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Commissioner for a Day? Jeter, Kershaw, Scherzer and Other Stars Take Their Cuts

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Commissioner for a Day? Jeter, Kershaw, Scherzer and Other Stars Take Their Cuts
Rob Carr/Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s true: Commissioner Bud Selig is hanging it up Jan. 24. The job is more wide-open than Adam Dunn’s strike zone.

Wanted: Man (or woman) to run Major League Baseball. Must be skilled at herding cats (and that’s just the 30 owners). Acumen in negotiating with unions required. (warning: This union favors stock markets over lunch buckets). Thick skin required (you haven’t lived until it’s been open season on your haircut). Perks include private jet, a neutered Alex Rodriguez and a curiously large supply of leftover Diet Cokes. Living in Milwaukee optional.

Can we interest you in filling out an application? It’s been so quiet, we need to dispatch a search committee just to locate baseball’s search committee.

Which is why we spent the All-Star break auditioning some of the game’s brightest young minds for the job.

Hey, guys, you’ve just been named commissioner for the day. What’s your first task? Ready, go:

 

Derek Jeter, Yankees: “I’d ban 4 p.m. games. Somebody’s going to get hurt. The shadows.”

Great point. Except, it takes until 4 p.m. these days for all of Jeter’s standing ovations to die down...

 

Ian Kinsler, Tigers: “If a fan says something stupid, he’s got to go to the outfield seats.”

I LOVE this. As long as we keep it to the fans saying something stupid and not the writers...

 

Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez, Brewers: “Instant replay. Make some adjustments. There is a lot of miscommunication about catches and blocking the plate. I would clarify that.”

Thankfully, they have clarified the catch-and-transfer rule. As for the collision rule, as commissioner, you’re going to have to overrule vice president Joe Torre on that. “We’re not going to eliminate it,” Torre says. “We knew in the case of the collision rule, it was going to be a work in progress.”

 

Craig Kimbrel, Braves: “I’ve had a lot of questions about hitting numbers not being what they once were and about lowering the mound. I would absolutely not do that. Replay is obvious because you want to get the call right, but there’s got to be some ways to speed it up. I’m not a big fan of managers running out and then stopping to turn around and look back into their dugout. I think if you run out there, you should either have to argue or challenge the call.”

Yes! If you run out there, don’t stand around loitering like you’re in a barbershop waiting for a shave. Figures a man who once played for Bobby Cox, the all-time leader in managerial ejections, would lead the charge on this...

 

Matt Wieters, Orioles: “I’d take out Sunday night games before the All-Star Game, so all the guys who are All-Stars would be able to get there at a decent hour.”

Hmmm, sounds like a man who was late to the Target Field party as a result of being stuck between raindrops in Sunday’s late-night fiasco game against the Yankees...

USA TODAY Sports

 

Max Scherzer, Tigers: “I’ve got a list of things we’re going to do. First, we’re getting rid of the dropped third strike. If you swing at a ball and the catcher can’t catch it, guess what? You’re out. We’re putting the third-to-first move back in. If you drop the ball while on the rubber, that’s not a balk. That happens when you get sweaty.”

Congratulations, Max, you’re moving on to the second round of interviews...

 

Derek Norris, Athletics: “Make pitchers throw less miles an hour. I don’t have a whole lot of problems with any of the rules. I’d probably just pick up the pace of games.”

Puny modern-day lineups or no, not sure we can install a speed limit here. The red-light cameras alone would be cost-prohibitive. But as for time of game, the outgoing commissioner is with you, Derek. “I know that players have habits, and those habits are tough to break,” Selig said Tuesday. “But Henry Aaron reminded me that in 20-some years, once he got in the batter’s box, he never got out. That was it.”

 

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: “Making the All-Star Game not count would be one, probably. Making it an exhibition. I think everything else is pretty good.”

(Pause here to double-check notes and make sure that actually was Kershaw speaking and not Adam Wainwright, because of the two, Wainwright sure looked like the one who pitched as if the game didn’t count Tuesday night...)

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

 

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins: “DH in both leagues.”

Because even big, bad sluggers in the NL like to swing the stick when they get a day off in the field…

 

David Price, Rays: “The DH is gone. I want to hit.”

Because when it comes to hitting, American League pitchers still get more excited than a seven-year-old with a double scoop of chocolate chip and cookie dough...

 

Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: “Require that every stadium has a roof. You get in every day, you know you’re going to play. You get to the ballpark, you get to work. No matter what the weather, you know you’re going to play. The whole mentality is different.”

Lucroy’s application for commissioner is brought to you by Miller Park’s roof...

 

Victor Martinez, Tigers: “If I’m the commissioner, I’m definitely going to let the kids at events like the All-Star Game come enjoy time with their dad in the clubhouse. This is the only day you can’t do that.”

Little Victor Martinez, who may enjoy big league life more than any of the players, is nine. He is a fixture with his pop. Only surprise during the Tigers’ division-series games in Oakland last October was that Little Victor, in full uniform and playing catch as the Tigers warmed up before the games, didn’t sign autographs. Wait…he actually did that too…

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

 

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: “I think I’d look into the schedule. I think 162 games with today’s players can be a little demanding. The travel. So many injuries. You look around the league, and there’ s not one team that’s been able to stay healthy. Me being one of those guys that’s been injured at times in my career, I think some days off in between would really benefit some guys. Hey, [Selig] does a great job, but if I was commissioner for a day, that’s one of the things that I would look at.”

Admirable suggestion, Troy, but in the next round of interviews, you’re going to have to explain how that ties into Giants starter Matt Cain slicing his finger while attempting to cut a pregame sandwich and landing on the disabled list...

 

Zack Greinke, Dodgers: “Just leave everything how it is. Don’t want to change it up too much. It’s going pretty good.”

As long as Carlos Quentin stays away from the mound...

 

Daniel Murphy, Mets: “This game is perfect. I wouldn’t change it. I think they’re already doing a good job of staying ahead of the curve with what’s going on.”

Then again, maybe Selig will call a last-minute audible and decide to re-up for another 20 years?

 

Scott Miller covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report. He has over two decades of experience covering MLB, including 14 years as a national baseball columnist at CBSSports.com.

Follow Scott on Twitter and talk baseball here. 

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