ST. PETERSBURG — Though commissioner Bud Selig has often championed baseball's competitive balance, he understands there are still questions, and work to be done.
Selig, at Tropicana Field Wednesday for the annual Governor's Dinner, didn't have concrete suggestions, but he said the league will look into ways to provide for "hope and faith in as many places possible." That includes Tampa Bay, where principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Monday the Rays will have to significantly reduce their $70 million payroll next season.
"We're going to do over $450 million in revenue sharing," Selig said. "Remember when I took over? We did none, zero. … It's not perfect, I know work has to be done, with another labor negotiation coming up, but at least there's been an enormous amount of progress."
Selig also addressed the unbalanced schedule, saying while "nothing is forever," there were reasons for it. The Rays play most of their games in the same division as two of the league's richest teams, the Red Sox and Yankees.
"For the most part, it's worked out well," Selig said. "I understand that there are some clubs that don't like it and I understand their reasons. … But it wasn't done just mercurially."
HALL WATCH: Former home run king Hank Aaron and recently elected Hall of Famer Andre Dawson said ex-Rays first baseman Fred McGriff is worthy of joining them in Cooperstown. "He played on both sides of the field, he wasn't just a DH," Dawson said. "And he put numbers up, did it on a consistent basis. You're talking about one of the premier power hitters of his era.”