League Assembles Team To Assess Baseball's Future
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Here in Washington, D.C., a winter storm is apparently on the way. So, what better sports topic for the cold weather than baseball? At least, that's what our regular commentator Stefan Fatsis has been thinking about. Stefan, good to talk with you once again.
STEFAN FATSIS: Hello, Robert.
SIEGEL: And Bud Selig, commissioner of baseball, this week announced the formation of a committee to examine just about anything it wants to examine about baseball. Stefan, what do you think of that committee?
FATSIS: Well, I think it's a good idea to do something like this, and he put 14 people on this committee, several centuries of baseball knowledge and some really smart, open-minded people: Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, some good front- office executives. Having said that, of this group, 13 are over the age of 50, all of them are men, 13 of them are white. The only non-baseball official is 68-year-old conservative political columnist George Will: no players, no umpires, no union officials.
BLOCK: You know, there's nobody here who came of age in the Internet era. This is Eisenhower-era people.
SIEGEL: All right, well, that's your thoughts on who's on the committee. What about what the committee's going to talk about? What do you think they'll actually do?
FATSIS: Another big issue is instant replay. This was big news after a series of blown calls by umpires in the playoffs. I hope baseball takes a step forward here.
SIEGEL: Would they consider making the designated hitter uniform, either in both leagues or none?
FATSIS: If they move to go that directly, it's going to have to be uniform in both leagues. The players union will never allow the reduction of a roster spot.
SIEGEL: One other subject: golf. The PGA commissioner, Finchem, put a brave face on the news that Tiger Woods would be taking a break from playing. How much trouble is the PGA tour in right now?
FATSIS: I think this is going to be a giant story of course, when Tiger does return to the golf course, the multi-multi-million-dollar question is whether fans are going to care about him in the same way as a golfer as they did before all of this happened.
SIEGEL: Thank you, Stefan. Have a great weekend and a good holiday season.
FATSIS: Thanks, Robert, you too.
SIEGEL: That's Stefan Fatsis, author of "A Few Seconds of Panic: A Sportswriter Plays in the NFL." He joins us most Fridays.
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