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Saturday, August 3
Updated: August 4, 9:46 AM ET
Selig believes Twins have little chance for growth

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Despite the Minnesota Twins' on-field success this season, baseball commissioner Bud Selig maintains the team is no less a candidate for contraction than it was a year ago.

Speaking at a journalism convention on Saturday, Selig called the team's success this year an "aberration.'' Minnesota, which owns the biggest division lead of any team in the American League, is the only small market team performing well this year, he said.

The Twins and Montreal remain the two teams in the league with the least potential for growth, Selig said. "There's no secret. They're number one and number two,'' he said.

Selig praised Twins management for putting together a division-leading team. But he said Twins executives have told him they're worried they won't be able to afford their top players next year.

Selig added he doesn't believe the Twins' fortunes will change without a new stadium. "The Vikings will tell you that, too,'' he said.

Both the Twins and NFL Vikings have proposed new stadiums and sought government assistance to get them financed. The Minnesota Legislature prepared a financing package for a Twins stadium this spring but limited local assistance in a manner that put Minneapolis out of the running for retaining the team.

But St. Paul, the main beneficiary of the legislation, decided not to proceed with a referendum for new taxes to help finance the stadium after the Twins refused to commit to moving there. That means the issue will likely go back to lawmakers next session.

Complicating the team's future is the desire of owner Carl Pohlad to sell it. It's unclear whether prospective buyers will take on a team with the existing uncertainty about a stadium.

Selig appeared on a panel on sports and the media at the National Association of Black Journalists national convention.

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