PHOENIX (AP) Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says major league teams are reviewing stadium safety following the death of a fan at a Texas Rangers game last week.
The fan, 39-year-old Shannon Stone, fell over a railing while trying to catch a ball thrown to the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.
“It was a horrible accident, heartbreaking, almost beyond comprehension,” Selig said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“Each team determines its own ballpark safety features based on local laws.
“Maybe there’s some things they can or can’t do,” Selig said. “Common sense should always take over in this situation.”
The commissioner also said he had found more support than he had expected for a one-game playoff between wild-card teams if the playoffs expand from eight to 10 clubs in 2012.
He also said the 2013 All-Star game is likely to be at the Mets’ Citi Field. While Selig said baseball would consider moving the All-Star game to a Wednesday in the future – allowing pitchers who started the previous Sunday to participate – teams might be resistant because of their preference to play regular-season games on Thursdays.
Selig said that he was not interested in radical realignment that would eliminate divisions or make major alterations to the leagues, but it was possible one team could move from the NL to the AL to leave each league with 15 teams. Because the 2012 draft schedule already has been completed, that likely could not occur to 2013 at the earliest. The downside would be that interleague play would have to be spread throughout the regular season.
He also backed Derek Jeter’s decision not to play in the All-Star game. The New York Yankees captain came off the disabled list last week and got his 3,000th hit Saturday. Jeter said he needed to rest because of the calf injury that had sidelined him.
“There isn’t a player that I’m more proud of in the last 15 years than Derek Jeter. He’s played the game the way it should be played. He’s an even greater human being off the field,” Selig said. “I think I would have made the same decision that Derek Jeter had.”
Selig said the proposed sale of the Houston Astros was on track and that he thinks the Mets financial situation would be stabilized once the Wilpon family completes a deal for a cash infusion from David Einhorn, who once lived next to Selig in Milwaukee.
He also repeated his desire to reach an agreement with the players’ association on an international draft and a slotting system for draft picks.
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