Now, I think he happens to be right about that claim, but it was just interesting to hear it come directly from him.
Q: You have always referred to yourself as a purist. Are you on board with the momentum toward instant replay? How much of a role should it play in your mind?
A: Well, I don't know. The GMs voted 25-5. I guess the only thing I would say if we do it -- and I've made no decisions, because I'll agonize over that -- it will be a most limited way. I know other sports are using IR and I have different thoughts on that. I am a purist, but I'm the same purist that went to interleague play and the wild card. I took a terrible pounding for that; now everybody loves it. Those who were critics forgot they were critics. And there is revenue sharing, so I'm probably the greatest agent of change in baseball history … but I don't want to tamper with the game. I'm sensitive about that. If there's something I'm convinced will help the game, I'll do it, but I haven't quite gotten to that area yet.
Revenue sharing has changed the economics of the game more than anyone could have predicted. It's rare that a top player actually hits free agency these days, with so many players getting locked up earlier and longer than ever. Teams are buying out free agent years early to get the valued "cost certainty".
The wildcard is a profound success, period.
Interleague remains oft-debated, but the attendance figures don't lie. People dig it. Hank hates it. I'm OK with it, but I could easily live without it.
I still hate the changes (and lack of changes) in the All Star game. If I were Commish for a day, I'd do the following about the All Star Game:
- Eliminate the World Series home field advantage gimmick. PERIOD.
- Eliminate mandatory representation by every club. It was one thing when there just twenty-something teams, but with 32, too many inferior players are being named at the expense of more qualified players. OR:
- Expand the roster sizes to accomodate the expansion in the number of teams. If you do this, you can keep mandatory representation. Open the rosters to 35 and eliminate the handwringing.