Last year the Yankees won their 27th World Series in franchise history, and first in almost a decade. With the exception of the Phil’s inability to move runners and a few defensive gaffs, it was a well played and entertaining series. But the playoffs, in general, were another story entirely. They were plague by a veritable catalog of every blown call an umpire can possibly make and extended deep into November, all thanks to far too many “off days”.
And all of that was a screaming success compared to LAST years fall classic. Who can forget game five of the Phils/Rays series. The heavens opened up and it was an obvious call. Suspend the game.
Or so we thought, when in the top of the 6th with the Rays down a run, rain poured and the wind howled, conditions which should have halted the game at least an inning earlier. With the game already official, the umpires kept the teams on the field when conditions were unsafe, giving the Rays the most chances to score and keep their hopes alive.
What no one seemed to know is that Commissioner Bud Selig had decided, that no matter what the weather, the rules would be bent and the game would go to completion. The problem was, he only told the owners this – he neglected to pass the information on to managers, players, umpires, FOX and the fans. This complete breakdown in communication resulted in players on the field risking injury, umpires who knew it wasn’t their place to decide the fate of the World Series and fans who looked just miserable. While I applaud Seligs approach to suspend an official game despite the score, I find it despicable that no one was made aware of it before hand. This is just one travesty of the game that Bud has presided over.
In the past, commissioners were elected to expand and improve the game. There have been those on the sides of the players: Happy Chandler, despite a unanimous vote against, upheld the integration of Baseball, Bowie Kent Kuhn who upheld arbitration and free agency, Ford Frick, who took millions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to owners and created the pension fund.
And there have been those on the side of the owners; General William Eckert, a career military man with a business degree, who had never played a day of baseball in his life, *Peter Ueberroth, another business man who lined the owners pockets with millions of dollars from TV deals. Kennesaw Mountain Landis a man who was brought in for the specific purpose to clean up baseball, and our own Alan H. Selig.
Bud is the ninth Commissioner of baseball, the first to be promoted from within the owners fraternity. This is a man who cares nothing for the fans or the players, as an owner he has only one thing on his mind: Rape and pillage to make as much money as you can before you die so you can be buried with it. Much like our friend Mr. Pohlad.
Never before had a commissioner been tied financially to a team. He had to step down as president and CEO of the Brewers, and was forced to sell the team when his status was changed from acting commish to just plain commish. But from the time he began tenure to when he finally sold the team, his stock prices rose, making him millions of dollars on top of his ridiculous $14.5 million salary.
The majority of his tenure has been riddled with embarrassment, the ’94 players strike, the umpire strike, the tied all-star game, that steroid scandal, and most notably for those who read this blog: contraction. There have also been parts of the game I personally don’t like but some seem to enjoy: Interleage play, unbalanced schedule (its good to a point, but why play one team 7 times in April and be done with them for the season?) and the World Baseball Classic. Though, I must admit through gritted teeth that I do enjoy the three division and wild card set-up.
So here we are and this lil tidbit of news comes out:
“The Milwaukee Brewers are erecting a statue of baseball commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it on Aug. 24.
Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers. He became acting commissioner in 1992 and took the job full-time six years later, turning control of the team over to his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb. The Selig family sold the team to a group headed by Mark Attanasio in 2005.
“The Brewers and Miller Park are in this city because of the commissioner’s vision and dedicated efforts,” Attanasio said Monday.”
I hear this and all I can do is think of the immortal Homer Simpson.