CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is sorry the sport didn't act sooner to fix its problems - with the reserve clause.
Selig remained mum Friday about steroids and whether he would attend games when Barry Bonds has a chance to break Hank Aaron's home run record. But the commissioner did offer an apology of sorts for the baseball rule that kept players bound to their original teams in perpetuity.
The clause prevented players from changing teams or reaping the benefits of the free market until Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith won an arbitration case overturning it in 1975.
``That should have been modified decades before someone like me came into the sport,'' Selig, who became the Milwaukee Brewers' owner in 1970, said after receiving an award from the Sports Lawyers Association. ``Change was long overdue, and some balance to the relationship was necessary.''
Talking to a crowd of sports lawyers that also included several prominent agents and union and team executives, the former car dealer joked he has been ``practicing law without a license for many years.''
After rattling off some of the sport's financial highlights, Selig said the sport is better off now than it was in the 1940s and '50s - generally considered the golden age of baseball. And he said the recent labor peace, which would stretch to 16 years by the end of the current agreement, is a big reason why.
``So much of our success has been made possible because of our improved relationship with the players,'' he said.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino called Selig ``the Harry Truman of baseball commissioners'' and said changes such as interleague play and the wild card make Selig the most accomplished of the sport's leaders.
``It has been an extraordinary run - utterly remarkable and positively historic,'' Lucchino said.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Opening 2018 World Series Odds The 2018 World Series opening odds have been released. Who is favored, who is the biggest challenger, and who is also in the mix?
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Are the Houston Astros going to clinch their first-ever World Series title Wednesday night in Game 7 with an upset win at the Los Angeles Dodgers? Game time is...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Can the Houston Astros clinch their first-ever World Series title Tuesday night in Game 6 at the Los Angeles...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to ride Clayton Kershaw to a victory over the host Houston Astros in a pivotal Game 5 of the World Series Sunday night? First pitch is at...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Houston Astros going to win a third straight game over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night in Game 4 of the World Series? First pitch is at...

MLB Team Pages