Selig maintained he understands the anger of Miami Marlins' fans at the decision by owner Jeffrey Loria to sell most of the team's high-paid stars during the offseason — after a last-place finish in the first season of the team's new ballpark, largely financed with public money. He rejected the possibility Loria will sell the team after 2014, the last year Loria would have to share proceeds with Miami-Dade County.
"The owners deny that emphatically," he said. "They've said it publicly. They've said it privately."
As for the New York Yankees, Selig doesn't believe the sale of a share of the YES Network to News Corp.'s Fox division signals the Steinbrenner family would entertain bids for the franchise. As for the Mets, Selig said the team's finances have stabilized following several years of turmoil in the fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
"I have absolutely not a scintilla of doubt that their finances are doing fine," he said. "The situations they faced have been resolved."
Baseball's security officials met Thursday but Selig said no changes are expected in the rules on bags fans can bring to ballparks, generally limited to 16 inches by 16 inches by eight inches. The meeting was scheduled before two bombs were set off at the Boston Marathon last week.
"I wouldn't say that Boston has changed anything," Selig said. "Each club makes its own decision."
He deflected questions about baseball's probe of Biogenesis of America, the closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs to players. Baseball sued the clinic and its backers and has purchased documents that included players' names.
"We have the toughest drug-testing program in American sports. To enforce that program, we have to be aggressive and thorough, and that's what we're doing," he said.
Selig expects his task force in diversity in the game to produce initiatives. MLB says about 8.5 percent of players on this year's opening-day rosters identified themselves as African-American or black, about half the figure from the mid-1970s.
"We'll do better," he said. "I can assure the result of everything we're doing you will see now in the next two or three years, or maybe better than that."
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