Selig concerned after Colvin incident

September, 24, 2010
9/24/10
6:23
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeBud Selig
AP Photo/Mary AltafferBud Selig was impressed with new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts on Friday.
CHICAGO -- Commissioner Bud Selig was at Wrigley Field on Friday to visit with Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. They talked about a number of subjects, including the maple bat issue, which recently made headlines due to the injury by Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin on Sunday in Miami.

"I have a great level of concern," Selig said. "I did talk to Tyler Colvin a day or so later. Two years ago when this [broken-bat issue] really came about, we retained people in the forestry department in the University of Wisconsin and Harvard. They have helped us. We've cut down on broken bats by about 50 percent. That's a lot of progress in a short time. Is it enough? No.

"We've got the remaining 50 percent to do. When you watch something like the Tyler Colvin incident, it scares you. All of our experts think they might have some solutions."

Selig said the players association is involved in what he called a tri-party arrangement. Selig was asked with his best-interest-of-baseball clause, if there's anything he can do to ban maple bats.

"That's pretty tough to do," Selig said. "Players want to use maple bats. I want to see this winter how it all works out."

Selig was asked a number of local questions, including what he thought of the Ozzie Guillen situation on the South Side and whether Guillen will be back with the Sox.

"That's up to the White Sox," he said. "I have enough things to worry about. I'll let the clubs worry about that. We're going to have a lot of managerial changes this year.

"In fact, by my count, it could be as many as 12. This is going to be a very interesting offseason."

Selig also talked about the Cubs' quest to end their World Series drought.

"There's no question the Cubs are one of those institutional teams," he said. "Here at Wrigley Field is a great place. There's no question about it."

The commissioner will ask if the Cubs will get an All-Star Game soon. The Cubs petitioned for the 2014 Game, which will coincide with Wrigley Field's 100th birthday. He didn't answer the question directly.

The commissioner was impressed with the way his host Tom Ricketts went through the stands greeting people. It reminded Selig of the way he talked to people at old County Stadium in Milwaukee when he owned the Brewers.

"He walked out into the main concourse, and he talked to everybody," he said. "He shook hands with people. In Milwaukee, I used to do the same thing.

"He said sometimes he'll go to a concession stand to buy something. So did I. I think that's great. I think the Ricketts ownership is off to a very good start."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167