to do and where to do.”
Selig repeated his intention to retire in December 2014 after 22 years in office but said there are no definitive succession plans.
“I’ve always operated under the theory that if I get hit by a beer truck tomorrow, they’d have to find somebody,” he said. “Somehow, some way they’ll find somebody.”