Bud Selig is now officially-official as Commissioner for two more years, as the full slate of owners voted for him a few minutes ago. here was Bud’s statement:
“I am very humbled by the request to stay on, and I look forward to building on the great momentum our game has seen in recent years. The focus is on the field, competitive balance is strong, and fans around the world are supporting our game in unprecedented fashion.”
He went on to say that it is with great reluctance that he has agreed to this calling. He loves democracy. He loves the Republic. And that once this crisis has abated, he will lay down the powers you have given him! Oh, and he’s going to create a Grand Army of the Republic too. Not sure what that means, but it’s probably nothing.
In other quotes, Paul Beeston, President of the Blue Jays, had this to say about Selig:
“He is uniquely suited to handle the demands of his position and serve as the leader of Major League Baseball.”
Know why he is uniquely suited? Because he is, I’m pretty sure, the only person who has any living memory of anyone else being the Commissioner of Baseball.
Finally, someone just asked Selig about when the A’s/Giants/San Jose situation is going to be resolved. He actually said this:
“We’re moving at a very quick pace.”
In other news, the A’s stadium committee is almost three years in. But they at least gave a report today. Or something. Probably just asking for more binder clips or notebooks or something.
Congrats, Bud. We can’t quit you. Even if we tried.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.