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Selig on Lerners: "They're on the Right Track"

Commissioner Bud Selig fielded questions for about an hour today from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and no fewer than three questions pertained to the Washington Nationals' tumultuous situation. Selig, though, largely deflected the most pointed questions about the performance and public accountability of the Lerner family. Here is a transcription of Selig's responses regarding the Nationals:

*Since the Lerners do not speak to the media, would you like to defend their record as owners in Washington? "I don't think they need a defense. You're never going to have 30 teams on top. They understand what they have to do. I really think they're in the process of doing it. They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there. But they understand what they have to do, and I have every confidence they will do that. I don't think they need me or anybody else to defend them.

"Look, this idea that people can own a team and if the team doesn't do well, well, they don't care - you can't have owned a team for one hour and believe that. I've watched ownerships go up and down and have success and failure.... But I told you I evaluated [every team's] farm systems, and I think that they are on the right track. They need to continue on that track. And they know that. They know that."

*On what basis can you say they're on the right track? "Because I've been talking to them, and I know what they want to do, and I know what they have in their farm system, and I've had other people evaluate their farm system and their organization. And while obviously this has been painful for them, I have every confidence they know what they're going to do and they're going to do it.... I have every confidence they're on the right track."

*On Stephen Strasburg's apparent demands and the Nationals' ability to get him signed: "That's a decision [the Nationals] have to make, obviously. There's no question about it. All sports are dealing with draft-choice compensation... and I have very strong feelings on that subject. And [signing draft picks] is clearly how you can get better - maybe today even quicker than in my day.

"They're very sincere about signing Strasbuirg, and I'm hopeful that they will, and I know they are going to make him a very meaningful offer. Now, what happens from there is going to be up to Mr. Boras and Mr. Strasburg and what they want to do, and what the Nationals want to do."

"I look around. I think about this subject a lot. Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard. They all signed at slot or under -- [and] they're all doing pretty well. Let's be honest, in this economy, the numbers that are being spent [on young players] are pretty good.

"But I have faith in the Lerners and the Nationals. They understand what they have to do, and they have to do it. And they'll be very, very responsible."

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 14, 2009; 2:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

"And they'll be very, very responsible."

- Bud Selig

Uh-oh. Responsible to whom?

Posted by: WebberDC | July 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse


Doubt Bud's judgment on
Understanding what to do
After All-Star tie.

Posted by: HaikuMan | July 14, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Good question, webber.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"The Lerners put $450 mil into the pockets of my pals the other owners, and they are pure gold as far as I'm concerned."

Posted by: utec | July 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Great. We got the ol' "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" from the Used-Car-Salesman in Chief. We're doomed.

Of course he thinks they're doing well. They're charging ridiculous prices for a low-quality product with a low payroll in a taxpayer-financed playground for corporate bigwigs.

Anyone else catch the irony of praising the failing king on Bastille Day?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | July 14, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Translation:

Look, all the owners are in competition. It's great that we do not have to compete against Washington! What, do you think we want this large, rich and powerful region coming in here and bidding up the price of talent? The players make far too much as it is without that happening!

Why do you think we picked the Lerners in the first place? The Lerners can stay quiet forever as far as the rest of us are concerned.

Posted by: EdDC | July 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Selig and the Lerners are COWARDS

Posted by: CBinDC | July 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Thats cadillac for you...calls like he wishes he could see em. He's not a commissioner, he's a conditioner. You meet my conditions...you're in my club friend.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 14, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig, I F*^%&#@ hate that guy.

Posted by: comish4lif | July 14, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Why is Bud Selig evaluating everyone's farm system?

Posted by: comish4lif | July 14, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Priceless. Right from the horse's class(I mean mouth)
___________________________________
"They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there."

Posted by: lowcountry | July 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

BUD = JOKE
BUD = Responsible to other owners only
BUD = JOKE
BUD = Is nothing but a hand puppet of the owners
BUD = JOKE
BUD = Small market team are screwed
BUD = JOKE
BUD = Thanks for the fishes you you you I can't say it...

Posted by: Berndaddy | July 14, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Selig shows a lot of ignorance here, or else he didn't know what to say and just started uttering nonsense.

Posted by: paulkp | July 14, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Nice follow up to Selig's comments on the decision being up to the Nats would be:

-- If that is the case, why does the Commissioner's office make slot recommendations?

Posted by: comish4lif | July 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Priceless. Right from the horse's class(I mean mouth)
___________________________________
"They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there."

Posted by: lowcountry | July 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

____

Priceless indeed - love the irony. Bud - why again didn't they have anything there? Oh yeah, because you personally saw to it that the MLB franchise previously known as the Expos was dismantled and stripped to spare parts before selling the scraps. You even let Jeffrey Loria take the friggin' computers and office supplies on his way out the door.

Posted by: cdstej | July 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Since the Lerners do not speak to the media, would you like to defend their record as owners in Washington?"

Was the last time that Mark has spoken to the media the time last Summer when he had the sit-down with Chico and Boz and he made those idiotic comments about Johan Santana not being worth it for the Mets and he insulted Aaron Crow?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Bud wanted to "contract" this team then and the Lerners know what they need to do now.

Posted by: shygaard | July 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I commented on the date's significance in a previous post. hehe

---

Anyone else catch the irony of praising the failing king on Bastille Day?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | July 14, 2009 3:13 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

On a somewhat-related note, when I tried to reply to the letter that the Nationals emailed to fans earlier this week, my email bounced back. I then tried using an older addy (Fanfeedback@Nationals.com). I got a reply saying that, in order to serve me better, the account had been changed. The email included a link to a fan feedback feature on the team site and instructed me to select one of the "Contact Us" choices there. I did so and pasted my reply into the box that came up. Nope. Got a bounceback notice for that one as well. Classic. Just classic. Oh well, at least I felt somewhat better after composing my email...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Bud is the master of spin. The Nats are a national media punchline and are being run on the cheap but cowards

But, "They're on the right track"

Bud can kiss my backside.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Use this email, 1a: stan.kasten@nationals.com

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

1a,

My email did not bounce back, perhaps the cowardly folks in the FO got so many reply's they decided to shut 'er down.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 14, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Selig had the votes (29, to be exact) to move the Expos to DC, and bent over and spread his cheeks for Orioles owner Peter Angelos so Selig could have his precious (and COMPLETELY unnecessary) "unanimous" vote.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 14, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

You might want to try mark.lerner@nationals.com

Posted by: comish4lif | July 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Did you really expect Selig to criticizes these guys. All he cares is that there is a team in this market making money.

I really just wish we'd get past the stupid quotes and move on to a trade and maybe even a little baseball.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 14, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there."

WRONG. You and MLB looted the team while you owned it. What a g-liar this guy is. (Not that we didn't know that already.)

Posted by: tmp2234 | July 14, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

An interesting take on the A-S Game
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=bryant_howard&id=4326728

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 14, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fire Bud Selig!

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 14, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

a battle cry that we can all rally around!
_____________________
Fire Bud Selig!

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 14, 2009 4:12 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

How come no reporters ask Bud why he doesn't resign for looking the other way while PEDs destroyed at least a decade of his sport's precious statistics? Sure, the players union and loads of reporters are also complicit. But Bud knows no shame.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | July 14, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

George Soros wanted to buy this team. Really. Can you imagine if he had? We would be watching a Yankee-esqeu all-star line up in person 170+ times a year (Don't forget they'd be going deep in the playoffs.) But George didn't go to elementary school with Bowie Kuhn and is too rich and too smart to be accepted by MLB owners. And so we get to watch the Landover Mallrats.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 14, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to CiL and commish. I'll try those. That did occur to me, 505.

And I can rally around that one, too, JiM and lowcountry.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Selig on Lerners: We're on the Right Crack!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately I cannot say that Bud Selig's endorsement makes me feel any better about the Nationals.

Posted by: andyhershey | July 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig can't be fired ... he's the inabstentia owner of a very small market team ...

OF Course he would defend the Lerners!!? They are helping he and other small market teams and owners ...

Doh Homer!

Posted by: periculum | July 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Boy -- I hate to defend Bud Selig, but he did get the Brewers to a World Series, and according to Wikipedia, helped the Brewers get 7 Organization of the Year awards.

He knows something about putting together a winning team.

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

In case you weren't nauseous enough:

Soros's Nats Bid Irks Republicans

Post
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; E02


Major League Baseball hasn't narrowed the list of the eight bidders seeking to buy the Washington Nationals and some Republicans on Capitol Hill already are hinting at revoking the league's antitrust exemption if billionaire financier George Soros , an ardent critic of President Bush and supporter of liberal causes, buys the team.

"It's not necessarily smart business sense to have anybody who is so polarizing in the political world," Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) said. "That goes for anybody, but especially as it relates to Major League Baseball because it's one of the few businesses that get incredibly special treatment from Congress and the federal government."

Rep. Tom M. Davis III (R-Va.), who was a strong supporter of bringing a baseball team to Virginia, told Roll Call yesterday that "Major League Baseball understands the stakes" if Soros buys the team. "I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight."

Democrats weren't about to let the broadsides go unanswered.

"Why should politics have anything to do with who owns the team," Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) asked. "So Congress is going to get involved in every baseball ownership decision? Are they next going to worry about a manager they don't like? I've never seen anything as impotent as a congressman threatening the baseball exemption. It gets threatened half a dozen times a year, and our batting average threatening the exemption is zero." . . .


Washington entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky , who heads the bidding group that Soros joined, said in an e-mail: "America's pastime should be protected from the rhetoric of partisan politics. It's unfortunate that the negativism that permeates national politics today is infecting Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals."

Baseball is interviewing lead members of the eight groups that have filed bids to buy the Nationals, who are owned by the league. Most of the bids are believed to range between $300 million and $400 million, with a couple exceeding $400 million, according to sources familiar with the sale process.

"We're going to act and make a decision in the best interest of the franchise and the best interests of the game," MLB spokesman Rich Levin said.


-- Thomas Heath

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

An endorsement of anything by Bud Selig makes me feel worse about it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it Selig and company aren't going to go for another Dan Snyder in this economy ... with a penchant for over spending on expensive free agents.

Posted by: periculum | July 14, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey BUD let me buy ya a beer served Bob Short style you bet ja!!!!!

Posted by: CBinDC | July 14, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

New grist, er, post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 14, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Boras is going to laugh at this quote all the way to the bank.

"But I have faith in the Lerners and the Nationals. They understand what they have to do, and they have to do it. And they'll be very, very responsible."

Posted by: Tom8 | July 14, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just more double talk from Selig. He sounds just like Kasten. They are partners in crime. The track that the Nats are on is the Red Line track and the train in front of the Nats trains just stopped and the Nats engineer/driver is asleep.

Posted by: bupbups | July 14, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


SI_JonHeymanbud selig says at writers' chat today that the #nats are "on the right track.'' lol. but what's he supposed to say?
about 3 hours ago from web


this from heyman's twitter...my thinking exactly

Posted by: nattylite88 | July 14, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

NOTHING LIKE HAVING A CAR SALESMAN SUPPORTING THE WAY YOU DO BUSINESS. WASHINGTON YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN A FRANCHISE BECAUSE YOU'RE A TERRIBLE SPORTS TOWN BUT THAT SAID NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO HAVE A TEAM OWNED BY A GROUP A PUTZ'S. AND IF YOU LOOK IN THE DICTIONARY UNDER THE WORD "PUTZ" YOU'LL SEE A FAMILY PORTRAIT OF THE LERNER'S

Posted by: fkterp | July 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Selig...the UGLY DORK car salesman.......who allowed the steroid era on his WATCH turn him into the BUFFOON of Baseball..............HE should be thrown into the Anacostia River pier right behind the home plate entrance............and be forced to drink 1 gallon of the dirty River water right before EVERY home game..... the rest of this season.....

Posted by: unc1dmo | July 14, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Selig looks like my old home room teacher in high school. Mr. Potts. Math teacher. Big black frames on his glasses. Slicked down short hair, calculator in his pocket, short sleeve white shirt and a tie. This dude had rubber lips like you wouldn't believe. He'd be sitting at his desk reading, and wrapping his lips over his eyebrows (which were also quite animated), every expression in the book, while we'd sit there and do him almost better than he could do himself, but the whole time he was just like Selig - he never said jack****.

Posted by: Brue | July 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

... Bud Light informed us "They bought a team from Montreal that didn't really have anybody there."

... and why might that have been, you, you, ... oh, the hell with it.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 14, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Brue -- great comment. I guess if Selig looks like your old homeroom teacher, he must be a buffoon.

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Butt Selig was a co-conspirator with the blustering Jabba da Hut of Baltimore in keeping baseball out of DC, then gutting the team that MLB "owned" and dumped on DC, and then allowing MASN to be created to the detriment of the Nationals and the great reward of the More Ron of Balmer.

Why he remains as commissioner is also a mystery.

Posted by: AWWNats | July 14, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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