Bud Selig

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Posted by r2d2 04/14/2009 @ 04:14

Tags : bud selig, commissioner of baseball, baseball, sports

News headlines
Earlier Times Set for Some ALCS, World Series Games - Washington Post
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig had said since last year's World Series that he hoped for earlier game times. -- METS: 1B Carlos Delgado will have surgery today on his right hip and there's no timetable for his return to the lineup....
Offense Up; Down with MLB's Drug Policy - Baseball Daily Digest
There were claims made popular by the mainstream media last season around this time that offense was down and we have Bud Selig's tougher policies on performance-enhancing drug use to thank. Then hitters started hitting as the weather warmed up,...
Ratto: Baseball needs to pick up the pace - San Francisco Chronicle
Neither did Commissioner Bud Selig until it became clear that Fox was having trouble selling ads for games that were dragging well toward midnight, because that's how Bud works on issues like this - see the parade forming and jump in front of it....
Baseball Saw No Evil With Its Eyes Shut - Wall Street Journal
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's comments that he "just didn't know" about steroid use among players is a remarkable reflection ("The Four Sports Commissioners Weigh In," Sports, May 7). How is it that the average fan knew that Mark...
Bill Conlin: Is all the money worth all the shame for MLB? - Philadelphia Daily News
But that's precisely where Chemical Bud Selig's game is today, awash in money while drowning in shame. A Dominican hitting machine named Manny Ramirez has shinnied over Barry Bonds to become the tip of the sleazeberg only because the results of a...
Bud Selig remains quiet about Manny Ramirez - Los Angeles Times
Richard Drew / AP Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who participated in the Wall Street Journal's panel discussion on the future of sports last week, has been silent on the Manny Ramirez suspension. The commissioner's silence doesn't quiet the storm...
Selig to address Wisconsin graduates - MLB.com
By Tom Singer / MLB.com Commissioner Bud Selig, a 1956 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, will give a series of commencement addresses at his alma mater later this month. According to the Madison-based school, Selig is scheduled to speak to...
Earlier MLB playoff games...Game 1 for Pens and 'Canes ... - Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig (SEE'-lihg) said last fall that he hoped for earlier game times. DETROIT (AP) Pitcher Juan Rincon has chosen free agency over an outright assignment by the Detroit Tigers. The announcement comes a week after Dontrelle...
Commissioners chat about the future of sports - FOXSports.com
You can e-mail him at PeterSchrager@gmail.com Video: MLB commissioner Bud Selig gives his opinion on the problem of steroids in his sport. Video: Roger Goodell and Bud Selig speak on the future of sports coverage in an age of print media decline....
Bud Selig Is Bad For Baseball - FanIQ
From 1985-1987 Bud Selig the owner and other team owners were busted for driving down player salaries. Most notably Milwaukee Brewers great and hall of famer Paul Molitor's. They later had to pay $280 million in damages. He had ample proof of steroid...

Bud Selig

Article bud selig.jpg

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, Jr. (born July 30, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998. Selig oversaw baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card, interleague play, and the merging of the National and American leagues under the Office of the Commissioner. He was instrumental in organizing the World Baseball Classic in 2006. Selig also introduced revenue sharing. He is credited for the financial turnaround of baseball during his tenure with a 400 percent increase in the revenue of MLB and annual record breaking attendance. Selig enjoys a high level of support from baseball owners. Jerome Holtzman, Major League Baseball's official historian from 1999 until his passing in 2008, believed that Selig was the best commissioner in baseball history.

During Selig's term of service, the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs became a public issue. The Mitchell Report, commissioned by Selig, concluded that the MLB commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, and the players all share "to some extent in the responsibility for the steroid era." Following the release of the Mitchell Report, Congressman ] called publicly for Selig to step down as commissioner, citing his "glacial response" to the "growing stain on baseball." Selig has pledged on numerous occasions to rid baseball of performance enhancing drugs, and has overseen and instituted many rule changes and penalties to that effect.

Selig was previously the team owner and team president of the Milwaukee Brewers. As a Milwaukee native, he is credited for keeping baseball in Milwaukee. In 1970, he purchased the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court and renamed them the Milwaukee Brewers after a minor league team he had watched in his youth. The Brewers went to the 1982 World Series and won seven organization of the year awards during his tenure. Selig remains a resident of Milwaukee.

On January 17, 2008, Selig's contract was extended by the MLB through 2012, at which point he plans to retire. Selig made $14.5 million in the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, 2005.

Selig grew up in a Jewish family and eventually graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1956 with degrees in political science and history. He served 2 years in the armed forces before working with his father who owned a car leasing business in Milwaukee. Selig continues to be involved in the automotive industry, serving as president of the Selig Executive Lease Company.

As a young man, Selig watched the Milwaukee Brewers, a minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs of the National League, unrelated to the current incarnation of the Milwaukee Brewers. Bud soon became a Braves fan when the National League franchise moved to his home town of Milwaukee from Boston in 1953. Selig became the team's largest public stockholder. Selig was heartbroken and devastated when he learned that the Braves were going to leave Milwaukee in favor of Atlanta. In 1965, when the Braves left Milwaukee, he divested his stock in the team.

As a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, Selig founded the organization Teams, Inc, in an attempt to prevent the majority owners (based out of Chicago) from moving the club to a larger television market. This was challenged legally on the basis that no prior team relocations (in the modern era) left a city without a team. Prior movements had all originated in cities which were home to at least two teams. When his quest to keep the team in Milwaukee finally failed after the 1965 season, he changed the group's name to Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Inc., after the minor league baseball team he grew up watching, and devoted himself to returning Major League Baseball to Milwaukee.

Selig arranged for major league games to be played at the now demolished Milwaukee County Stadium. The first, a pre-season match between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, drew more than 51,000 spectators. Selig followed this up by hosting nine White Sox regular-season games in 1968 and eleven in 1969. Oddly enough, one of the series played in Milwaukee that year was against the expansion Seattle Pilots, the team that would become the Brewers. Those Milwaukee "home" games were phenomenally successful, with the handful of games accounting for about one-third of total White Sox home attendance. Clearly, Milwaukee was hungry for baseball.

To satisfy that fanbase, Selig decided to purchase the White Sox (with the intention of moving them to Milwaukee) in 1969. He entered into an agreement to buy the club, but the American League vetoed the sale, preferring to keep an American League team in Chicago to compete with the crosstown Cubs. Selig turned his attention to other franchises.

In 1970, he purchased the bankrupt Seattle Pilots franchise, moving them to his hometown and officially renaming the team the Brewers.

During Selig's tenure as club president, the Brewers participated in postseason play in 1981, when the team finished first in the American League East during the second half of the season, and in 1982, when the team made it to the World Series, under the leadership of future Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Under Selig's watch, the Brewers also won seven Organization of the Year awards. Selig was part of owner's collusion in 1985–1987, resulting in the owners paying $280 million in damages to the players.

Upon his assumption of the commissioner's role, Selig transferred his ownership interest in the Brewers to his daughter Wendy Selig-Prieb in order to remove any technical conflicts of interest, though it was widely presumed he maintained some hand in team operations. Although the team has been sold to Los Angeles investor Mark Attanasio, questions remain regarding Selig's past involvement. Selig's defenders point to the poor management of the team after Selig-Prieb took control as proof that Selig was not working behind the scenes.

Selig has long been considered a hero by baseball fans in Milwaukee, and while such enthusiasm ebbed somewhat during the failed management term of his daughter, Selig is still recognized for all that he has done for baseball and its presence in Milwaukee. In particular, Selig is famous for his lunches at Gilles Frozen Custard, a well-known hot-dog and custard stand not far from Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The Union basically doesn’t trust the ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Selig and Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig.

Following an 18-9 no-confidence vote, Vincent resigned. Selig had by this time become chairman of the Executive Council of Major League Baseball, and as such became de facto acting commissioner.

His first major act was to institute the Wild Card and divisional playoff play, which has created much controversy amongst baseball fans. Those against the Wild Card see it as diminishing the importance of the pennant race and the regular season, with the true race often being for second rather than first place, while those in favor of it view it as an opportunity for teams to have a shot at the playoffs even when they have no chance of a first-place finish in their division, thus maintaining fan interest later in the season.

Selig suspended Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott for a year in 1993 for repeated prejudicial remarks and actions. The same year, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was reinstated from a lifelong suspension that was instituted by Selig's predecessor Fay Vincent. Pete Rose has claimed that he applied for reinstatement over the years and received no such consideration. It should be noted, that Rose along with his close friend and former teammate Mike Schmidt (who is a strong supporter of Rose's reinstatement into baseball), met with Selig in 2002, where Rose privately admitted to Selig (two years before going public with his admission) about betting on baseball. Incidentally, Bud Selig was a close friend of the late Bart Giamatti, who was the commissioner when Rose was first banned from the sport in 1989.

As acting commissioner, Selig represented MLB during the 1994 players strike and cancelled the World Series, marking the first time the annual event had not been staged since 1904). Since then, some have accused Selig of being little more than a puppet for the owners rather than a true leader. Notably, the NBA, NHL, and NFL commissioners have always been considered primarily as advocates for the league owners who elect them and to whom they are answerable. Some have argued that Selig's role as a representative of the owners interests has led directly to Major League Baseball's ability to institute changes and bargain strongly with the Players Association in a way that was never possible before.

After a six-year search for a new commissioner, the owners voted to give Selig the title on a permanent basis midway through the 1998 season.

During his tenure the game avoided a third work stoppage in 2002, and has seen the implementation of interleague play, divisional realignment (oddly enough, the subject that resulted in the ouster of Selig's predecessor Fay Vincent), and the addition of a third round of post-season play.

Whereas in the past, the National and American Leagues had separate administrative organizations (which, for example, allowed for the introduction of different rules such as the designated hitter), under Selig, Major League Baseball consolidated the administrative functions of the American and National League into the Commissioner's Office in 2000. The last official presidents of the NL and AL were Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. and Dr. Gene Budig respectively.

On September 11, 2001, Selig ordered all baseball games postponed for a week because of the terror attacks on New York and Washington. The games were postponed not only out of respect and mourning for the victims, but also out of concern for the safety and security of fans and players.

After a dramatic conclusion of the 2001 World Series, less than 48 hours later, Selig held a vote on contracting two teams, reportedly the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos. This action, among others, led to Selig (along with former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria) being charged with racketeering and conspiring with Loria to deliberately defraud the Expos minority owners. If found guilty the league could have been liable for $300 million in punitive damages. Selig was eager to settle the case because the judge had previously ruled that the Expos could not be moved or contracted until the case was over. The case eventually went to arbitration and was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

In 2002, Selig began enforcing the 60/40 rule (asset/debt ratio).

An embarrassing moment for Selig occurred during the All-Star Game in Selig's hometown of Milwaukee. The game was tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 11th inning. Unfortunately, the recent managerial custom of granting some playing time within the regulation nine innings to as many available players as possible meant that the managers had used their entire rosters. To avoid risking the arms of the pitchers who were currently on the mound, Selig declared the game a tie, to the dissatisfaction of the Milwaukee fans. Since then, Selig has tried to reinvigorate the All-Star Game, most notably by awarding the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series. The 2003 All-Star Game had the same U.S. viewership as 2002 (9.5 rating; 17 share) and the ratings declined in 2004 (8.8 rating; 15 share) and 2005 (8.1 rating; 14 share). The American television audience increased in 2006 (9.3 rating; 16 share).

On July 1, 2005, Selig suspended Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers for 20 games and fined him $50,000. Rogers got in trouble when on June 29, 2005, he purposely grabbed the camera of a cameraman, resulting in one camera falling to the ground. When the cameraman proceeded to pick up his camera, Rogers went back to him in an arguably threatening way. One of the reporters then resumed filming and Rogers smiled and talked to him. While an appeal of his suspension was pending, Rogers appeared at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, where fans loudly booed him. On July 22, 2005, Selig heard Rogers' appeal of his suspension; he decided to uphold the 20 games. However, an independent arbitrator ruled that Selig had exceeded his authority and reduced it to 13 games.

In 2005, Selig faced Congress on the issue of steroids. After the Congressional hearings in early 2005, and with the scrutiny of the sports and national media upon this issue, Selig put forth a proposal for a stricter performance-enhancing drug testing regime to replace the current system. This proposal also included the banning of amphetamines, a first for the major North American sports leagues. The MLB Players Association and MLB reached an agreement in November on the new policy.

In early 2006, Selig was forced to deal with the issue of steroid use.

On March 30, 2006, as a response to the controversy of the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the anticipated career home run record to be set by Barry Bonds, Selig asked former senator George Mitchell to lead an independent investigation into the use of steroids in baseball's recent past. Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus wrote that the commission has been focusing "blame for the era exclusively on uniformed personnel", and failing to investigate any role played by team ownership and management.

Much controversy surrounded Selig and his involvement in Barry Bonds' all-time home run record chase. For months, speculation surrounded Selig and the possibility that he and Hank Aaron would not attend Bonds' games as he closed in on the record. Selig announced in July 2007 when Bonds was near 755 home runs that he would attend the games. Selig was in attendance for Bonds' record-tying home run against the San Diego Padres, sitting in Padres owner John Moores' private suite. Bud Selig did not attend the San Francisco Giants' baseball game on August 7th when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run; after the event, Selig released a statement congratulating Bonds.

On November 15, 2007, attention was brought once again to Barry Bonds as he was indicted by a federal Grand Jury for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to his testimony before the Grand Jury regarding BALCO, a San Francisco Bay area lab known to be involved in the distribution of steroids to professional athletes.

On December 13, 2007, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell released his report on the use of performance-enhancing substances by MLB players. The report names many current and former players who allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their career, including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Eric Gagné, and Paul Lo Duca.

Selig has been widely criticized for not taking an active enough role to stem the tide of steroid use in baseball until it had blossomed into a debilitating problem for the industry. Chicago Sun Times columnist Jay Mariotti called Selig the "The Steroids Commissioner." Selig has been called to Congress several times to testify on performance enhancing drug use. Congressman Cliff Stearns said in December 2007 that Selig should resign because of use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure.

On December 1, 2006, Selig announced that he would be retiring as commissioner of baseball upon the expiration of his contract in 2009. Selig earned $14.5 million dollars from MLB over the timespan October 31, 2005 to October 31, 2006. However, on January 17, 2008, Selig's contract was extended by the MLB through 2012, at which point he plans to retire.

During Selig's terms as Executive Council Chairman (from 1992-1998) and Commissioner, new stadiums have opened in Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Arlington, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C., with stadiums scheduled for the Mets, Yankees, Twins, and the Marlins in future years.

Selig and his family served a supportive role on the Advisory Board of the Israel Baseball League during its inaugural season in 2007. In response to issues with the league's financial management, after the season, the Selig family requested that their names be removed from the list of board members.

Selig is married to his second wife, Sue Selig. He has two daughters from his previous marriage, Wendy Selig-Prieb and Sari Selig-Kramer, as well as a stepdaughter, Lisa Steinman. Selig-Prieb used to work for the Brewers, and Steinman currently works for MLB. He has five granddaughters: Emily Markenson, Alyssa Markenson, Marissa Savitch, Andria Savitch, and Natalie Prieb.

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Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in American professional baseball. Specifically, Major League Baseball refers to the organization that operates the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure that has developed gradually between them since 1903 (the National League having been in existence since 1876). In 2000, the two leagues were officially disbanded as separate legal entities with all rights and functions consolidated in the commissioner's office. MLB effectively operates as a single league and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States. It is currently composed of 30 teams—29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

Each season consists of 162 games (with an additional game, or games, in case of a tie breaker needed to determine playoff participation), which generally begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October, with the playoffs played in October and sometimes in early November. The same rules and regulations are played between the two leagues with one exception: the American League operates under the Designated Hitter Rule, while the National League does not. Utilization of the DH Rule in interleague play, the All-Star and World Series games is determined by the home team's league rules.

MLB is controlled by the Major League Baseball Constitution that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Under the direction of Commissioner of Baseball (currently Bud Selig), Major League Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. As is the case for most of the sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the "closed shop" aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and relegation of teams into and out of the Major League by virtue of their performance. Major League Baseball maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law. This ruling has been weakened only slightly in subsequent years.

The production/multimedia wing of MLB is New York-based MLB Advanced Media, which oversees MLB.com and all 30 of the individual teams' websites. Its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the League itself, but it is indeed under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a similarly-structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media.

Major League Baseball is divided into two leagues, the American League, with fourteen teams, and the National League, with sixteen teams. Each league is further subdivided into three divisions, labeled East, Central, and West. The unequal balance of teams, into even-sized leagues, prevents the need for interleague games (which two odd-sized fifteen-team leagues would have) to fill schedules.

Though historically separate leagues, distinction has all but disappeared centuries. In 1803, the 3 leagues began to meet in an end-of-year championship series called the World Series. In 1920, the formerly weak National Commission, which was created to manage relationships between the two leagues, was replaced with an all powerful Commissioner of Baseball, who had the power to make decisions for all professional baseball unilaterally. The two leagues remained distinct, in as far as playing schedule, except for the annual All-Star Game and the World Series, until 1997 when regular season Interleague play began. In 2000, the American and National Leagues were dissolved as legal entities, and Major League Baseball became a singular league de jure, though it had operated as a de facto single entity for many years.

Major League Baseball (the current official organization) has used 1869, the date of the first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, and has had official celebrations for its 100th anniversary in 1969 and 125th anniversary in 1994, which were both commemorated with league-wide shoulder patches. The present-day Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves franchises can both trace their histories back to the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in the early 1870s. Many believe that the formation of the National League in 1876 is the beginning of Major League Baseball. Some also believe the signing of the National Agreement in 1903 (two seasons after the American League's break in 1901) is the true beginning of Major League Baseball.

In 1870, a schism developed between professional and amateur ballplayers following the 1869 founding of the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The NABBP split into two groups. The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was formed in 1871. It is considered by some to have been the first major league. Its amateur counterpart disappeared after only a few years.

The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, which still exists, was established in 1876 after the National Association proved ineffective. The emphasis was now on "clubs" rather than "players". Clubs now had the ability to enforce player contracts, preventing players from jumping to higher-paying clubs. Clubs in turn were required to play their full schedule of games, rather than forfeiting scheduled games once out of the running for the league championship, as happened frequently under the National Association. A concerted effort was made to reduce the amount of gambling on games which was leaving the validity of results in doubt.

The early years of the National League were tumultuous, with threats from rival leagues and a rebellion by players against the hated "reserve clause", which restricted the free movement of players between clubs. Competitive leagues formed regularly, and also disbanded regularly. The most successful was the American Association (1881–1891), sometimes called the "beer and whiskey league" for its tolerance of the sale of alcoholic beverages to spectators. For several years, the National League and American Association champions met in a postseason championship series—the first attempt at a World Series.

The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players League (1890). Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play (for a brief time anyway) and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.

In fact, there were dozens of leagues, large and small, at this time. What made the National League "major" was its dominant position in the major cities, particularly New York City. The large cities offered baseball teams national media distribution systems and fan bases that could generate revenues enabling teams to hire the best players in the country.

The resulting bidding war for players led to widespread contract-breaking and legal disputes. One of the most famous involved star second baseman Napoleon Lajoie, who in 1901 went across town in Philadelphia from the National League Phillies to the American League Athletics. Barred by a court injunction from playing baseball in the state of Pennsylvania the next year, Lajoie was traded to the Cleveland team, where he played and managed for many years.

The war between the American and National caused shock waves throughout the baseball world. At a meeting at the Leland Hotel in Chicago in 1901, the other baseball leagues negotiated a plan to maintain their independence. On September 5, 1901 Patrick T. Powers, president of the Eastern League announced the formation of the second National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the NABPL or "NA" for short.

Ban Johnson had other designs for the NA. While the NA continues to this day, he saw it as a tool to end threats from smaller rivals who might some day want to expand in other territories and threaten his league's dominance.

After 1902 both leagues and the NABPL signed a new National Agreement. The new agreement tied independent contracts to the reserve-clause national league contracts. Baseball players became a commodity. The agreement also set up an official classification system for independent minor leagues that regulated the dollar value of contracts, the forerunner of the system refined by Branch Rickey that is still used today.

It also gave the NA great power. Many independents walked away from the 1901 meeting. The deal with the NA punished those other indies who had not joined the NA and submitted to the will of the 'majors.' The NA also agreed to the deal to prevent more pilfering of players with little or no compensation for the players' development. Several leagues, seeing the writing on the wall, eventually joined the NA, which grew in size over the next several years.

At this time the games tended to be low scoring, dominated by such pitchers as Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, and Grover Cleveland Alexander to the extent that the period 1900–1919 is commonly called the "dead ball era". The term also accurately describes the condition of the baseball itself. Baseballs cost three dollars apiece, a hefty sum at the time, equaling approximately $65 inflation adjusted US dollars as of 2005; club owners were therefore reluctant to spend much money on new balls if not necessary. It was not unusual for a single baseball to last an entire game. By the end of the game, the ball would be dark with grass, mud, and tobacco juice, and it would be misshapen and lumpy from contact with the bat. Balls were only replaced if they were hit into the crowd and lost, and many clubs employed security guards expressly for the purpose of retrieving balls hit into the stands—a practice unthinkable today.

As a consequence, home runs were rare, and the "inside game" dominated—singles, bunts, stolen bases, the hit-and-run play, and other tactics dominated the strategies of the time. Hitting methods like the Baltimore Chop were put into use to increase the number of infield singles.

The foul strike rule was a major rule change that, in just a few years, sent baseball from a high-scoring game to one where scoring any runs became a struggle. Prior to this rule, foul balls were not counted as strikes: thus a batter could foul off a countless number of pitches with no strikes counted against him. This gave an enormous advantage to the batter. In 1901, the National League adopted the foul strike rule, and the American League followed suit in 1903.

With the approval of President Roosevelt, Major League Baseball began their spring training in 1942 with little repercussions. Although some men were being pulled away from the baseball fields and being sent to the battlefield, baseball continued to field teams.

Walter O'Malley is considered by baseball experts to be "perhaps the most influential owner of baseball's early expansion era." Following the 1957 Major League Baseball season, he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and New York's Brooklyn Dodgers fans felt betrayed. O'Malley was also influential in getting the rival New York Giants to move west to become the San Francisco Giants. He needed another team to go with him, for had he moved out west alone, the St. Louis Cardinals—1,600 mi (2,575.0 km) away— would have been the closest National League team. The joint move would make West Coast road trips more economical for visiting teams. O'Malley invited San Francisco Mayor George Christopher to New York to meet with Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Stoneham was considering moving the Giants to Minnesota, but he was convinced to join O'Malley on the West Coast at the end of the 1957 campaign. Since the meetings occurred during the 1957 season and against the wishes of Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, there was media gamesmanship. When O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn the story transcended the world of sport and he found himself on the cover of Time. The cover art for the issue was created by sports cartoonist Willard Mullin, long noted for his caricature of the "Brooklyn Bum" that personified the team. The dual moves broke the hearts of New York's National League fans but ultimately were successful for both franchises—and for Major League Baseball as a whole. In fact, the move was an immediate success as well since the Dodgers set a major league single-game attendance record in their first home appearance with 78,672 fans. In the years following the move of the New York clubs, Major League Baseball expanded to include three other California based teams, as well as two in Texas and one each in Minnesota, Seattle, Colorado, and Arizona. In addition, the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City, Missouri and eventually to Oakland, California.

By the late 1960s, the balance between pitching and hitting had swung in favor of the pitchers. In 1968 Carl Yastrzemski won the American League batting title with an average of just .301, the lowest in history.

That same year, Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain won 30 games — making him the first pitcher to win 30 games in a season since Dizzy Dean. St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Bob Gibson achieved an equally remarkable feat by allowing an ERA of just 1.12.

Following these pitching performances, in December 1968 the rules committee voted to reduce the strike zone from knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits and lower the pitcher's mound from 15 to 10 inches beginning in the 1969 season.

In 1973 the American League, which had been suffering from much lower attendance than the National League, made a move to increase scoring even further by initiating the designated hitter rule.

Routinely in the late 1990s and early 2000s, baseball players reach 40 and 50 home runs in a season, a feat that was considered rare even in the 1980s. Many modern baseball theorists believe that the need of pitchers to combat the rise in power could lead to a pitching revolution at some point in the future. New pitches, such as the infamous gyroball, could swing the balance of power back to the defensive side. However, the gyroball is still something of a phantom pitch—the only pitchers allegedly able to throw it are Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox and a college pitcher named Joey Niezer including others. However, during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Matsuzaka admitted that though he has tried to throw the gyroball, he cannot do so on a consistent basis. A pitching revolution would not be unprecedented—several pitches have changed the game of baseball in the past, including the slider in the '50s and '60s and the split-fingered fastball in the '70s to '90s. Since the 1990s, the changeup has made a resurgence, being thrown masterfully by pitchers such as Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux, Johan Santana, Cole Hamels, and Pedro Martinez.

A baseball uniform is a type of uniform worn by baseball players, and sometimes by non-playing personnel, such as managers and coaches. It is worn to indicate the person's role in the game and, through use of logos and colors, to identify the two teams and officials.

The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to use uniforms, taking the field on April 4, 1849 in pants made of blue wool, white flannel shirts and straw hats. The practice of wearing a uniform soon spread, and by 1900, all Major League teams had adopted them. By 1882, most uniforms included stockings, which covered the leg, from foot to knee and had different colors that reflected the different baseball positions. In the late 1880s, the Detroit Wolverines and Washington Nationals of the National League and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association were the first to utilize striped uniforms.

Caps, or other types of headgear with eyeshades, have been a part of baseball uniforms from the beginning. Baseball teams often wore full-brimmed straw hats or no cap at all since there was no official rule regarding headgear. Completing the baseball uniform are cleats and stockings, both of which have also been around for a long time.

By the end of the 19th century, teams began the practice of wearing one of two different uniforms, one when they played in their own baseball stadium and a different one when they played on the road. It became common to wear white at home and one of gray, solid dark blue, or black on the road. An early examples of this is the Brooklyn Superbas, who started to use a blue pattern for their road uniforms in 1907.

In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to audition for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students.

Spring training typically lasts almost two months, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period due to the exhaustive nature of the position. A week or two later, the position players arrive and team practice begins.

Early July marks the midway point of the season, during which a three day break is taken when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is staged. The All-Star game pits players from the National League (NL), headed up by the manager of the previous NL World Series team, against players from the American League (AL), similarly managed, in an exhibition game. Since 1989, the designated hitter rule is used when the game is played in an AL ballpark; formerly no designated hitters played in the All-Star game. The 2002 contest ended in an 11-inning tie because both teams were out of pitchers, a result which proved highly unpopular with the fans. As a result, for a two-year trial in 2003 and 2004, the league which won the game received the benefit of home-field advantage in the World Series (starting the first two games at one's own ballpark, and playing no more than three games out of a possible seven away). That practice has since been extended indefinitely. The practice has upset purists over the previous format of the two leagues alternating home-field advantage for the World Series (especially considering that the NL has not won since 1995, thus they have not had home-field advantage in the World Series since 2001). The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox (both AL) took some advantage of the rule in 2004 and 2005 respectively, as each team started the Series with two home victories, giving them good momentum for a 4-game sweep (the Red Sox doing it again in 2007). However the American League's winning of home field advantage was not enough to save the New York Yankees in 2003 (when they lost to the Florida Marlins, NL, in six games), the Detroit Tigers in 2006 (when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, NL, in five games) or the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 (when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, NL, in five).

The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois, and was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune. Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in making the game an annual one. Ward's contribution was recognized by Major League Baseball in 1962 with the creation of the "Arch Ward Trophy", given to the All-Star Game's most valuable player each year. (This eventually became the Ted Williams Award).

Since 1970, the eight position players for each team who take the field initially have been voted into the game by fans. The fan voting had been cancelled since 1957 as a result of the Cincinnati ballot-box-stuffing scandal (a local newspaper had printed pre-voted ballots for fans to send in, resulting in seven of the eight positions going to Cincinnati players). The league overruled the vote, adding St. Louis' Stan Musial and Milwaukee's Henry Aaron to the team, and fan voting was eliminated until the 1970 season. In more recent years, internet voting has been allowed.

From the first All-Star Game, players have worn their respective team uniforms rather than wearing uniforms made specifically for the game, with one exception: In the first game, the National League players wore uniforms made for the game, with the lettering "National League" across the front of the shirt.

The division winners are seeded 1-3 based on win/loss record. The wild-card team is the #4 seed, regardless of its record. They are paired against the highest seed outside of its own division in the first round of the playoffs, while the remaining two division champions square off. In the first two rounds, the better seeded team has home-field advantage, regardless of record.

The team belonging to the league that won the mid-season All-Star Game receives home-field advantage in the World Series.

As all playoff series are split between the two teams' home fields, "home field advantage" does not play a significant role unless the series goes to its maximum number of games, in which case the final game takes place at the field of the team holding the advantage.

A first positive test resulted in a suspension of 10 games, a second positive test resulted in a suspension of 30 games, the third positive test resulted in a suspension of 60 games, the fourth positive test resulted in a suspension of one full year, and a fifth positive test resulted in a penalty at the commissioner’s discretion. Players were tested at least once per year, with the chance that several players could be tested many times per year.

A former Senate Majority Leader, federal prosecutor, and ex-chairman of The Walt Disney Company, George Mitchell was appointed by Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig on March 30, 2006 to investigate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MLB. Mitchell was appointed during a time of controversy over the 2006 book Game of Shadows by San Francisco Chronicle investigative reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, which chronicles alleged extensive use of performance enhancers, including several different types of steroids and growth hormone by baseball superstars Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi. The appointment was made after several influential members of the U.S. Congress made negative comments about both the effectiveness and honesty of MLB's drug policies and Commissioner Selig.

According to the report, after mandatory random testing began in 2004, HGH became the substance of choice among players, as it is not detectable in tests. Also, it was noted that at least one player from each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams was involved in the alleged violations.

According to ESPN, some people questioned whether Mitchell being a director of the Boston Red Sox created a conflict of interest, especially because no "prime players were in the report." Mitchell described his role with the team as that of a "consultant". Despite the lack of "prime" Boston players, the report had named several prominent Yankees who were parts of World Series clubs. This made some people feel that there was a conflict of interest on Mitchell's part, due to the fierce rivalry between the two teams. Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd, along with his teammates, felt the timing of publicizing Byrd's alleged use was suspicious, as the information was leaked prior to the deciding Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series between the Indians and the Red Sox. Former U.S. prosecutor John M. Dowd also brought up allegations of Mitchell's conflict of interest. Dowd, who had defended Senator John McCain of Arizona during the Keating Five investigation in the late 1980s, cited how he took exception to Mitchell's scolding of McCain and others for having a conflict of interest with their actions in the case and how the baseball investigation would be a "burden" for him when Mitchell was named to lead it. After the investigation, Dowd later told the Baltimore Sun that he was convinced the former Senator has done a good job. The Los Angeles Times reported that Mitchell acknowledged that his "tight relationship with Major League Baseball left him open to criticism". Mitchell responded to the concerns by stating that readers who examined the report closely "will not find any evidence of bias, of special treatment of the Red Sox".

Major League Baseball has several blackout rules.

A local broadcaster has priority to televise games of the team in their market over national broadcasters. For example, at one time TBS showed many Atlanta Braves games nationally and internationally in Canada. Fox Sports Net (FSN) also shows many games in other areas. If the Braves played a team that FSN or another local broadcaster showed, the local station will have the broadcast rights for its own local market, while TBS would have been blacked out in the same market for the duration of the game. A market that has a local team playing in a weekday ESPN or ESPN2 game and is shown on a local station will see ESPNEWS, or, in the past, another game scheduled on ESPN or ESPN2 at the same time (if ESPN or ESPN2 operates a regional coverage broadcasting and operates a game choice), or will be subject to an alternative programming feed. MLB's streaming Internet video service is also subject to the same blackout rules.

Major League Baseball is in the transition to a new set of television contracts. The league has three current broadcast partners: FOX, ESPN and TBS.

It was announced on July 11, 2006 that FOX Sports will remain with MLB through 2013 and broadcast FOX Saturday Baseball throughout the entire season, rather than the previous May to September format. FOX will also hold rights to the All-Star Game each season. FOX will also alternate League Championship Series broadcasts, broadcasting the American League Championship Series in odd-numbered years and the National League Championship Series in even-numbered years as part of the new contract. FOX will continue to broadcast all games of the World Series, which will begin on a Wednesday evening rather than the current Saturday evening format.

ESPN will continue to broadcast Major League Baseball through 2013 as well, beginning with national Opening Day coverage. ESPN will continue to broadcast Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Baseball Tonight. ESPN also has rights to the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game each July.

TBS will air Sunday afternoon regular season games (non-exclusive) nationally from 2008 to 2013. In 2007, TBS began its exclusive rights to any tiebreaker games that determine division or wild card champions at the end of each regular season in the event of a tie with one playoff spot remaining, as well as exclusive coverage of the Division Series round of the playoffs. TBS carries the League Championship Series that are not included under FOX's television agreement; TBS shows the National League Championship Series in odd-numbered years and the American League Championship Series in even-numbered years as part of the new contract through 2013.

In January 2009, MLB launched MLB Network, which will air 26 live games that year.

ESPN Radio holds national broadcast rights and broadcasts Sunday Night Baseball weekly throughout the season in addition to all playoff games. The rights to the World Series are exclusive to ESPN.

In addition, each team employs its own announcers, who broadcast during the regular season. Most teams operate regional networks to cover their fan base; some of these supposedly regional networks (such as the New York Yankees Radio Network) in reality have a national reach with affiliates located across the United States.

Major League Baseball has an exclusive rights deal with XM Satellite Radio, which includes the channel MLB Home Plate and live play-by-play of all games.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark). Also known as the D-backs, Arizona has one World Series title, in 2001.

Between 1940 and 1990, Phoenix jumped from the 99th largest city in the nation to the 9th largest. As such, it was frequently mentioned as a possible location for either a new or relocated MLB franchise. Baseball had a rich tradition in Arizona long before talk of bringing a big-league team even started. The state has been a frequent spring training site since 1946. With the large numbers of people relocating to the state from the Midwest and the Northeast, as well as from California, many teams (most notably the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers) have normally had large followings in Arizona.

The first serious attempt to land an expansion team for the Phoenix area was mounted by Elyse Doherty and Martin Stone, owner of the Phoenix Firebirds, the city's Triple-A minor league baseball team and an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. In the late 1980s Stone approached St. Louis (football) Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill about sharing a proposed 70,000 seat domed stadium in Phoenix. It was taken for granted that a domed stadium was essential for a prospective baseball team to be a viable enterprise in the city. Phoenix is by far the hottest major city in North America; the average high temperature during baseball's regular season is 99.1 °F, and temperatures above 120 °F in July and August are not unheard of, but have only occurred three times.

Bidwill, with plans already in the works to leave St. Louis, opted instead to sign a long term lease with Arizona State University to use its Sun Devil Stadium as the home of his soon-to-be Arizona-based NFL franchise. Since baseball-only stadiums were not seen as fiscally viable during that era, this effectively ended Stone's bid.

In the fall of 1993, Jerry Colangelo, majority owner of the Phoenix Suns, the area's NBA franchise, announced he was assembling an ownership group, "Arizona Baseball, Inc.," to apply for a Major League Baseball expansion team. This was after a great deal of lobbying by the Maricopa County Sports Authority, a local group formed to preserve Cactus League spring training in Arizona and eventually secure a Major League franchise for the state.

Colangelo's group was so certain that they would be awarded a franchise that they held a name-the-team contest for it; they took out a full-page ad in the sports section of the February 13, 1995 edition of the state's leading newspaper, the Arizona Republic. First prize was a pair of lifetime season tickets awarded to the person who submitted the winning entry. The winning choice was "Diamondbacks," after the Western diamondback, a rattlesnake native to the region known for injecting a large amount of venom when it strikes.

Colangelo's bid received strong support from one of his friends, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and media reports say that then-acting Commissioner of Baseball and Milwaukee Brewers founder Bud Selig was also a strong supporter of Colangelo's bid.Plans were also made for a new retractable-roof ballpark, Bank One Ballpark, nicknamed the BOB, (renamed in 2005 to Chase Field) to be built in an industrial/warehouse district on the southeast edge of downtown Phoenix, across the street from the Suns' America West Arena (now US Airways Center).

On March 9, 1995, Colangelo's group was awarded a franchise to begin play for the 1998 season. A $130 million franchise fee was paid to Major League Baseball. The Tampa Bay Area was also granted a franchise, the Devil Rays (to be based in St. Petersburg), at the same time.

In the earliest days, the Diamondbacks operated basically as a subsidiary of the Suns; several executives and managers with the Suns and America West Arena were brought over to the Diamondbacks in similar roles.

There was some talk (which actually persisted for a few years after the awarding of the franchise) about the Diamondbacks being placed in the American League West. Colangelo strongly opposed this, pushing baseball officials to allow the new team to play in the National League West. Colangelo cited the relative close proximity of Phoenix to the other NL West cities; the similarities between the two fast-growing cities of Phoenix and Denver (home to the Colorado Rockies); the long history of Arizona tourism to San Diego; the Firebirds' long history as the Giants' top farm team; and the fact that Dodgers, Giants and Padres games were broadcast in the Phoenix and Tucson markets for many years.

From the beginning, Colangelo wanted to market the Diamondbacks to a statewide fan base and not limit fan appeal to Phoenix and its suburbs. Although every Major League Baseball team cultivates fans from outside its immediate metropolitan area, and even though the greater Phoenix area has 2/3 of the entire statewide population, Colangelo still decided to call the team the "Arizona Diamondbacks" rather than the "Phoenix Diamondbacks". Many in Phoenix were not pleased by this; they felt this move lent a "small market" tincture to the team's name. However, fans in other areas of the state generally embraced the "Arizona" title as a positive move to help make the team a regional team for the entire state, rather than just for the state's largest city and capitol.

Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of Phoenix, was selected as the home for Diamondbacks spring training as well as the team's top minor league affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders. Radio and television broadcast deals were struck with affiliates in Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Las Vegas; among others.

A series of team-sponsored fan motorcoach trips from Tucson to Bank One Ballpark were inaugurated for the opening season and are still in operation to this day (it is now known as the "Diamond Express"). The Diamondbacks are also known for the "Hometown Tour", held in January, where selected players, management and broadcasters make public appearances, hold autograph signings, etc., in various locations around Phoenix and Tucson, as well as many small and mid-sized towns in other areas of Arizona.

Two seasons before their first opening day, Colangelo hired Buck Showalter, the American League Manager of the Year in 1994 with the New York Yankees.

Their lower level minor league teams began play in 1997; the expansion draft was held that year as well.

The Diamondbacks' first major league game was played against the Colorado Rockies on March 31, 1998, at Bank One Ballpark before a standing-room only crowd of 50,179. Tickets had gone on sale on January 10 and sold out before lunch. The Rockies won, 9–2, with Andy Benes on the mound for the Diamondbacks, and Travis Lee being the first player to hit, score, homer and drive in a run.

In their first five seasons of existence, the Diamondbacks won three division titles (1999, 2001, & 2002) and one World Series (2001). In 1999, Arizona won 100 games in only its second season to win the National League West. They lost to the New York Mets in four games in the NLDS.

Colangelo fired Showalter after a relatively disappointing 2000 season, and replaced him with Bob Brenly, the former Giants catcher and coach, who had up to that point been working as a color analyst on Diamondbacks television broadcasts.

In 2001, the team was led by two of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Arizona had postseason victories over the St. Louis Cardinals (3-2 in the NLDS) and the Atlanta Braves (4-1 in the NLCS) to advance to the World Series where, in one of the most exciting series ever, in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, they beat the reigning champions, the New York Yankees, 4 to 3, to become the youngest expansion franchise to win the World Series (in just their fourth season of play). That classic World Series is chronicled in Charles Euchner's book The Last Nine Innings (Sourcebooks, 2006). The series was also seen as the beginning of the end of the Yankees' stranglehold on baseball glory, as profiled in Buster Olney's book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. All games in that series were won by the home team.

An estimated orderly crowd of over 300,000 celebrated at the Diamondbacks victory parade, held at Bank One Ballpark and the surrounding downtown Phoenix streets on November 7, 2001. This was the first major professional sports championship for the state of Arizona and the first for a team (in the four major North American professional sports leagues) owned or controlled by Colangelo, whose basketball Suns made it to the NBA Finals in 1976 and 1993 but lost both times. (Colangelo's Arizona Rattlers won the Arena Football League championship in 1994 and 1997.) Colangelo’s willingness to go into debt and acquire players through free agency would ultimately lead to one of the quickest free falls in major sports history when in just three years, the Diamondbacks would record one of the worst losing records in all of major league baseball by losing 111 games.

The team won the NL West Division Title again in 2002, but were swept out in the NLDS by the St. Louis Cardinals.

By the 2004 season, however, the Diamondbacks had dropped to a dismal 51-111 record, the worst in Major League Baseball that year and also one of the 10 worst records in the past 100 years of MLB, despite Johnson pitching a perfect game on May 18 of that season. Brenly was fired partway through the season and was replaced on an interim basis by coach Al Pedrique. Before the season co-MVP (with Johnson) of the 2001 World Series Curt Schilling had been traded to the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.

By this time Colangelo and the other partners were embroiled in a dispute over the financial health and direction of the Diamondbacks (and notably including over $150 million dollars in deferred compensation to many players who were key members of the 2001 World Series winning team and others). He was forced to resign his managing general partner post in the late summer of 2004.

Colangelo sold his interest in the General Partnership of the Diamondbacks to a group of investors who were all involved as partners in the founding of the team in 1995. The investors include equal partners Ken Kendrick, Dale Jensen, Mike Chipman, and Jeffrey Royer. Jeff Moorad, a former sports agent, joined the partnership, and was named the team's CEO; becoming its primary public face. Ken Kendrick became the managing general partner.

Also a factor in Colangelo's leaving his post was his advancing age: Colangelo was 64 years of age in 2004, and had he not sold his sports franchises, upon his death, his family would have been faced with having to pay high estate taxes based on the value of the Diamondbacks as well as the Suns (which he sold to Robert Sarver in the spring of 2004).

Following the 2004 season, the Diamondbacks hired Wally Backman to be the team's manager. Backman was formerly manager of the Class A California League Lancaster JetHawks, one of the Diamondbacks' minor-league affiliates. In a turn of events that proved to be a minor embarrassment for the reorganized ownership group, Backman was almost immediately fired after management learned, after the fact, of legal troubles and improprieties in Backman's past. Former Seattle Mariners manager and Diamondbacks bench coach Bob Melvin became the new manager after only a ten-day tenure for Backman.

Following the Backman incident, the Diamondbacks spent heavily on free agents in order to re-build into a contender. The club signed 3B Troy Glaus, P Russ Ortiz, SS Royce Clayton, and 2B Craig Counsell, among others. They then traded Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees, for Javier Vazquez, Dioner Navarro, and Brad Halsey. They then turned around and dealt newly acquired catcher Dioner Navarro to the Dodgers for Shawn Green, and sent Shea Hillenbrand to the Toronto Blue Jays. Finally, they traded Casey Fossum to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for José Cruz, Jr.

The Diamondbacks, led by Melvin, finished the 2005 season with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. However, this was a 26-game improvement over 2004, and actually good enough for second place in the woefully weak NL West, five games behind the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks were considered by some to be the favorite to win the division after spending big money on the aforementioned free agents; however, injuries hurt the team's chances of reaching its expected potential.

Starting pitcher Ortiz was out for some time which really hurt the pitching staff. Glaus played with a hurt knee all season. Of all the free agents that signed before the season, no one had a better season than first baseman Tony Clark. Clark started the season as a bench player and ended the season starting and being an important part of the team. Clark was rewarded with a new contract at the end of the season.

In October 2005 the Diamondbacks hired 35-year-old Josh Byrnes, assistant general manager of the Boston Red Sox, to replace the out-going Joe Garagiola, Jr. as Diamondbacks General Manager. Garagiola took a position in Major League Baseball's main offices in New York City.

In a weak NL West division, the Diamondbacks failed to improve on their 2005 performance, finishing fourth with a slightly worse record than the year before. The season did include two excellent individual performances, however. 2B Orlando Hudson became the recipient of his second career Gold Glove Award, as announced on November 3. Hudson became only the sixth infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove award in both the American and National Leagues. He first received the award after the 2005 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and was traded to the Diamondbacks later that offseason. On November 14, it was announced that RHP Brandon Webb was the recipient of the Cy Young Award for the National League. Webb, a specialist in throwing the sinkerball, received 15 of 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Webb went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and in the 2006 season was named to his first All-Star team. San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman was second place in the voting with 12 first-place votes and 77 points.

In preparation for the next season, the Diamondbacks made several significant trades during the offseason. The Diamondbacks and Brewers made a trade on November 25, 2006. Johnny Estrada, Greg Aquino, and Claudio Vargas were dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for Doug Davis, Dana Eveland, and Dave Krynzel. On Sunday January 7, it was announced that Randy Johnson would return to the Diamondbacks on a two year contract, pending a physical. He was obtained from the Yankees in exchange for Luis Vizcaino, Ross Ohlendorf, Alberto Gonzalez and Steven Jackson. The Yankees will pay $2 million of Johnson's $26 million salary. The Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins made a deal March 26 to acquire RHP Yusmeiro Petit in exchange for Jorge Julio and cash.

The Diamondbacks announced in early September 2006 that their uniforms, which remained largely unchanged since the team's first season, would be completely redesigned for the 2007 season. Details were supposed to be kept from the public until after the 2006 postseason as per MLB rules, but the Diamondback page from the 2007 MLB Official Style Guide was somehow leaked around September 25, and local media broadcast printed the new design for all to see. Of great surprise to many fans was a brand new color scheme; apparently the original colors used by the franchise since Major League Baseball awarded it to Jerry Colangelo's ownership group in 1995 were to be discontinued.

While some fans applauded the redesign, most of the reaction to the new color scheme, which included the changing of the historical purple and traditional Arizonan colors of copper and turquoise to a reddish color known as "Sedona Red" similar to that of the Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Cardinals color schemes, was pointedly negative.

The official unveiling of the uniforms came at a charity event on November 8 in nearby Scottsdale, where several of the players modeled the uniforms on a runway, and posed for publicity photos.

The distinctive "A" design remained unchanged save for the colors. The stylized snake-like "D" logo, also used since the early days for the road uniforms, was slightly redesigned and a completely new shoulder patch introduced. The lettering on the jerseys was completely redesigned.

In the 2007 regular season, the Diamondbacks enjoyed a relatively high degree of success with a young team including Brandon Webb, Conor Jackson, Stephen Drew, Carlos Quentin, Chad Tracy, Chris Young, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds (called up from Double-A in May) and Justin Upton (called up from Double-A in August). The Diamondbacks in the regular season posted the best record in the NL with 90 wins and 72 losses. Despite their success, they were actually outscored by a cumulative total of 20 runs in their games.

On September 28, the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies to secure a position in the 2007 playoffs. After the Padres' defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers on September 29, the Diamondbacks secured both the NL West title and home field throughout the NL playoffs.

After taking the first two games at home against the Cubs, in the National League Division Series, they took the series to Wrigley Field, where they completed their sweep, earning their first berth in the National League Championship Series since 2001.

In the NLCS (where, ironically, they faced the Rockies), however, the D-backs' bats – and any sort of luck they had – fell silent. Though the D-backs' pitchers kept it close, they just didn't seem to get any kind of situational hitting. Plays in key situations- Upton's slide in Game 1, Stephen Drew's baserunning mistake and Valverde's 3 walks in a row, including a bases-loaded walk in the 10th in Game 2, Yorvit Torrealba's homer in Game 3, Conor Jackson booting the ball in Game 4, and even into the 8th and 9th innings of the final game, with the D-backs trailing by two, Tony Clark struck out leaving Upton at third base in the 8th, and in the 9th, Chris Young's leadoff double was wasted...the D-backs ran out of momentum against a Colorado team who just couldn't lose and were swept by the Rockies.

The 2007 season overall was a great success, with many of the young players showing their potential and proving that the team would be a force in the National League for years to come.

Reloading for 2008 with Dan Haren On December 3, 2007 the Diamondbacks traded Carlos Quentin to the Chicago White Sox for first base prospect Chris Carter.

Haren was expected to immediately join the Diamondbacks starting rotation which will include Webb and hopefully Randy Johnson if he rehabilitates successfully from his season-ending back injuries (Johnson was acquired from the Yankees in January 2007 and had a strong start to the 2007 season before back problems forced him out in August).

Haren was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA for Oakland in 2007. This move was expected to make the D-backs favored to win the NL West in 2008 provided the offensive production is good.

Arizona was not able to re-sign veteran free agents Tony Clark and Livan Hernandez, who were picked up by San Diego and Minnesota, respectively.

After winning the opening game of the season on March 31 on the road against the Cincinnati Reds, the Diamondbacks found themselves with the best record in Major League Baseball, 20-8, by the start of May. At that time, they also led the NL West by 6.5 games. They lost the first series in May against the New York Mets, the first series lost since the opening series against the Reds. The Diamondbacks continued to lead the NL west despite only being 47-48 at the All-Star break.

On July 17, 2008, Tony Clark was traded back to the D-backs from the San Diego Padres for a minor league pitcher, Evan Scribner.

On August 5, Dan Haren signed a four-year, $44.75 million deal with the Diamondbacks worth a guaranteed $41.25 million through 2012 and including a $15.5 million club option for 2013 with a $3.5 million buyout.

Orlando Hudson, one of the more consistent offensive D-backs players in 2008, underwent season-ending surgery on his left wrist August 9 in the wake of a collision with catcher Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves. Hudson is due to become a free agent at the end of the season and speculation is that he will not be re-signed with the Diamondbacks, because he wants money.

LF Eric Byrnes was on the 60-day disabled list from late June, with a torn left hamstring, and was out for the remainder of the season.

On August 11, 2008, Dallas Buck, RHP Micah Owings, and C Wilkin Castillo were traded to the Reds (in last place in the NL Central at the time) in exchange for OF Adam Dunn. Dunn, who was tied for the major league lead with 32 home runs, was expected to provide a significant boost to an offense that has struggled to score runs for most of the season. Dunn seemed quite positive about being traded to a ballclub in first place in its division in August. The move was seen by some fans as a belated attempt by the D-backs to counter the trade by their division rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for Boston Red Sox power-hitting OF Manny Ramirez on July 31 and also to compensate for the injuries to Hudson and Byrnes, generally considered two of the more "power-hitting" Diamondbacks on a team which has relied heavily on pitching and defense in recent years.

Owings, once considered an excellent pitching prospect for the Diamondbacks, struggled in the 2008 campaign with a 7.09 ERA after April 21.

On August 31, the Diamondbacks acquired former World Series MVP David Eckstein to fill the hole at secondbase which was opened after Orlando Hudson was placed on the disabled list. Eckstein was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays for Minor League pitcher Chad Beck.

They finished the season with a record of 82-80, (good for second in the NL West to the Los Angeles Dodgers).

In their short history, the Diamondbacks have been known to invite position players to pitch an inning in games that have already been blown out. The first such appearance occurred on August 30 of their 2001 division-winning season, when Manager Bob Brenly decided to pitch veteran outfielder Steve Finley for an inning of relief. Although Finley pitched a shut-out, no-hit inning, he walked a batter and also hit a batter. Brenly did this twice, as has current manager Bob Melvin.

The primary television play-by-play voice for the team's first nine seasons of play was Thom Brennaman, who also broadcasts baseball and college football games nationally for FOX Television. Brennaman was the TV announcer for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds (along with his father Marty Brennaman) before being hired by Diamondbacks founder Jerry Colangelo in 1996, two years before the team would begin play.

In October 2006, Brennaman left the Diamondbacks to call games with his father for the Reds beginning in 2007, signing a 4-year deal (his FOX duties remained unchanged).

The English language flagship radio station is KTAR. Greg Schulte is the regular radio play-by-play voice, a 25-year veteran of sports radio in the Phoenix market, also well-known for his previous work on Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State University (ASU) broadcasts. In February 2007 he agreed to a contract extension through at least the 2011 season.

Jeff Munn is a backup radio play-by-play announcer; he served as the regular public address announcer at Chase Field in the early days of the franchise. He is well-known to many Phoenix area sports fans, having also served as the public address announcer for the Suns at America West Arena (now US Airways Center) in the 1990s. He is also the play-by-play radio voice for ASU women's basketball.

On November 1, 2006, the team announced that the TV voice of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2002, Daron Sutton, would be hired as the Diamondbacks primary TV play-by-play voice. Sutton was signed to a five-year contract with a team option for three more years. Sutton is considered one of the best of the younger generation of baseball broadcasters. His signature chants include "lets get some runs" when the D-Backs trail in late innings. Sutton's father is Hall of Fame pitcher and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.

Former Diamondback and Chicago Cub Mark Grace and former Major League knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti were the Diamondbacks primary color analysts for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Former Diamondback player (and current Diamondbacks minority owner) Matt Williams also does color commentary on occasion, as does former Cardinals and NBC broadcast legend Joe Garagiola, Sr.., a longtime Phoenix-area resident and father of Joe Garagiola, Jr., the first GM of the Diamondbacks (as head of the Maricopa County Sports Authority in the early 1990s, Garagiola, Jr. was one of the primary people involved in Phoenix obtaining a Major League Baseball franchise).

The Diamondbacks announced in July 2007 that for the 2008 season, all regionally broadcast Diamondback TV games will be shown exclusively on FSN Arizona; and a few could possibly be shown on the national MLB on FOX telecasts. FSN Arizona is currently seen in 2.8 million households in Arizona & New Mexico. The previous flagship station, since the inaugural 1998 season, was KTVK, a popular over-the-air independent station in Phoenix.

Spanish broadcasts The flagship Spanish language radio station is KSUN AM 1400 with Miguel Quintana and Arthuro Ochoa as the regular announcers. They are sometimes joined by Richard Saenz or Oscar Soria.

Games are also televised in Spanish on KPHE-LP with Oscar Soria and Jerry Romo as the announcers.

As of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame election, no inducted members have played or managed for the Diamondbacks.

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Fay Vincent

Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent, Jr. (born May 29, 1938 in Waterbury, Connecticut) is a former entertainment lawyer and sports executive who served as the 8th commissioner of Major League Baseball from September 13, 1989 to September 7, 1992.

Fay Vincent was an exceptional athlete as a young man, showing talent in track and field as well as football. Mr. Vincent's life changed forever when a near-fatal accident in college crushed one of his legs. He'd been locked inside his dorm room as a prank. Climbing out onto the roof to escape, he slipped off the ledge, which was four stories high. Suffering a crushed spine and paralyzed legs, Vincent spent three months in a form of traction. He overcame his initial diagnosis, which was that he would never walk. But Vincent's leg has never fully recovered and he has been relegated to the use of a cane.

Mr. Vincent is a graduate of The Hotchkiss School, Williams College, class of 1960, which he attended on a full academic scholarship and graduated with honors, and Yale Law School, class of 1963.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Vincent was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Caplin & Drysdale. Mr. Vincent also served as Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Prior to becoming deputy commissioner under his friend A. Bartlett Giamatti, Fay Vincent was the chairman of Columbia Pictures (beginning in 1978) and the vice chairman of Coca-Cola (beginning in March 1982). In April 1986, Vincent was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company which placed him in charge over all of the company's entertainment activities.

At his longtime friend incoming commissioner Bart Giamatti’s behest, Vincent accepted the position of deputy commissioner . He became the 8th commissioner of baseball following Giamatti's untimely death on September 1, 1989, and presided over the 1989 World Series, which was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake; the owners' lockout during Spring Training of the 1990 season; and the expulsion of George Steinbrenner in his first year. Before accepting the job as Commissioner of Baseball, Vincent consulted with Bart Giamatti's widow, Toni, to make sure she thought it was appropriate for him to do so.

In 1990, National League president Bill White was prepared to suspend umpire Joe West for slamming Philadelphia pitcher Dennis Cook to the field, but Vincent intervened and no discipline was imposed.

During his commissionership, Vincent made it known (e.g. while being interviewed by Pat O'Brien during CBS' coverage of Game 4 of the 1991 World Series) that if he had the chance, he would get rid of the designated hitter rule.

Vincent has also been connected with Pete Rose's lifetime banishment from baseball; however, Rose's banishment began while Giamatti was commissioner, not Vincent (although Vincent led the investigation and was involved in the negotiations). Vincent has publicly said he does not support Rose's reinstatement.

On October 17, 1989, Vincent sat in a field box behind the left dugout at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. At 5:04 p.m., just prior to Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, the Loma Prieta earthquake (which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale) hit. At approximately 5:35 p.m., after coming to the conclusion that the power couldn't be restored before sunset, Vincent ordered the game to be postponed. According to Vincent, he had already made the decision to postpone Game 3 without telling anybody first. As a result, the umpires filed a form of protest of Vincent's decision. However, the game had to be postponed due to trouble with gas lines as well as the power issue.

In February 1990, owners announced that spring training would not be starting as scheduled. This occurred after MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr became afraid that the owners would institute a salary cap. Fehr believed that a salary cap could possibly restrict the number of choices free agents could make and a pay-for-performance scale would eliminate multiyear contracts. The lockout, which was the seventh work stoppage in baseball since 1972, lasted 32 games and wiped out all of spring training.

Vincent worked with both the owners and MLBPA, and on March 19, 1990, Vincent was able to announce a new Basic Agreement (which raised the minimum major league salary from $68,000 to $100,000 and established a six-man study committee on revenue sharing). As a consequence for the lockout, Opening Day for the 1990 season was moved back a week to April 9, and the season was extended by three days to accommodate the normal 162-game schedule.

On July 30, 1990, Vincent banned New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner from baseball for life after Steinbrenner paid Howie Spira, a small-time gambler, $40,000 for "dirt" on his outfielder Dave Winfield after Winfield sued Steinbrenner for failing to pay his foundation the $300,000 guaranteed in his contract. Steinbrenner was eventually reinstated in 1993 (one year after Vincent left office).

Ironically, the three men were unaffected by Vincent's hyperbole, testified for Howe as promised, and remained active in baseball. Three months later, Vincent was removed from his job as commissioner. An arbitrator overturned Vincent's suspension of Howe on November 11, 1992.

In June 1991, Vincent declared that the American League would receive $42 million of the National League's $190 million in expansion revenue and that the AL would provide players in the National League expansion draft (involving the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins). In an attempt to win support in the American League and balance the vote, Vincent decreed that the AL owners were entitled to 22 percent of the $190 million take. This decision marked the first time in expansion history that leagues were required to share expansion revenue or provide players for another league's expansion draft. Vincent said the owners expanded to raise money to pay their collusion debt.

Just prior to leaving office, Vincent had plans to realign the National League. Vincent wanted the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals to move from the Eastern Division to the Western Division. The Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, who had been a geographic mistake ever since Major League Baseball realigned in 1969, would move to the Eastern Division. National League president Bill White warned Vincent that realigning without league approval would be in violation of the National League Constitution.

Many thought this plan would be beneficial to the league as a whole, especially by building a regional rivalry between the new franchise in Miami and the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs, however, opposed the move, suggesting that fans in the Central Time Zone would be forced to watch more games originating on the West Coast with later broadcast times (had the realignment included the use of a balanced schedule, the Cubs would have actually played more games against teams outside their division).

On July 17, 1992, the Chicago Cubs sued Vincent and asked the U.S. District Court in Chicago for a preliminary injunction to prevent implementation, which was granted two weeks later. After Vincent's attorneys appealed, oral arguments were scheduled for August 30 of that year. Ultimately, Vincent resigned before the litigation was scheduled to resume, so as a result, the Cubs dropped their suit.

Although Vincent's vision never really came into fruition, Major League Baseball did in fact realign in 1994, albeit in the form of three divisions in each league, and the addition of an expanded playoff format.

His relationship with baseball's owners was always tenuous at best; he resigned in 1992 after the owners gave him an 18–9 no confidence vote. The owners were still angry at Vincent over his intervention during the 1990 lockout. The owners were also disappointed by dwindling television ratings in light of a $1.2 billion, four year deal with CBS (which ultimately cost the network $500 million) beginning in 1990 (Vincent's first full season as commissioner) and upwardly spiraling salaries. (It is also important to note that CBS itself contributed to decreasing ratings thanks to the haphazard scheduling of Game of the Week broadcasts during the regular season to the point that fans grew tired of tuning into no baseball on summer Saturdays.) They also accused him of acting in a high-handed manner, especially in the Howe affair.

He was replaced by Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig, whose family continued to maintain ownership over the Brewers. Fay Vincent was never able to complete the five year term that he had inherited from Bart Giamatti. Vincent would later contend that Major League Baseball made a huge mistake by not appointing his deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg — the son of the Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg — as the commissioner.

After stepping down from the commissioner's office, Vincent became a private investor and the president of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Vincent would serve as the NECBL’s president from 1998 to 2003.

In 2001, when baseball owners voted to contract two clubs, Vincent criticized them for not consulting the players' union. In 2002, Vincent wrote his autobiography entitled The Last Commissioner: A Baseball Valentine.

Fay Vincent has also been critical of Major League Baseball's handling of the dreaded strike in 1994. Some observers feel that Vincent's absence (or any other permanent commissioner at the time) could have been a decisive turn in finding a compromise agreement. Vincent believes that the strike turned out to be a lost cause since the end result was federal judge Sonia Sotomayor ruling that work had to resume under the previous collective bargaining agreement. Vincent has hinted that he believes that the strike was instigated by the owners (including his successor Bud Selig) who were frustrated by their diminishing power over the MLBPA. Vincent strongly believes that the cancellation of the World Series in 1994 (the first time that there wasn't a World Series played in 90 years) was a major mistake.

In March 2006, Vincent called on baseball to investigate (similar to the Dowd Report surrounding Pete Rose) possible steroids use by Barry Bonds, saying the cloud hanging over his pursuit of the home run record is a crisis akin to the Black Sox scandal from 1919.

Fay Vincent also believes that the only franchises in Major League Baseball to have a chance to win are the ones that have their own regional sports networks. Vincent has credited Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner as one of the first to capitalize on this.

On October 18, 2007, Vincent appeared with sportscaster Bob Costas at Williams College for "A Conversation About Sports", moderated by Will Dudley, Associate Professor of Philosophy.

On May 18, 2008, Fairfield University conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Mr. Vincent where he served on the Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2002; and he created the need-based Alice Lynch Vincent Scholarship Fund in memory of his mother in December 1996.

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Source : Wikipedia