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Selig: Teams reviewing stadium safety after death
PHOENIX (AP) - Major league teams are reviewing stadium safety following the death of a fan at a Texas Rangers game last week, while still encouraging players to toss balls into the stands.
Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old attending a Rangers’ game in Texas last week with his 6-year-old son, fell over a railing while trying to catch a ball flipped to the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton
“It was horrible accident. It’s heartbreaking. It really is _ it’s almost beyond comprehension to believe something like that could happen,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said before Tuesday’s All-Star game 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.
“I think everybody is reviewing parts of their ballparks where something like this could happen. Maybe there’s some things that they can or can’t do. So I guess is what I would say to you is common sense should always take over in these situations. And so to say here today, ‘No we shouldn’t do this,’ or ‘No, we shouldn’t do that,’ no, I wouldn’t say that. Absolutely not.”
Selig is concerned about the impact of the accident on Hamilton.
“I’d worry about anybody who did something nice, who did something that was really thoughtful, and that happened,” the commissioner said.
Selig 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 all but confirmed the 2013 All-Star game will be played at the Mets’ Citi Field.
“Well, we’ll announce it at some point in the world. I’d say their chances look pretty good,” he said.
Minnesota’s Target Field is the leading candidate for 2014, and the Marlins hope to host in 2015 at their ballpark that opens next year.
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 before 2013 at the earliest. The downside would be that interleague games _ which drew 18.3 percent more fans than other games _ would have to be spread throughout the regular season.
“Is there massive realignment on the horizon? No there is not,” he said. “Would I go to 15 and 15? I don’t know. … You would then have to play interleague play every day obviously, and I like it the way it is.”
The players' association is in favor of shifting an NL team to the AL. The Houston Astros appear to be the most plausible candidate.
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