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By Murray Chass

January 15, 2017

Donald Trump owned Trump Tower, Trump Castle, Trump Shuttle and Tour de Trump and was preparing to add another enterprise to his portfolio. He was going to own one team, if not two teams, in a proposed new baseball venture called The Baseball League.

“I have agreed to become a part of it, to work with them and make this league a great success,” Trump told me in a 1989 telephone interview. “I see it as a very viable league. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it. We’ll have a long-term contract with a major television network or a number of major networks, including cable.”

Speaking nearly 30 years ago, the then 43-year-old real estate entrepreneur sounded much as he does today when he talks about making America great again. He – and the entire country – can only hope that his current endeavor turns out to be more successful than the baseball venture.

Trump will be inaugurated Friday (Jan. 20) as the 45th President of the United States. Unlike George Bush, the 43rd president, who was managing partner of the Texas Rangers, Trump never became owner of a baseball team, because the league never made it.

Trump might have had something to do with its failure in 1989, though there are conflicting accounts of what happened at a critical meeting. In the different accounts, though, Trump came across as the problem.

In a contemporaneous account I reported in The New York Times, I wrote based on what I was told by a person close to the founders:

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By Murray Chass

January 8, 2017

When Barry Bonds was plodding through the court case in which he was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, Bud Selig carefully and consistently avoided reacting upon hearing his name and the news attached to it.

Selig was in his later years as commissioner of Major League Baseball, and he was not about to let the news media or the rest of the public know how he felt about Bonds, who was widely viewed as a steroids cheat. Selig never commented on Bonds’ status, but I had the feeling that Selig would have been relieved had Bonds been convicted and sentence to prison, where he could no longer intrude on baseball.

The mere mention of Bonds’ name made Selig …

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By Murray Chass

January 1, 2017

There is the regular season, and there is the post-season. Baseball also has an off-season, in which teams make trades and sign free agents. There is, in addition, another season, and we are apparently in it now. Introducing the Silly Season.

Unlike the regular season and the post-season, there are no rules governing the Silly Season. Anyone can play, and many do. Eligibility requires only that you have a silly idea and a place to display it so people can see how silly it is. Ideas can take different forms.

For this Silly Season’s debut, I offer Exhibits A, B and C. I came across A and B on the Internet. Exhibit C came to me in the form of an e-mail from a reader.

Exhibit A

Sports web sites are always looking to post articles in which they proclaim the “10 best” this or the “10 biggest” that. and are especially good with those meaningless measurements. Here is a recent assortment of what I am talking about:

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