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10/07/06 9:10 PM ET

Selig optimistic about labor talks

Commissioner drops by Dodger Stadium for Game 3 of NLDS

LOS ANGELES -- If there was any reason to worry about the upcoming labor negotiations, Commissioner Bud Selig certainly wouldn't have been as calm as he was when he dropped by Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

While in Los Angeles to attend a black-tie dinner, Selig stopped by for Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers.

About 15 minutes before the first pitch, he gave a group of media members every reason to believe Major League Baseball and the Players Association will have no trouble negotiating the new labor agreement. The current one expires on Dec. 19.

"The only thing I'll tell you about negotiations is that quiet is good," said Selig in response to the fact very little is being said about this negotiation process, which has usually created quite a stir over the past three decades.

Actually, Selig wasn't completely mum about the labor talks. He wanted everyone to know that Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor negotiations, has been having a lot of recent success on the golf course.

"Manfred's golf game is good, and that ought to give you the best idea of the state of the labor negotiations," Selig said.

As Selig continued to speak, he expressed excitement about the attendance record Major League Baseball set this year and conveyed his grief concerning the passing of baseball legend Buck O'Neil. The Commissioner learned of O'Neil's passing early Saturday morning.

O'Neil, who was 94 years old when he passed away on Friday, played in the Negro Leagues and worked diligently to open and cultivate the Negro League Museum that is located in Kansas City.

Through his years of being a pioneer as a player, coach and ambassador, O'Neil gained the utmost respect throughout baseball. But he was never elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and that was something that bothered Selig throughout Saturday.

"If you're in baseball and you want to measure people's career by what they did for the sport, how do you top what Buck O'Neil did?"

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As Selig finished saying he would do everything he could to ensure O'Neil is enshrined in Cooperstown, he looked up at a television to see the grand celebration that occurred after the Tigers eliminated the Yankees from the American League Division Series.

"My goodness gracious, this celebration could last all night," Selig said.

While not answering direct questions about the elimination of the Yankees, Selig instead chose to focus on the amazing turnaround the Tigers organization has enjoyed this year. It was just three seasons ago that it endured a 119-loss season.

"It's really an amazing story," Selig said. "It goes to show you the only predictable part of this sport is its unpredictability."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.