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Friday, October 28, 2011
Bud Selig may settle Theo Epstein deal

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expects he will have to decide what compensation the Boston Red Sox should receive for allowing general manager Theo Epstein to leave and join the Chicago Cubs.

Epstein quit Boston with a year on his contract to became the president of baseball operations for the Cubs. If Boston and Chicago can't reach an agreement by Tuesday, the issue goes to Selig.

"If I had to guess today, it'll be another thing that I have to deal with on November 1st," Selig said Friday night before Game 7 of the World Series.

Now 37, Epstein became the youngest GM in major league history in 2002 at age 28. Boston won the 2004 Series for its first title in 86 years, then won again in 2007. This year's Red Sox led the AL wild-card race by nine games before play on Sept. 4 but finished one game behind Tampa Bay.

The Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908 and haven't even reached it since 1945.

"From the Cubs' standpoint, they've done very well, and I know how much it means to (owner) Tom Ricketts and all the Cubs' fans," Selig said.

Selig, who has been commissioner since September 1992, repeated he intends to retire in December 2012 but admitted many people don't believe him.

Sitting in the front row of the news conference room, Sue Selig nodded her head.

"Starting with my wife, I'm happy or sad to say, but she's somewhat skeptical," Bud Selig said.

On other topics, Selig:

•  Hopes Albert Pujols, who is eligible for free agency after the World Series, re-signs with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I hope Albert stays in St. Louis, I really do. But that's his judgment to make."

•  Refused to discuss MLB's attempt to get a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to order owner Frank McCourt to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We're in litigation. ... We'll just keep working."

•  Said MLB wouldn't set a league-wide policy for banning alcohol in clubhouses.

"I think each club has to make their own decision."

•  Remains confident about bargaining for a labor contract to replace the one that expires Dec. 11 but said "there's a lot of work to be done yet." Management's desire for fixed signing bonuses for amateur draft picks is the major remaining issue.

•  Said the New York Mets have not repaid the $25 million loan they borrowed from MLB last offseason.

"I do have a lot of worries today, but frankly I'm happy to say the Mets are not one of them."

•  Said video review by umpires could expand to fair and foul calls next season.

•  Said MLB will top 2010's revenue of $7 billion.