View Full Version : Uncle Bud's Folly

Viva Magglio
11-07-2001, 08:31 AM
So Bud Selig wants to run two unofficially named teams through Jerry Angelo's wood chipper. As George pointed out, I don't know how this will fly by MLBPA. The owners will have to pamper MLBPA big time such as allowing 27-man rosters. I don't know if this will lead to a labor stoppage, but it will not make the path to a new CBA any easier. At least there won't be a lockout which reduces the danger of Opening Day not coming in April, but will Fehr dictate otherwise?

Back to Uncle Bud, he is the weakest link. During that press conference yesterday, he went around in circles. He's not sad about the disolvement of two franchises, yet he's said about all the jobs that will be lost as a result. Baseball needs a new commissioner who is not a puppet of the owners.

duke of dorwood
11-07-2001, 08:53 AM
He is about as convincing as OJ. He is exactly the type of commissioner the owners want.

11-07-2001, 10:11 AM
Part of an article by Jon Cook-- Slam Sports

Since Selig took over from previous commissioner Fay Vincent in September 1992, the sport has been distinguished by escalating salaries and payrolls and declining revenues, attendance and television ratings. While 40 million people witnessed Sunday's Game 7 across the continent - the most since 50 million tuned into Game 7 of the 1991 final - the entire series drew the third-lowest ratings in World Series history. Compared to the 84 million who watched the Super Bowl and the 42 million who watched the Survivor-II premier, it's not hard to tell people aren't interested in watching a slow-moving sport played by a bunch of millionaires for a group of fat-cat billionaires.

How can the average North American identify with Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez and his $250 million US contract? Is ARod to blame for the ridiculous contract? No. Is Rangers' owner Tom Hicks to blame for giving it to him? No, he was just doing what any owner would if he had the means. The real blame lies with Selig.

If ever baseball needed a strong commissioner to force owners to toe-the-line between competition and financial ruin, it's now. But Selig, an owner himself, sits on his duff while owners try to one-up each other in signing players to nine-figure contracts. In time even Rodriguez's deal will seem ordinary and that's what's wrong with baseball.

A hard-nosed commissioner like Bowie Kuhn would NOT have sat by while the sport unraveled around him. He would have marched into that owner's meeting and knocked some heads together until everyone saw it his way. From 1969-84 Kuhn successfully tackled declining attendance, mismanaged teams, the advent of free agency and salary arbitration, the 1981 strike and broadcasting revenues.

Contraction wouldn't have been the answer - not on his watch.

Selig is no Kuhn. He's not even a Vincent, who was deposed in a non-confidence vote by owners because he had the brass to banish George Steinbrenner from baseball and let it be widely known that he didn't support lockouts.

Selig is a puppet. He even confessed that he never entertained the idea of contraction, until Rockies' owner Gerry McMorris broached it with him in 1999.

"You'll have to define why it's a sad day," responded a feisty Selig yesterday. "Everything in life changes. We have spent thousands and thousands of hours over the last 10 months and there was nothing we haven't thought about."

How about taking the $500 million you plan to buyout the Expos and Twins with and use it instead to fund new stadiums in those cities? We saw how well new stadiums worked to turn around struggling franchises in Cleveland, Atlanta and Seattle. Had contraction allowed to be tabled a decade ago those teams might not exist.

Heck Selig's Brewers fronted just $50 million of their own money to build the $400-million Miller Park. Most of it was paid for by taxpayers in Wisconsin and the Miller Brewing Company. He then awarded his stadium the 2002 All-Star Game to help further offset construction costs. He wasn't so kind to small-market Pittsburgh, who just built the $350-million PNC Ballpark.

Selig might even personally benefit from the elimination of the Minnesota Twins, as the Brewers would then be able to attract a good deal of the Twin Cities' annual "effective buying income" of more than $65 billion, twice as much as Milwaukee's $32 billion annual income. The Brewers would effectively become Minnesota's team.

When Selig took the job as commissioner, he promised to solve the problem of

financial disparity among clubs that threatens to ruin baseball. His solution is that with fewer teams you have less disparity. But contraction is a slippery slope. Once you go down that path, what's to stop you from going back down again and again? It's like a fast ride that makes you sick, but when you get off you want to get right back on.

Soon we may be back to levels not seen since 1898 when baseball last reduced its membership - the National League shrank from 12 to eight teams. There's a reason it hasn't happened in more than a century Bud.

The lawsuits alone are enough to make your head spin, as lawyers form a conga-line to dance at Selig's expense, and more importantly at baseball's expense. It's not easy to wipe out 50 union jobs, not to mention the stadium lease agreements and countless other ways a professional baseball team affects the livelihood of a municipality.

Obviously Selig is prepared for the maelstrom. "Are the solutions sometimes more painful than you'd like? Yes quite possibly," he remarked. "We took the step because we felt it was necessary. I'm the one who has all the facts at hand and I've shared them with the clubs and for better, for bad they agree."

Well it's certainly for bad, Bud.

If, like the Greek goddess Venus, baseball must eat two of it's children, then there's something seriously wrong with this family.

"We're plowing new ground here. Obviously no modern American sport has ever done this. Is this a tacit admission that there's something fundamentally wrong? I don't think so."

What Selig is proposing is akin to a fox gnawing off its leg to free itself from a hunter's trap. The fox may well get its freedom back, but its considerably weakened, being left with just three legs on which to support itself. How will it outrun the hounds that pursue it in the future?

If in the end this is just a ruse to try to get some leverage against the Players' Union in the negotiating of a new collective bargaining agreement, is it really worth the cost?

duke of dorwood
11-07-2001, 10:46 AM

Unassisted by Uncle Bud

11-07-2001, 02:28 PM
Think about Selig's track record as the Brewers' owner. TWICE he cut into possible out of town fans. First, he moved the Brewers into the Eastern Division after the Senators moved in 1971, losing one series vs the Sox, and later, the Brewers move to the National League, losing assured cvisists from the Sox each year. Either he's a supreme idiot or he's allergic to Pale Hose.

Viva Magglio
11-07-2001, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by Railsplitter
Think about Selig's track record as the Brewers' owner. TWICE he cut into possible out of town fans. First, he moved the Brewers into the Eastern Division after the Senators moved in 1971, losing one series vs the Sox, and later, the Brewers move to the National League, losing assured cvisists from the Sox each year. Either he's a supreme idiot or he's allergic to Pale Hose.

But I had all the facts, just as I do here.

11-07-2001, 10:31 PM
In reference to the post about the brewers moving to the natioal league. That was actually a smart move as Milwaukee was formerly a NL town. And besides, losing games against the sox was made up by a new rivaly with the cubs.