Commissioner pays visit to Wrigley Field

Updated 8/24/2011 10:43 PM

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig visited Wrigley Field on Wednesday night, saying it was a part of his annual rounds.

Selig took questions on a variety of subjects, some related to the Cubs and some of a general baseball nature.

•On whether the Cubs had a chance for the 2014 All-Star Game to mark the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, Selig said he has yet to announce the site of the 2013 game but the idea of the Cubs hosting in 2014 is "appealing" to him.

•On the major leagues expanding the number of playoff teams by two, Selig said the feedback has been positive.

"Good feedback, compared to what I got in 1993," he said of adding the wild-card round. "I was torn apart by almost anybody, not everybody. It's worked out so well everybody wants two more (teams).

"We're talking about it. We haven't finalized anything, but they have appeal to me. We have work to do on it. The idea has significant appeal to me."

•On his confidence level in the Ricketts family owning the Cubs and in picking a new general manager to replace Jim Hendry, Selig sounded enthusiastic.

"He's young, aggressive," Selig said of chairman Tom Ricketts. "Great family. People always said to me, 'You know, the Cubs need a family owning this club. And one that we can identify with.'

"We all understand winning covers up a multitude of sins. I think Tom Ricketts and his family are off to an excellent start. They've got a lot of work to do. They know they have a lot of work to do.

"He is eminently capable of choosing the right guy."

•On whether baseball needs a "hard-slotting" system and an international draft, Selig was firm in his support for both. The Cubs were one of many teams that went well over the unofficial recommended dollar-slotting amounts to sign draft picks this year.

"I said last week in Cooperstown and other places we need a slotting system," he said. "We need an international draft, and we need a slotting system. There's no question about that in my mind. It's all part of the CBA; it's a business question. I believe that we need it."

Selig closed by saying he is not considering moving World Series games to warm-weather, neutral sites.

"A club fights for years to get in the playoffs," he said. "And then you're lucky enough to get into the World Series. Can you imagine explaining to Cub fans why you've taken the World Series to somewhere? No, I wouldn't even think about it."

No deal:

Reports surfaced Wednesday that first baseman Carlos Pena was claimed on waivers by the New York Yankees. The Cubs can either let Pena go to New York, try to work out a deal with the Yankees or pull him back off waivers.

It's unlikely the Cubs will let Pena go, according to multiple sources.

Encouraging report:

Cubs manager Mike Quade said he was encouraged by pitcher Andrew Cashner's initial rehab start Tuesday night for the Cubs' Class AA Tennessee farm club.

Cashner, who is coming back from a strained right rotator cuff, may make 3 rehab starts for Tennessee before moving up to Class AAA Iowa. If all goes well, he could be back with the Cubs in early September to work out of the bullpen.

"High 90s (mph) is good," Quade said. "I heard he topped that, the high 90s. He struck a couple hitters out and gave up basehits. But I think the velocity and the fact that he's healthy are really the only things I care about first time out."

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