FanDuel - WFBC

August 19, 2004

Isn't there anyone better than this guy?: Bud Selig re-ups through the end of the decade. Is there anyone out there that could replace him? Or is it one of those deals where anyone smart enough to do the job is smart enough to not actually want the job?

posted by chicobangs to baseball at 02:15 PM - 28 comments

What would you do differently, chico?

posted by rocketman at 02:16 PM on August 19

Shoot Selig. Er, vote Selig. *runs*

posted by lilnemo at 02:41 PM on August 19

Whenever I think of Bud, I think of a line from Amelie: "Somebody pissed in his mother!"

posted by lilnemo at 02:45 PM on August 19

We should deport the team that loses the All-Star Game. Now THAT one would matter!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:10 PM on August 19

You just don't like him because he's Hungarian. Admit it.

posted by rocketman at 03:16 PM on August 19

When are the Feds coing to step in and put this cartel and its all-powerful boss-man out of its misery.

posted by Dick Paris at 03:28 PM on August 19

I don't know what I'd do differently. I do, however, hold him partly responsible for the '94 strike, and his conflicts of interest and shaky-at-best tiller hand has steered the game into an era where the top half-dozen or so teams are absolutely filthy stinking rich and the bottom third (or half) of the league knows it has no hope for years to come. I hold him personally responsible for the atmosphere of apathy toward fans that pervades major league baseball, and that has completely turned me off of going to games for a decade now. I won't go back until he's gone, and maybe not even then. Baseball has lost me. But if everyone else thinks he's a good commissioner, then I'm sorry I asked, and you can safely skip this thread. Like I said, I didn't say I had a better choice for commissioner. I was just wondering if there was one.

posted by chicobangs at 03:56 PM on August 19

George Will thinks he's the best commisioner ever, and that's good enough for me! Selig is largely to blame for a lot of the problems with baseball today, most glaringly obvious is the fact that the Expos are still not sold, despite the fact that there are at least three groups of people drooling over the the chance to move them. Why does MLB even own them in the first place? Because Selig wanted to get the Red Sox to his buddy John Henry and his other buddy Jeffrey Loria was tired of going to Canada. Oh, and don't forget about how he tried to buy his other buddy Carl Pohlad out of the baseball business. He even managed to ruin the buzz of a close fought and exciting World Series by announcing it less than a week later. And who can forget that he claimed that "St. Louis is closer to Minneapolis than Milwaukee is" (it's not) when asked whether killing off the Twins would help his own franchise. And it was ever so nice of him to blackmail the state of Wisconsin into giving him a brand new stadium essentially for no money down! He really is a car salesman, isn't he? Selig is no more than a waste of a bad haircut.

posted by Jugwine at 04:10 PM on August 19

chico, I meant no offense, but I often hear people complain about Selig without backing up their complaints. I don't know that I'd hold him responsible for the '94 strike - especially seeing how he avoided one two years ago - and I guess I don't know what you mean by atmosphere of apathy toward fans. Care to elaborate on that, and how he's responsible? As a Brewers fan, I've loathed him as owner. But as a baseball fan, I'm indifferent to the prospect of him as commissioner.

posted by rocketman at 04:29 PM on August 19

The sad reality is that when baseball accidently finds that it has a good commissioner, it fires him. It shouldn't be hard to not screw up baseball, but really, with the exception of Bart Giamatti and Fay Vincent (and arguably Ueberroth) there hasn't been one that has been worth a damn. The worst part about Selig is thinking about what he might do. I held my breath all Spring thinking that he might reinstate Pete Rose, but Charley Hustle managed to sucessfully self destruct.

posted by outside counsel at 04:36 PM on August 19

Rocketman - He's an owner of a team and the comissioner of the sport. That's a rather impressive conflict of interest. Yeah, technically his daughter owns it, but if that arrangement has any real significance than I'm a Chinese Jet Pilot.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:59 PM on August 19

outside counsel hit it on the head. The commish works for the owners, and the owners want a weak commish. Even if that commish makes mistake like mishandling a strike or letting the All-Star game end in a tie...one that is malleable to their high-handedness is preferable to free-thinkers like Giamatti.

posted by vito90 at 09:56 PM on August 19

Weedy, when's the next flight to Hong Kong?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:02 AM on August 20

Baseball as a business is so fucked I don't know where to start. Every time I think about the Selig-Brewers conflict of interest, taxpayer screwjob stadium deals (look at the demands on the cities bidding on the Expos now - local governments never learn), shady political tax deals, Selig perjuring himself about baseball's finances, etcetera, etcetera... my head feels like it's going to explode. The stuff on the field is great, but Selig is a menace.

posted by dusted at 12:38 AM on August 20

So judging from this thread, Selig is bad because... 1. The Expos aren't sold yet, which is absolutely killing baseball. 2. He's not too good at geography. 3. He scammed his city on a stadium deal (which no other owner has _ever_ done before). 4. He has a conflict of interest because he is also an owner, and since owners keep weak commisioners they can control, that means he has the opportunity to control himself. Or something. OK, I get it now...

posted by dzot at 08:47 AM on August 20

I, personally, thoroughly dislike him if only for his handling of the Expos situation, back to the beginning. You had a World Series contender cut down by his strike, and then strangled by him through Loria. Maybe the rest of the baseball world is indifferent to the sport's existence in Canada, but that could have been a damned good market, and Selig's back seemed to be always turned to it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:58 AM on August 20

cut down by his strike It was the players' decision to strike. As I said before, I'm indifferent to the prospect of Selig as commissioner. He's clearly doing something right, since attendance is at record highs this year, small-ish market teams have won the World Series in the past three years. With interleague play and an All-Star game that "counts", people are paying attention again. The one thing folks seem to have a problem with in baseball is steroids (and they don't seem to care too much), but how is that the commissioner's fault? He's on the record as supporting stricter testing, it's the union that's stonewalling those efforts. And as to the whole conflict-of-interest business with him owning a team: give me a break. I used to have a problem with it, but then I realized it doesn't matter. Are you afraid he's going to do something to unfairly benefit the Brewers? Well he'll do that even when he doesn't own the team. And do any of you honestly care that Steinbrenner is making a multimillion dollar payment each year to the Brewers? I thought Steinbrenner was the bad guy with too much money.

posted by rocketman at 09:42 AM on August 20

Others are making the case far more eloquently than I, and like I said, I stopped paying really close attention a few years ago, but -- twenty years ago, baseball was the only sport that mattered in the USA. Other sports existed, and had their niches, but baseball was it. But in the last decade, as cable has exploded and worldwide attention has been focused on American sport more and more, football and basketball (even stock car racing, fergodsake, and sadly, we have to leave hockey out of this) have expanded their sport into deep reaches of the rest of the world, ensuring solid revenue streams from new fans all over the planet for decades to come. Meanwhile, baseball, which had a huge head start in the global outreach department, has pissed it away with scandals and poor marketing choices and comparatively little community outreach. Sure, attendance at the games in most places is still high, and there's a game in Tokyo every year, yeah, we know. Then why are the NFL and NASCAR doing better than baseball is now? That decline happened on Selig's watch. That's why he's responsible. And the players may have been the ones who struck, but you know, the World Series was sacred. And he (and Don Fehr, who's equally to blame in my mind) threw that trust away over what wound up being piddly shit. A few million dollars, a few percentage points... the fans and their passion for the game, which is what drives this or any sport, never entered that room, and so the whole baseball universe became this-number-vs-that-number. The moment that became clear was the moment I quit on baseball. They don't need my money. Hell, they don't care if I show up or not. I'll spend that money and time caring about a sport that appreciates its fans, or at least acknowledges they exist. There's plenty of them left, you know. Sorry this got long. (And Phoenix I'll give you, but -- Anaheim was a small-market team? A Disney-owned team in Los Angeles? Really? And Miami is small-market? Since when?)

posted by chicobangs at 10:23 AM on August 20

Are you afraid he's going to do something to unfairly benefit the Brewers? You could argue that he already has - by realigning the Brewers into the NL Central and introducing an unbalanced schedule, he practically guaranteed himself a sellout 8 or 9 times a year when the Cubs come to town. And he sure isn't complaining about revenue sharing, although the Brewers aren't the only beneficiaries of that policy.

posted by mbd1 at 10:37 AM on August 20

NFL commissioner: Paul Tagliabue - 1989 - Present For the prior two decades, Tagliabue represented the NFL as an attorney in areas including television, expansion, legislative affairs, franchise moves, labor and antitrust cases. He was a partner at Covington & Burling, a Washington D.C. law firm, then the NFL's principal outside counsel. His involvement with the NFL began in 1969, during the merger of the NFL and the American Football League, when "Monday Night Football" was being launched. Before that, Tagliabue served in the office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Defense Department, as a policy analyst on European and North Atlantic affairs. On leaving the department, Tagliabue was awarded the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the department's highest award. MLB commissioner: Allan H. "Bud" Selig - 1992- Present Used car dealer from 1955 to 1970, when he bought the Seattle Pilots for 10.8 million and moved them to Milwaukee. hmm...I wonder why there is such a disparity between the leagues?

posted by patrickje at 12:11 PM on August 20

That made me laugh, patrickje - thanks!

posted by dusted at 12:15 PM on August 20

chico: ...twenty years ago, baseball was the only sport that mattered in the USA. Other sports existed, and had their niches, but baseball was it. In 1984? No way. In fact, in 1984 the NBA was in it's golden age and was about to overtake both football and baseball. (Now that's a sport that's really mangled itself.) I'm not sure where baseball was vis a vis football in 1984, but I'm willing to bet they were comparable in popularity. In fact, in 1984, people were going on about how baseball had fallen so far from when it was number one. They've been saying that since about 1962. football and basketball (even stock car racing, fergodsake, and sadly, we have to leave hockey out of this) have expanded their sport into deep reaches of the rest of the world I'm not sure how you're measuring this but it's very hard for me to believe that throughout Latin America and Asia, American football and NASCAR are more popular than MLB. Unless you're counting soccer as football and F1 racing as NASCAR. ;-) Just curious where you got this information.

posted by dzot at 01:45 PM on August 20

This is the third time I'm saying this in this thread: I have no inside information and have no figures, past what I've seen and read through the last 20 years. Stop parsing what I'm saying as if it's a thesis. I'm genuinely asking questions, not trolling. Okay? I do know that neither before nor after Selig became commissioner have I heard anyone (who didn't currently own a major league team) who ever had anything genuinely positive to say about him. ("He's not as awful as everyone says" is not a great reference.) I know that baseball was the dominant sport in what I considered the world 20 years ago. Magic and Bird were just starting to ascend, and Michael Jordan hadn't been drafted yet, and certainly basketball wasn't the global concern it is now. I should have maybe included Indy cars and CART racing in with NASCAR, but damn right they're popular worldwide now. In 1984, it was Americans, a smattering of Europeans and Emerson Fittipaldi n the stock car and Indy car circuits. Now Sounth America, Australia, Africa and Asia are rather better represented at all levels of non-F1 racing. If you want me to come up with names and home phone numbers, contact me offlist. And global outreach (and keeping the home fan bases growing and thriving) is ever-more important in a world where parlor tricks and playground circle-jerks like competitive eating, spelling bees, celebrity poker and dragging 400-pound rocks up and down a Zambian parking lot is considered prime-time sporting entertainment. Baseball is not the dominant force, even in merely North American culture, that it was 20 years ago. No one in this thread has disputed that yet. Or if that's too general a statement and you refuse to buy it, then how about - would someone please convince me that baseball will ever deserve my hard-earned money again? Like, ever, at any point in the next 50 years? Because I'm having problems seeing how they're fixing that image problem. I'll keep reading this thread, but I'm done posting, so if you have any more questions, they're going to go unanswered, and if you think I'm full of shit, then congratulations, I'm out of your hair from here on in. Again, I'm sorry to have ruined everyone's day by implying the Emperor Selig is less than holy.

posted by chicobangs at 02:58 PM on August 20

Bud Selig - Bill Gates without the personality. Or the business sense.

posted by etagloh at 03:08 PM on August 20

I'll keep reading this thread, but I'm done posting, so if you have any more questions, they're going to go unanswered, and if you think I'm full of shit, then congratulations, I'm out of your hair from here on in. Dude, chill. We're just having a conversation. Baseball is not the dominant force, even in merely North American culture, that it was 20 years ago. No one in this thread has disputed that yet. I don't dispute that baseball is not a dominant force. I just dispute that it was 20 years ago. That's not how I remember it. (Of course, I'm old enough that 20 years ago seems like yesterday sometimes.) I don't think it's any worse of now than it was then which is why I have trouble blaming Selig. If you want me to come up with names and home phone numbers, contact me offlist. If you want to make statemnts based on *impression* that's fine. I was just wondering if you read something in particular. Jeez.

posted by dzot at 03:17 PM on August 20

chico, I didn't mean to imply that Selig is holy, just that I don't have an opinion - positive or negative - on his role as commissioner. I asked for elaboration because it seems to me that people often denounce him without explaining why he's so terrible. Sometimes when I ask why he's so terrible, the argument becomes circular. Thank you for elaborating. I don't think I've been convinced to change my non-stance, but I'm glad you took the time to explain where you're coming from.

posted by rocketman at 03:23 PM on August 20

So judging from this thread, Selig is bad because... 1. The Expos aren't sold yet, which is absolutely killing baseball. 2. He's not too good at geography. 3. He scammed his city on a stadium deal (which no other owner has _ever_ done before). 4. He has a conflict of interest because he is also an owner, and since owners keep weak commisioners they can control, that means he has the opportunity to control himself. Or something. OK, I get it now... This is actually really interesting, since I've never heard anyone defend Selig. dzot, if the four things you listed in your earlier comment don't convince you that Selig has to go, then let me add to your list: 5. He perjured himself in front of Congress on the financial state of the game. 6. He cancelled the World Series. Don't tell me the players struck - if they didn't, they were getting locked out anyway. Selig used the World Series as a bargaining tool. 7. He let an All-Star game end in a tie, illustrating his incompetence with his infamous "what can I do?" shrug. C'mon, I know I'm missing about 50 negative things. Perhaps you could start a list of GOOD things he's done for the game?

posted by dusted at 05:01 PM on August 20

Well, 5. I don't know the specific instance you're speaking of, but I doubt he actually legally perjured himself, considering that's a pretty serious crime and I don't know any congressmen who would happily let someone get away with that. He probably twisted and spun the facts to his favor, but that happens in congress every day. That's the way the game is played there. 6. Was that Selig specifically or the owners in concert? If you want ot blame owners for the strike and/or series cancellation OK. But why single out Selig? If he wanted to end the strike do you think he could have muscled the owners. I thought we already decided he is the commish at their pleasure. 7. At the risk of turning everyone's ire from Selig to me, I think that was the right decision. It was, after all, an exhibition. But despite that, everyone seemed to think it was wrong, so he changed it. Now that "it counts" I'm guessing he wouldn't. I should make it clear I'm with rocketman in that I don't have any strong opinion on Selig. And he is probably as obnoxious as any other owner when he's wearing his "owner's hat". But it seems to me a commissioner is primarily responsible for the play on the field, which is quite probably better than it's ever been. The only big issue there is steriods, and he's come out pretty strongly for more comprehensive drug testing, although he doesn't have union agreement yet. So much of this Selig bashing amounts to piling on for the fun of it. Post something over at slashdot about how evil Bill Gates is and you get the same effect. It's fine as sport, but over the top as reality.

posted by dzot at 07:21 PM on August 20

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