So Bud Selig has a new book out. I’m not in the habit of promoting the self-serving drivel of someone who’s done more harm to the game than anyone else in our lifetimes, so I’ll keep this short:
If you want to know about Bud Selig, you don’t need to read anything by Bud Selig. Read “Lords of the Realm” by John Heylar. Read “The Game” by Jon Pessah. Read “Game of Shadows” by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. Read “Blood Sport” by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts. Read “Baseball Cop” by Eddie Dominguez. Read “Field of Schemes” by Neil deMause.
Don’t want to? Don’t worry, I did and good ole’ Bud makes appearances in all of them. Here’s Cliff’s Notes version:
- Bud canceled the World Series because George Steinbrenner wasn’t sharing enough of George’s money. No, it really wasn’t more complicated than that.
- Bud was %100 aware that players were using performance-enhancing drugs to an extent they were being investigated by law enforcement, league-wide, and did nothing. Only after being embarrassed by Barry Bonds a decade later, and concerned about “his legacy” (insert finger in throat) did Bud “get tough” on steroids.
- He brokered deals for his friends (and himself) to get massive revenue-generating stadiums predominantly at our expense – literally.
- Singled out and went after A-Rod above and beyond the manner in which any other player was accused and punished, up to and including okaying the purchase of stolen evidence that was part of an ongoing law enforcement matter as part of MLB’s “investigation”. (This is not to say A-Rod was guiltless in that sideshow. But read up on Ryan Braun – you’ll be shocked that he received only about one third the suspension A-Rod received.)
- Watched the rise and proliferation of human trafficking of Latin American players, many of whom were minors, and looked the other way. Selig’s protégé, Rob Manfred, continues to look the other way today.
- After constant threats to contract teams, one who was the best team in baseball at the time, expanded 4 (FOUR) times. Two of those teams have been embarrassments to baseball, and have had no fan support, more or less since entering the league. (But the teams’ owners are sure doing OK…)
- Was a conspirator in colluding against players in an effort to drive salaries down. When it worked, ticket prices were not lowered, you’ll be shocked to learn.
- Fashioned a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to investigate the extent to which small market teams had no chance of winning – after a season in which the team with the lowest payroll had the best record in baseball. You can’t make that up.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some departures of what would be considered normative behavior for the Baseball Hall of Famer. (His plaque is the only thing that saves Harold Baines from being the most embarrassing plaque in Cooperstown.) So do me a favor: when you see the self-serving and obsequious book tour promotions remember:
The reason it’s so expensive for us to go to games, is in large part, due to Bud.
The reason some of the best players of all time are outcasts is in large part, due to Bud.
The reason a World Series was canceled, was due to Bud, his greed and his frustration borne out of sucking at his job of running the Brewers.
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