Commish or Capo?
July 16, 2002 11:53 PM   Subscribe

Commish or Capo? Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig has been sued under the RICO Act for wire and mail fraud. The charge stems from his attempt at the contraction of two teams in Major League Baseball.

Mr. Selig can't seem to get a break from bad publicity. Does he deserve one?
posted by Argyle (6 comments total)
No, he doesn't deserve one. He has run a once proud Brewers franchise into the ground, and told bald-faced lies to congress with what he hopes is impunity. His entire term as commisioner is a sham, thinly veiled as being in the owner's interest entirely. Fay Vincent attempted to strike a balance, and was promptly discarded like a used tampon. At a minimum, congress must revoke the anti-trust exemption granted by the Supreme Court in 1921, and the players must accept some sort of salary cap, George and his yankees be damned.

Another work stoppage will likely sound the death knoll for a sport I am passionate about. Selig's collusion with Polhad and Loria crosses the border of the criminal in my eyes.

I hope both parties come to their senses in time, there is likely to be little public sentiment for either the millionaires or the billionaires. As for Bud, I wish it had been a purgury indictment rather than a lawsuit...
posted by scottymac at 12:59 AM on July 17, 2002

I agreed with you, Scotty, right up until this point:

the players must accept some sort of salary cap

Why should they? It's not the players' fault owners continue to overpay bad players. When replacement-level talent is easily available in the form of minor league free agents, or younger talent that simply hasn't gotten a shot in the bigs yet, for the minimum, and yet owners would rather pay $5 million a year to sign a "proven veteran", when the only thing proven about him is that he sucks.

Why should the players suffer when the owners do things like sign a mediocre outfielder to a $7 million-per-year deal and then complain that his small-market team has no chance of competing? The owners will never get a salary cap because the players' union is much stronger than the owners' one (not the case in all sports). And besides, if the teams' financial situations are as dire as Selig claims in his efforts to erode interest in the game, the owners are the ones who can't afford a strike, not the players.

Between Commissioner Bud's anti-marketing campaign, the dirty, dirty dealings lying in his relationship with Jeffrey Loria, and the contraction debacle, I have no sympathy for him or the other owners whatsoever.

And my last point: if a salary cap is implemented, all that means is that the owners make more money. They aren't going to lower ticket prices. They aren't going to lower concession prices. They aren't going to lower merchandise prices.

Baseball should get a comprehensive revenue-sharing plan, Selig should step down, and a commissioner who wants what's best for the game and is not just a shill for the owners should be elected. That just might do the trick.
posted by nath at 1:46 AM on July 17, 2002

No, he doesn't deserve one. He has run a once proud Brewers franchise into the ground, and told bald-faced lies to congress with what he hopes is impunity.

And don't forget -- he stole the Seattle Pilots, too. He's not going to get any sympathy in this part of the country.
posted by litlnemo at 2:39 AM on July 17, 2002

It's not the players' fault owners continue to overpay bad players.

Agreed. Look at the money Craig Paquette is getting from the Tigers and tell me there isn't a minor league player out there who could put up the same stats for a minimum salary. That was their brilliant off-season signing, a man who has previously posted on-base percentages below his batting average.
posted by yerfatma at 4:23 AM on July 17, 2002

Does he deserve one?

No. Just hearing the man's name should make any true baseball fan's blood boil, for about twenty different reasons.
posted by sj at 7:31 AM on July 17, 2002

Seems like a salary cap and revenue sharing have worked for the NFL. Why not baseball? I mean, Vladimir Guillermo's contact is up for negotiation at the end of the season, and his agent is already talking numbers like $250 million over ten years. That's ridiculous. The guy might be the Next Big Thing, but he sure won't be playing for the Expos.

Because of the salary cap and free agency, there is less player solidarity in the NFL, and more movement of players between teams, which kinda sucks for the fans, but the result is that with very few exceptions (Rams on one end and Lions on the other) on Sunday any team has a pretty good chance against any other, which makes for tighter games, more focus on individual playmakers, and fewer one-sided snorefests, which is great for the fans.

I think similar changes are necessary for baseball to survive. And the way players are traded needs examination, too, as any Red Sox fan will tell you. As soon as they put together a team that can challenge the (boo hiss!) Yankees, ol' George reaches for the checkbook and there goes half the squad.

My personal solution: support minor-league ball. Of course, here in Birmingham, AL, it ain't much of a choice, since it's a 2.5-hour drive to Turner Field to see the Braves versus a 2.5-minute drive to Hoover Metro Stadium to see the AA farm club for the ChiSox, the Birmingham Barons. It's cheap, it's a great park to watch baseball in, the beer is cold, the hot dogs are edible, and the players are trying hard to get noticed, so it's fun to watch.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:47 PM on July 17, 2002

« Older Man and his family booted off airplane after...   |   Amazon does a Google! APIs for everyone! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments