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WORLD SERIES | CHATTER

He Wants Day Games So Kids Can Watch

October 21, 2002

This is no time to stop Bud.

Nor is 7:07 p.m. CDT any time to start a World Series game, not when it could have been played in the afternoon. Little Leaguers shouldn't have to tune in Sunday morning's "SportsCenter" to find out whether Barry Bonds homered again after they went to bed, and Bud Selig knows it.

The commissioner understands the romance of October day baseball, and the hold it can have on the ticket-buyers of tomorrow, as well as anyone. Yet he has never done anything more than sigh or shrug and cash the network check when he's asked why Series games have to start so late.

While Selig rewrites his legacy, with this year's labor deal improving the long-term outlook for some franchises that otherwise were headed for skid row, he needs to throw himself on another economic grenade.

If Selig wants to become beloved for all the right reasons -- and you'd better believe he does -- he'll find a way to restore day ball to the Series at some point before he retires.

It's time to give kids in the Central and Eastern Time Zones a chance to see watch Series dramatics in real time.

Phil Rogers

Chicago Tribune

*

As has become tradition whenever the World Series comes to a star-studded area, Major League Baseball distributes to the media a "partial list" of celebrities in attendance.

Two years ago, the Subway Series in New York brought out some of the biggest names in the entertainment business, A-list celebs such as Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Lopez and Sean "Puffy" Combs. But the all-California Series appears to be experiencing a celebrity deficit syndrome, with Hollywood has-beens David Hasselhoff and Eric Roberts making the list.

Watching an Angels game has never been quite so trendy. But where are the Nicholsons, the Chris Rocks and the Dustin Hoffmans of the world?

Paul Sullivan

Chicago Tribune

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It is fitting the San Francisco Giants are part of the first World Series involving two wild-card teams.

They were, after all, part of the evidence presented when the wild card was adopted for the 1995 season.

The Giants had won 103 games in 1993, but they didn't qualify for the postseason because they finished one game behind Atlanta in the National League West.

This season, the Giants won 95 games and qualified for the postseason, even though they finished 2 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West. San Francisco qualified for the postseason because it won the NL wild card. It then proceeded to knock off Atlanta and St. Louis to reach the World Series.

The Anaheim Angels, meanwhile, won a franchise-record 99 regular-season games and finished second to Oakland in the American League West. But they earned the AL wild-card berth and advanced to the World Series by beating the New York Yankees and Minnesota.

Now, either the Giants or Angels will become the second wild-card team to claim a world championship, joining the Florida Marlins, who earned that distinction in 1997.

"I'm very happy with the way things have turned out," said baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, whose endorsement of the wild card did not help his rating in popularity polls. "What we had to consider was we went from 16 teams [in 1960] to 30 teams [in 1998]. To live with a format designed in the 1920s doesn't make sense anymore."

Is he happy enough with the arrangement to consider adding more wild-card teams to the postseason?

"There are a lot of people pushing for that," Selig said. "I'm not in favor of it in the immediate future, but that doesn't mean it won't happen."

Tracy Ringolsby

Rocky Mountain News

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I may be retro, but I do not share the aesthetic appreciation of the World Series camera crew presenting so many images of the two managers' faces.

Certainly our National Pass-Time is excruciatingly slow for persons not doing other things concurrently, and precious TV time needs to be filled. Can you give us the equivalent of radio's Dizzy Dean singing the Wabash Cannonball and telling "Me 'n Paul" stories during rain interruptions of Cardinals' games enjoyed when I was a boy?

W. K. Engel

Los Angeles

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