05.16.08

Bud Selig on the Art of Going Out on Top

Posted in Baseball at 2:45 am by

MLB is providing it’s own boss, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, a much needed platform from which to pronounce himself a massive success, since no one else has had the courtesy to do it. Seen here, Selig declares his reign “the golden age of baseball … by any standard.” And Selig makes that standard clear “ attendance is up. Nevermind the utterly devalued quality of the product his reign produced: a Federally indicted, despised home run king (whose record breaking night Selig skipped), the smashed credibility of the best pitcher of the era and current subject of an FBI investigation, at least three Congressional hearings, years of ignoring steroids as an owner/commissioner before blaming the players in The Mitchell Report, the collapse of the Expos, allowing Pete Rose Way to exist (not to mention the ESPN production of HUSTLE), and Joe Buck’s continued employment — Selig plans to retire as the biggest success in baseball history, because he says he is.

6 Responses to “Bud Selig on the Art of Going Out on Top”

  1. gregg says:

    These: a Federally indicted, despised home run king (whose record breaking night Selig skipped), the smashed credibility of the best pitcher of the era and current subject of an FBI investigation, at least three Congressional hearings,the collapse of the Expos.

    Are really not his fault. The whole steroid ped issue has been ignored by all sports commissioners for years (the NFL really needs to be taken to task for this) and this issue predates Selig. Bonds being Bonds shouldn’t reflect on the Selig, not sure how he could have stopped that one. Clemens credibility also can’t be laid at his feet (he didn’t instruct him to have relations with a 15 year old girl). Congress having nothing better to do than grand stand on steroids is also not his fault (could they have lobbed bigger softballs at the nfl during those hearings?).

    Selig won against a union that had never lost, the game is more popular than ever, and his owners make gobs of money off of publicly financed stadiums. He also takes all the blame for everything that goes wrong and doesn’t get much credit for things that have gone right. He is the ultimate heat shield for ownership. He has done what other commissioners couldn’t/wouldn’t do.

    I have no love for the man. He set his daughter and son in law up to run the Brewers strait into the ground (while each were paid $1mill/year to do it), used the fact that he controlled 50% (he represented a group of investors) of Brewer stock to do whatever he wanted with the team (and build power within baseball to become commissioner) while never actually owning more than 20% of the team. His reign of terror here ended without 1 world series championship. Its a testament to how bad of a controlling owner that he was that within 5 years of him selling the team it has a chance to be relevant again. He also is a huge asshole who feels the need to be coddled whenever he is out on the town in Milwaukee.

    No doubt Selig deserves criticism. The fact that this video exists is damning all by itself. I like this blog because critical thinking is required here but most of the above criticisms are just reciting mainstream media’s tired and frankly intellectually insulting critiques of Selig. I know you can do better.

  2. Ben Schwartz says:

    The fact that Selig let steroids evolve into the PR nightmare it has, bringing in Congress, hanging out players to dry — yeah, that’s all his fault. The aftershocks of it are the result of that. Clemens and the teenager is not his fault, but that’s also not why Clemens’ rep is over or why the FBI is investigating him. Selig’s reign has tarnished the accomplishments of every player and team, steroids or not.

    MLB has always taken more heat than other sports over steroids (with the exception of track and field, I guess) and he never — ever — got out in front of the issue. That it ever got as far as it did is all about Bud Selig refusing to solve a problem, or to be unfair, unable to, since he’s the front man for the owners who profited by it.

    As for his success on the business end: previous commissioners never saw themselves as solely business reps for baseball. They safeguarded the credibility of the game since the creation of the office. They often did it to the frustration of owners who have always approached the game the way Bonds and Clemens did. Until I saw this video, I thought Selig’s keeping the job five more years was an act of face saving so that he wouldn’t go down as the commissioner of steroids. Now I realize that was never an real issue in his mind, ever, he’s just trying to figure out how to get Cooperstown renamed Seligville.

  3. WeWanttheFunk says:

    Baseball’s steroids problem becoming a “PR Nightmare” is the direct result – and only the result – of the sport’s popularity. Does anyone ever write about the enormous steroid problem in the CFL?

    As for him seeing himself (and conducting himself) as a business rep for baseball, in contrast to previous commissioners, wake up and smell the millennium. It’s been a business driven country and culture for a couple of hundred years, but never more than in the past decade. In fact, one might argue that a measure of the fan interest is generated by the business of baseball. Salaries are listed on ESPN player pages right along side of the other statistics. No serious analysis of baseball leaves out the business angles anymore, and when a thoughtless national columnist ignores glaring contractual impossibilities while trying to manufacture trade rumors, ROG CALLS HIM OUT! I scarcely have to mention the cottage industry surrounding the cult of Michael Lewis’ book.

    Is this Bud’s Fault? Has he turned the poor, innocent baseball loving public in to a bunch of financially fixated bankers? Hardly. It’s the way things are.

    The guy’s a megalomaniac with the charm and humility of a hyena, so I’m having trouble coming to terms with the fact that you’re having trouble coming up with legitimate criticism.

  4. itsmetsforme says:

    You forgot continually torturing and then screwing national broadcast fans refusing to sign dish/cable deals and then making them accept lesser product in the name of “extra innings” having already sold the rights to many big games to Faux.

    Otherwise a letter-perfect assessment. Why, if his headstone is big enough, I suggest this paragraph be etched on it. And the sooner the better.

  5. GC says:

    I don’t think it would unfair to call Peter Ueberoth a business rep for the owners.

    There’s much of Selig’s reign I can take issue with, and while I doubt there are many Red Sox fans who’d prefer James Dolan’s dad as an owner to Tom Henry, there’s all sorts of fishy business surrounding the Red Sox sale. Along with Jeffrey Loria’s takeover of the Marlins. Reggie Jackson claims he would’ve outbid Lewis Wolff for the A’s, but was instructed by Selig to stay out of the process. Though Selig denies the charge, he cannot claim Wolff isn’t an old frat buddy.

  6. Ben Schwartz says:

    wewantthefunk said:

    “As for him seeing himself (and conducting himself) as a business rep for baseball, in contrast to previous commissioners, wake up and smell the millennium.”

    I get that, I know it’s a business, but it would be hard to argue any previous commissioner as solely a business rep of the league. Gregg pointed out that part of Selig’s success is in beating the player’s union. Whatever your feeling on unions, since when is it the commissioner’s job to beat the player’s union or help them? Or the owners? Pre-Selig, the commissioner used to have authority outside the owners, and be able to broker deals, not rep management.

    What you can argue is that Selig proved once and for all that the credibility of the product and profit are now mutually exclusive ideas. That is, Bonds (and all the rest) can command huge salaries, be known as steroid abusers, and still generate huge profits. Originally, Selig’s office was created so that fans could believe in the product, meaning in 1919 even Shoeless Joe and Buck Weaver were banned for life from the game to make clear that cheats weren’t allowed. The idea was, given baseball’s special arrangement with the gov’t and the presumed need for a credible product, some moral authority was needed to clean the game up. Selig proved that concept is bullshit, as he did the anti-wild card and inter-league play arguments, because fans kept coming anyway.

    Had Pete Rose been exposed under Selig and not Vincent/Giamatti, I wonder if the punishment would have been the same? That said, I love listening to MLB on my computer every day, and am at least glad Selig saw more possibilities in the internet than Buzz Bissinger.

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