Selig sticking with one-for-all selection format
Bud Selig says the model of one representative per team will continue for future All-Star games.
CHICAGO -- We know Lance Carter, Dmitri Young and Mike Williams are in favor of all 30 teams having an All-Star. But they're not the reason the beloved everybody-has-an-All-Star rule probably isn't going away any time soon.
No, the big reason this one figures to stick around is that Bud Selig thinks the alternative is worse.
"I guess I'm the culprit," the commissioner said Tuesday in a get-together with the Baseball Writers Association of America. "I do believe every team should be represented. Look, we're up to 32 players (on each All-Star team) now. If we were still at 25, you could make a convincing case. But we have 30 teams, and they need to have a representative.
"I'm the commissioner. And the message you send (if you take away a team's All-Star) causes a lot of distress to that team. And when you sit in my chair, you'd better be very careful. So I'm very reluctant to start eliminating teams."
In fact, Selig said he doesn't "foresee any dramatic changes" in the All-Star selection or election process in just about any area, despite the many questions raised by this year's new wrinkles in that process.
But that doesn't mean there won't be changes. Sources indicate that in a couple of weeks, baseball officials plan to meet with representatives of the players' union to look again at this whole process. And that includes the every-team rule.
One thing that's almost certain to change is the framework of the players' voting system to elect the backups at each position. This year, players voted for only one All-Star at every position. So the result was that every time a player voted for the same player elected to start by the fans, those votes essentially didn't count, because only the players' second choice got to make the team.
So in the future, players are expected to be asked for two, and possibly three, players at every position and to rank them in order. That way, every player who votes would have a say in every reserve elected -- a major improvement from the current system.
A number of other items also are expected to be discussed -- including expanding rosters again, ways to ensure that retiring stars such as Roger Clemens are included in the All-Star Game and alternative ways to fill out the roster once the fan and player voting has selected the majority of it.
In other matters addressed by the commissioner Tuesday:
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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