I wish the title could have read, “The Fall of the Selig Empire”, but alas I’ll still have to ride his reign out a little longer before such a post will make a joyful appearance. As most of you know by now, I’m no fan of baseball commissioner Bud Selig. I don’t like the way he operates one bit. He has his fingers in everything and knows every little thing that goes on in and around the game. But whenever things go awry he predictably feigns ignorance or naiveté and shrugs his shoulders claiming he knew nothing. Believe me… he knows everything.
The commissioners office was first created to keep ballplayers and baseball team owners honest. The commissioner was supposed to preserve the integrity of the game and protect it from the likes of the greedy sniveling owners who would drag into the abyss if it would mean more profits. The country and congress should have screamed bloody murder on the day team owners voted to ditch Selig’s interim tag and officially name him as MLB Commissioner.
His presence in the office meant only two things - the hell with the integrity of the game, and that the owners were back in control. Poor Kennesaw Mountain Landis must have done a 360 and a quadruple Axel in his grave.
I’ve already ranted plenty over the years on my thoughts about his botched handling of the steroids issue which he intentionally turned a blind eye to for the glory of homeruns and the dollars they translated to. Plus all the other ways he diluted the National Pastime, which can fill a list as long as the elevator ride to his penthouse.
Today, my beef is with the secretive $25 million dollar loan he made under the table to the Mets in November from his own discretionary fund. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he tried to conceal it, the bigger problem (at least to me) was that he stood there and listened to the Wilpons adamantly state that the Mets were on strong financial footing and that the Madoff Ponzi scheme would not effect the day to day operations of the Mets. He knew that there was no truth to what the Wilpons were saying, but he still allowed that assertion to permeate the Mets fanbase and feed the airwaves, knowing fully well that he had just tried to bail the Mets out of a huge financial jam. He also knew that they had already exhausted the $75 million dollar line of credit which is given to all 30 teams. If he were in charge of the country, a horrifying thought to say the least, Selig would have been impeached a long time ago.
If we had a real commissioner, a commissioner who wasn’t joined at the hip to all the owners and their deep pockets, all except the Wilpons whose pockets are not deep at all it now appears, do you think that would have happened?
And yet, Selig wasn’t too busy to butt his nose in and fine Red Sox owner John Henry $500,000 today for making a comment regarding MLB’s failed revenue sharing experiment. SI.com had the quote:
After the 2009 season, Henry said “seven chronically uncompetitive teams received more than $1 billion in revenue sharing” and he wondered, “who could think that was a good idea besides those clubs?”
Yes, that one truthful observation - and one so obvious to everyone, cost John Henry and his Boston franchise a half a million dollars. I guess Henry doesn’t belong to, or tee off at, the same Country Club as Selig and Wilpon.
Too bad for him.
Too bad for the Red Sox.
Too bad for baseball.