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Selig praises O'Neil, state of game

LOS ANGELES -- Commissioner Bud Selig lamented the death of
Buck O'Neil on Saturday, calling the former Negro Leagues star an
extraordinary human being.

O'Neil died Friday night at Research Medical Center in Kansas
City from complications of congestive heart failure and recently
diagnosed bone marrow cancer, said Bob Kendrick, marketing director
for the Negro Leagues museum. O'Neil was 94.

"Talk about people -- you want to measure people's careers, what
he did for the sport," Selig said moments before the Mets and
Dodgers played Game 3 of their NL division series. "His career was
amazing."

Asked if he'd thought about O'Neil not being in the Hall of
Fame, Selig replied: "You bet. I haven't gotten that out of my
mind today."

While Selig spoke, he couldn't help watching the Detroit Tigers'
celebrating on a nearby television after they'd eliminated the New
York Yankees from the AL playoffs.

"Three years ago they lost 119 games," Selig said of the
Tigers. "It's really an amazing story. It goes to prove the only
predictable thing about this sport is its unpredictability.
Amazing."

Selig said the Dodgers, an organization in chaos a year ago
after finishing its second-worst season since moving from Brooklyn
to Los Angeles in 1958, should be acknowledged for their
turnaround.

"The Dodgers have a very strong organization, very
competitive," he said. "Of all the things I have to worry about
today, the Dodgers aren't one of them."

Selig said the Dodgers were among the candidates to host an
All-Star game in the coming years.

The commissioner declined comment when asked about negotiations
between the players and management.

"Quiet is good," he said. I think you can read anything into
that. Compared to the history of the last 35 years, I would say
this is beyond peaceful."