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Selig Still Won't Commit To Witnessing History

Published: Jul 11, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - Despite a report Tuesday on SI.com that he had decided to attend the game in which Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's all-time home run record, Commissioner Bud Selig insisted he had not made up his mind whether to be there.

"I have made no decision yet on the Barry Bonds situation," Selig told the membership of the Baseball Writers Association of America during the group's annual All-Star luncheon. "I said I'd make it at the appropriate time, and that appropriate time is, as yet, to be determined."

SI.com cited no sources in its report. The commissioner, aware the report had been posted on the Web site, began his discussion with the writers with his unsolicited insistence that his mind was not made up.

Then, after acknowledging his evasiveness would prompt even more questions at this particular gathering, Selig proceeded to dodge those questions.

"This is something that's very personal for me," he said. "And I don't feel comfortable talking about it."

It was pointed out to Selig by a columnist from Boston that his hesitance to decide could be interpreted as him waiting to find out whether more information will surface regarding the BALCO investigation. Selig quickly moved on to the next question.

"As I've told many of you over long, long years, I understand you have a job to do and if I was you, I'd be asking the same questions," Selig said. "But it's something that I'm just going to handle it in my own way."

Bonds has 751 home runs, four short of Aaron's record of 755. Bonds said Monday he thought the situation had been handled "terribly," but didn't care what Selig decided.

JUST KEEP SWIMMING: Selig turned a question about the viability of the Tampa Bay area as a major-league market into a mini-commercial for increased attendance around the rest of the game.

But eventually, he came back to the topic of the Devil Rays franchise.

"They're optimistic, and I'm going to share their optimism," Selig said. "So, hopefully, they'll get there."

(CAN'T) WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR: Next year's All-Star Game will be played at Yankee Stadium in that venerable building's final season. SS Derek Jeter can't wait.

"If I don't play in another All-Star Game the rest of my career, I'd like to play the one at Yankee Stadium," said Jeter, an eight-time All-Star. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be a lot of fun. The last season at Yankee Stadium … I'm sure all of us want to be there."

It will be the fourth All-Star Game played at Yankee Stadium, the first since 1977.

The 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Selig said three more sites could be awarded by the end of the year. Kansas City, with renovations planned for Kauffman Stadium, has been promised a game during a three-year period starting in 2010.

ANOTHER RECORD: Bonds became the oldest player to start an All-Star Game at 42 years, 11 months, 16 days. Pete Rose had been the oldest position player at 41 years, 2 months, 32 days.

Roger Clemens still is the oldest pitcher to start an All-Star Game at 41 years, 11 months, 9 days in 2004.

AROUND THE HORN: Giants great Willie Mays was honored before the game. With both teams lined up facing each other in center field, Mays walked through the "tunnel" toward second base as players fell in behind him - literally walking in his footsteps. … Umpire Bruce Froemming, who worked his third All-Star Game behind the plate Tuesday, announced before the game that he will retire at the end of the season after 37 years. Froemming has worked more than 5,000 games and is second only to Bill Klem in number of games umpired. … In 77 previous All-Star Games, the AL and NL each scored the same number of runs: 326. … Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez made his 12th All-Star start Tuesday, breaking a tie with Yogi Berra for most All-Star starts by a catcher. He also tied Berra's record for most All-Star appearances by a catcher (14). … Dodgers C Russell Martin became the third Canadian to start an All-Star Game, joining outfielders Larry Walker (1997-99) and Jason Bay (2006). … San Francisco native Chris Isaak sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and members of the San Francisco Philharmonic performed the Canadian national anthem. … The game's first pitch wasn't thrown by Padres RHP Jake Peavy until 8:54 p.m. EDT.

Carter Gaddis

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