Selig not a fan of expanding replay

Updated: October 30, 2009, 4:08 PM ET
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

MLB commissioner Bud Selig said he has been soliciting outside opinion from managers and general managers the past few weeks and said no one offered a good explanation why the umpiring was so bad in the first rounds of the postseason.

He also declined to call for further use of replay.

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"The more baseball people I talk to, there is a lot of trepidation about it and I think their trepidation is fair," Selig told reporters before Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday. "I've spent a lot of time [on this] over the past month and will spend a lot of time in the ensuing months as well. I don't want to overreact. You can make light of that but when you start to think you're going to have more intrusions -- and even if they're good intrusions -- it's something that you have to be very careful about. Affecting the game on the field is not something I really want to do."

Selig has not been quick to embrace new technology over baseball tradition, in part due to worries about the pace of games.

"Life is changing and I understand that," he said. "I do like the human element and I think the human element for the last 130 years has worked pretty well. There have been controversies but there are controversies in every sport."

Selig spoke informally about a range of subjects after the presentation of the Roberto Clemente Award to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

The World Series will end in November this year and with the 2010 regular season ending only one day earlier, next year's series could end about the same time. Baseball has yet to set the postseason schedule for next year. But Selig said shortening the postseason format that expanded two years ago isn't easy.

"How do you know in the middle of March if they're going to go three games or four games in the division series?" he said. "How do you know if you're going to need an East Coast, West Coast travel day, as you did with Boston and Anaheim? It's tough.

"People ask, 'Do you hate playing into November?' Of course I do. Nobody worries about bad weather more than I do."

Selig insisted that bad weather can happen in October, April or May. "It's more complicated than you think," he said. "That's all I'm trying to tell you. Am I sensitive to it? Yes, I am."

The commissioner also said he likes the idea of a day World Series game but offered no indication it would happen.

Asked to expand on earlier comments that he was happy to see Mark McGwire back in baseball as the St. Louis batting coach, Selig replied, "I know how badly the Cardinals want to do it. I know that Tony La Russa, who has been talking to me about it, has been working with him and how close they are. I know how much [Cardinals owner] Bill DeWitt wants to do it. My answer would set me off on too long an answer.

"Look, we can only deal with the present and the future. We administered 3,700 major league [drug] tests this year and there were two positives. That's the story. ... This sport has come a lot farther in the last five years than anybody could have dreamed. That's my answer to that. That's something the Cardinals did and I understand it. When he comes back, you'll all have opportunities to talk to him and ask him a lot of questions. And the fact that he's coming back gives you that opportunity."

Selig declined to talk about the divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt or how it may affect the Dodgers' day-to-day operation.

Jim Caple is a reporter for ESPN.com.

Jim Caple | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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