Allen Huber Selig “loves” interleague play. Selig whose title on “Rounding Third” is Angel of Death works at MLB headquarters on Park Ave. in Manhattan; he occupies the office once held by Faye Vincent who was the last independent Commissioner of Baseball. Selig and his minions arranged the removal of Vincent in 1992.
For those not familiar with mid-town Manhattan, Park Ave. is one block removed from Central Park East, RadioCityMusic Hall, the Empire State Bldg. and the Guggenheim Museum. It is among the most expensive real estate on the planet and it takes serious money to put that address on your business card. Money is what “Toxic” Selig is all about. Selig likes being called “Bud”, pencil-necked geeks love nicknames, it makes them feel like one of the guys. Hope he likes his new one.
One of his ventures during his twenty years of selling America’s Pass Time to any and all with a fist full of cash was Interleague Play which he introduced at the height of the steroid era in 1997. This years mating of the leagues began this past weekend and FOX moved its Game of the Week to prime time and renamed it to Baseball in America. FOX and Toxic gave us a meeting between two last place teams, the Phillies and the Red Sox. Captivating… hardly. Missing were Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford, closer Andrew Bailey and Jacoby Ellsbury. Was there a better choice? I believe that a game between two first place teams like the Dodgers and the Cardinals should have gotten the prime time spot. But I’m not Toxic, I don’t “love” interleague and Alphabet City (FOX) doesn’t own me. Incidentally a USA Today poll reported in Sports Weekly last year reported that 71% of baseball fans would favor eliminating or reducing interleague play.
Next year Toxic will give us wall to wall Interleague play from April until seasons end, any day with a full schedule will have interleague games. Perhaps some Mondays and Thursdays will be pure. There is one reason to look forward to next year; it will be Toxic Selig’s last year as Angel of Death. Seems we have heard that before though.