There are term limits in politics. Someone please tell me why there isn’t the same thing in Major League Baseball?
Bud Selig has been the commissioner of baseball since 1992. That is about 20 years too long. He was supposed to step down and America’s pasttime was going to find a new leader. Now he has signed on for another two years. His first order of business, add more teams to the playoffs. Ten teams, possibly as early as the 2012 season. Are you kidding me? What is this the NHL?
Look, Bud is from the lucky sperm club. He is not a self made man. He was a used car salesman that never upgraded his image. In 1970 he bought the Seattle Pilots from bankruptcy and moved them to his home town, Milwaukee. Because he didn’t have enough time to order new uniforms and change the colors, the Brewers first unis were the Pilots old ones with the stitching taken out and re-embroidered. His original idea was to pay tribute to the heritage of Milwaukee minor league baseball with the name and color, red, white and blue. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
Then, since he was such a great owner, ha, (I wish there was a sarcasm font) he was appointed commish. He has never uttered the words, “In the best interest of baseball.” He allowed the Florida Marlins (they were called that before selling out to the City of Miami) to fire sale not one but two World Series Champions. He moved the 2000 All Star Game from Miami to Atlanta because of ownership issues. Who is supposed to look out for ownership issues? The commissioner! He let the same guys that drove the Montreal Expos into the abyss to buy the Florida Marlins when MLB bought the Expos and moved them to our nation’s capital. This is the same guy that declared an All Star Game a tie. A TIE? You know, the same thing as kissing your sister? I could go on and on about Bud Selig but I think you get the point. Oh, by the way, for the majority of his career as the leader of the sport I love, he ran it from Milwaukee not New York City. How can you really be taken seriously as a commissioner or a sport if you are making day to day decisions from the beer capital of the USA? Forget the fact that he bought his suits off the rack.
I am feeling a little bit better, but alas I have to return to point. Ten teams in the playoffs? The Wild Card concept has proven to be successful. The idea that the league that wins the All Star game earns home field advantage for the World Series versus the team with the better record. Eh. Not a fan of that. Expand the playoffs, to quote John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious!?!”
Yep, Bud is serious. He has taken this magical game baseball and turned it into every other sport. Baseball is special. It is the oldest professional team sport. The one in which records used to matter. Well they did before he took over. Then he allowed a strike that cancelled a World Series and then he allowed steroids to take over the game so that baseball could make a come back. We all loved the 1998 season and the home run race between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. But that was all a sham. They were both juiced. As was Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and others. Those guys were among the best in the late 90’s and early 00’s, but now we knew it was all drugs and mirrors.
So for all the “good” I have already described (again, where is that sarcasm font?) Bud gets not only two more years, but he gets to bastardize the game of baseball even further. The owners rubber stamp this because they hired “their guy” and it will make them more money.
It’s a crime
Share it fairly
But don’t take a slice of my pie
My apologies to Pink Floyd for quoting them in a column about Bud Selig but those lyrics perfectly sum up what has been the theme of his tenure.
Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill made a wonderful, inspiring movie called “Moneyball” about Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and how he made baseball work in the world Bud Selig created. It was inspiring how Beane found a way to make his team matter when the game was relegated to the world of the have and the have nots. Please, no one make a movie called “Buddyball” because I couldn’t sit though that horror film. We have all lived it for the past two decades.
Thanks Bud for destroying baseball. The integrity. The records. The purity.
Someone let me know when there is someone in charge of baseball that has the balls to utter those magical words, “In the best interest of baseball!”