Sunday's roundup: Selig, Schuerholz make Hall
Oxon Hill, Md. — Bud Selig oversaw baseball during a time of transformation and turmoil — wild cards and a ballpark boom, the cancellation of a World Series and the Steroids Era. For much of his reign, though, there was one constant: those first-place Atlanta Braves, built by John Schuerholz.
Selig, a former commissioner and Schuerholz, a longtime general manager, met up again Sunday, both elected by an overwhelming margin to the Hall of Fame. Even so, Selig didn’t see it as a sure thing.
“It reminded me of many a ninth inning when I used to pace around,” the one-time owner of the Milwaukee Brewers said on a conference call.
Schuerholz was picked by all 16 voters on a veterans committee at the winter meetings in suburban Washington. Selig was listed 15 times.
“The ultimate of honors,” Schuerholz said.
It took 12 votes for election, and former player and manager Lou Piniella was third with seven. Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire and George Steinbrenner also were on the ballot considered by the Today’s Game Era panel, and none of them got more than five votes.
Selig became the fifth of 10 commissioners to reach the Hall. He will be enshrined July 30 in Cooperstown, New York — on his 83rd birthday.
His election was sure to draw fire from fans who link him to some of the game’s darkest moments.
He called off the 1994 World Series during a players’ strike. He was in charge when illegal steroids left a cloud of performance-enhancing drugs that still lingers — and that might prompt some to wonder whether power hitters and power pitchers who benefited from PEDs should now be welcomed to the Hall, too.
“Sometimes in life you have to go through certain things to maybe solve the problem,” Selig said.
Under Selig, the playoffs expanded from four teams to eight to 10 and the leagues were split into three divisions. Video replay was added to review umpire calls, revenue sharing was put in place and 20 new stadiums opened across the majors.
“We were a sport resistant to change,” he said. “And, yes, I believe in those years as commissioner, that’s the most change in baseball history.”
There was no variance, however, once Schuerholz took over as GM of the Braves in the winter of 1990.
Atlanta had never won even a single playoff game in its 25-season existence before going from worst-to-first in its first year under Schuerholz, starting an unprecedented run of 14 straight division titles.
The Braves were boosted in that time by their Big Three of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, and manager Bobby Cox, all of them already in the Hall. Star third baseman Chipper Jones is expected to join them soon enough.
Schuerholz was the first GM to run clubs that took World Series crowns in both leagues, winning with Kansas City in 1985 and Atlanta in 1995.
“I loved to build teams,” he said.
In 26 years as a GM, his teams won 16 division titles and six pennants.
Around the horn
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League.
McGehee played in 30 games for the Tigers in 2016, posting a .228 batting average.
This will be McGehee’s second stint in Japan. In 2013, he batted .292 with 28 home runs and 93 RBIs while helping the Rakuten Eagles of the Pacific League win the Japan Series.
The 34-year-old can play either first or third base.
... Free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract, a person familiar with the negotiations says.
Holliday, who turns 37 next month, hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games this year, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.
... The Braves have agreed to a one-year deal with left-hander Jacob Lindgren, 23, who is making a comeback from Tommy John surgery.