Bud Selig, reminding us who's number one

Bud Selig, reminding us who’s number one

So we’re about to have a new commissioner are we? I’m always of two minds about a change like that. It can be good. It can be horrid. I guess we’ll find out soon enough which, if either it turns out to be this time. But first we have to say good-bye to the old commissioner. Here’s a few thoughts on Bud Selig.

First, as with getting a new commissioner, I’m of two minds about the old one. He, like most of us, got some things right. He, like most of us, got some things utterly wrong. In your life you hope the former is true more often than the latter. You also hope that’s true about the commissioner of any sport.

He has three strikes against him that bother me a lot (so technically, I guess he’s out). One is the way the 1994 strike and postseason were completely botched. I’m not sure how much I blame Selig for it, but he’s certainly at least partially responsible. The second is the whole problem with the All Star Game. First there was a tie then to fix that they decided to have the winning league have home field for the World Series. Imagine that. Home field for the World Series is determined by who wins an exhibition game that most managers still treat as an exhibition. Finally, of course there is the whole steroid issue. Selig did a good job of looking like he was out ahead of the game, once it became obvious to we peons that there was a steroid game going on. But he really wasn’t ahead of the game. As far as I can tell he was complicit in the entire thing, at least in the sense of turning a blind eye to it and saying “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” Maybe I’m wrong there, but it’s going to take a lot of effort to convince me otherwise.

So what did he get right? Well, the Major Leagues expanded twice bringing baseball to Colorado, Arizona, and Florida (both Tampa and Miami). Also he facilitated the move from Montreal to Washington. I know that set up the awful problems Miami has, but it did bring baseball back to the nation’s capital, a place where it should be. The expanded playoffs have worked. It’s more exciting coming down the stretch than it used to be (but of course not every year) and more teams make the postseason, which is good for their fan base. I initially thought interleague play was an awful idea. I was wrong. I love watching the Dodgers play the Angels, the two Texas teams take on each other (until Houston moved to the AL), The Cards face the Royals. You also get the Rockies-Twins, but if you do interleague play you have to take the great with the goofy. But mostly, he’s managed to keep labor peace and for that I can forgive a multitude of other sins.

Now Selig rides off into the sunset (as a car dealer I guess he uses an automobile rather than a horse). As with every other commissioner he’s had his warts, but he’s also had his positive actions. I suppose the best thing I can say is that he’s had his moments, some good, some not so good. Adios, Bud.



8 Responses to “Bud”

  1. Gary Trujillo Says:

    check out this barf-fest

  2. William Miller Says:

    I know I’m probably being unfair, but I could never stand the guy. I do agree with you, though, that the expanded playoffs are a good thing. It will certainly be interesting to see if the new Commish is a status quo kind of guy (which wouldn’t be a bad thing, if it means no more work stoppages), or if he’ll turn out to be a disaster.
    Time will tell.
    Nice post,

  3. steve Says:

    from used car salesman in Milwaukee to commish and a statue to boot. not a bad life. He was one of the few owners who hung out with the players and fans back in the early 1980’s. A real approachable guy; always selling something, but never snobby.

    It always seems like the things that bother people in other people are the things they do themselves like invisible hypocricy or something, like people secretly longing to have a statue of themselves and they can with a picture on their blog. What the hell do I know except that I liked your post; very human, reminds me no one is perfect.

  4. glenrussellslater Says:

    How is it unfair not to be able to stand Bud Selig, Bill? I can’t stand Bud Selig, either. I think that he’s damaged baseball on so many different ways.

    Although some things were okay. The inter-league play has been good. Other than that, I can’t think of anything good he’s done.

    And that IS a barf-fest that you put up on there, Gary. I felt like barfing, all right. First of all, any video that has both George W. Bush AND Bud Selig is certainly nauseating.

    Then, there’s the way that Henry Aaron kept on talking about Bud Selig like he was the greatest person ever. Yech. I was kind of disappointed, too, as I don’t believe that Henry Aaron truly believed all of the stuff that he was saying. I thought that Aaron was honest in the things that he said. I don’t think that he was in this case. I was disappointed and surprised, too.

    V, I enjoyed the post.


  5. glenrussellslater Says:

    And a STATUE of Bud Selig? Yech AGAIN. Bring on the pigeons!


  6. glenrussellslater Says:

    Steve, being picked as commissioner of baseball is NOT a status symbol, except among the owners, who are the ones who vote for commissioner. The owners WANT someone they can kick around. I guess that Bud Selig fit the bill. Fay Vincent certainly didn’t fit the bill; he refused to be kicked around by the owners.


  7. wkkortas Says:

    I’ve always felt that Selig was part bumbling grandfather, part Teflon Don, and maybe a little Chauncey Gardener from Being There. I think that most of the good things that happened to MLB happened more in spite of Bud as opposed to because of him, and the last CBA he was part of was basically designed to consign small and mid-market teams to second class citizenship in perpetuity. The fact that he will have a plaque in Cooperstown while Marvin Miller will be outside looking in is a bad joke. So long, Bud, and don’t let the door hit you in the wallet on your way out.

  8. Miller Says:

    Because it would take a few thousand words to thoroughly explain my disgust with inter-league play, particularly in its most recent iteration, I’ll instead take the less common position on the All-Star Game. I don’t hate the current system, at least not compared to what it was. Hear me out.

    While the All-Star Game is indeed an exhibition that managers don’t really try to win and during which pitchers happily serve up meatballs to retiring Yankee shortstops, the old system, which was nearly as random, received only a fraction (and a tiny one at that) of the negative criticism. The old system just traded home field every other year. Why is that a good system? It’s not. It’s a terrible system. So Bud turned something terrible into something else that’s terrible but at least interesting. I’ll take that.

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