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Selig addresses variety of topics in radio show

Selig addresses variety of topics in radio show

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Selig addresses variety of topics in radio show
Commissioner Bud Selig expressed in a radio interview on Tuesday his confidence in the Mets' future, said that contraction has not been discussed and suggested that realignment is something he would like to see down the road.

While joining host Chris Russo on SiriusXM's "Mad Dog Radio" show, Selig confirmed that Major League Baseball gave the Mets one loan recently -- $25 million, according to reports -- but said that reports claiming that the club asked for a second loan and was turned down were untrue.

The Mets face a potential billion-dollar lawsuit stemming from Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, but Selig believes the club will pull through as it seeks a minority owner.

"I know how important a New York National League baseball team is, given the heritage of the Giants and the Dodgers and everything else," Selig told Russo. "Yes, I'm comfortable telling [you] today we'll work our way through this. Absolutely."

A recent Forbes Magazine blog post suggested that there is a "groundswell building in Major League Baseball to dump" the Tampa Bay Rays after 2014, even though the team's lease at Tropicana Field runs through 2027.

Selig said there is no groundswell.

"The only thing I can tell you about contraction is we haven't discussed it at all," he said. "I'm not sure where that came from. We have not discussed contraction at all."

Selig has stated that he plans to retire when his contract expires at the end of the 2012 season, at which point he will have completed 20 years as Commissioner. Before he does that, he said he would like to re-explore the possibility of realignment, though he stated that is "not on our radar right now."

"I wanted to realign things about 13 or 14 years ago," Selig said. "And unfortunately Kansas City didn't want to move, and so then my old team, Milwaukee, moved and it has worked out great. Realignment is something that in the future I really want to look at particularly before I leave."

More at the forefront, though, is the possibility of expanding the playoff field, a much more current topic with the Collective Bargaining Agreement due to expire in December. It's possible that an extra Wild Card team could be added in each league beginning with the 2012 season.

"We're working on that," Selig said. "I'm not sure where we are on that. I like the idea, but we've got a lot of details to work out."

Even more on the forefront than CBA issues, however, is an ongoing Barry Bonds perjury trial, which is currently taking place in San Francisco, with the federal government trying to prove Bonds lied under oath to a grand jury when he said he never knowingly took performance-enhancing substances during his playing days.

Selig said he's not actively following Bonds' trial and said he has been "surprised at the little interest that is in it."

"I'm more concerned with now and what's gone on the last five years," Selig said. "I'm [darn] proud of where we are. We've cleaned up the sport, banned amphetamines, by the way. And so ... we're in a position where, you know, I'm testing for HGH in the Minor Leagues. We have the severest penalties of any sport. I had George Mitchell do all that for me [published in the 2008 Mitchell Report on PED use in baseball], but now we've moved on and there's just nothing more to say."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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