At the close of the General Manager meeting in Orlando last month Allan Huber (Bud) Selig offered up to the press his desire to add another wildcard and another round to the playoffs. The response from the GM’s was favorable, but not for a one game playoff. Selig did not expect that such a change would be in place until 2012.
Bud Selig is in a damage control mode as his time as Commissioner draws to a close. He is widely thought of as the author of the ill will between the MLBPA and ownership, reverting back to the 280 M dollar payment by baseball to the players as the result of a court finding ownership guilty of collusion.
He was acting Commissioner when baseball shut down in 1994 cancelling the World Series. He was Commissioner when the steroid era flourished putting the records of a century of baseball in conflict. He was the Commissioner when the All-Star game was played to a tie. He was the Commissioner when the post season was first played in the month of November.
Selig has been a controversial figure; he has pumped more money into baseball than perhaps every Commissioner before him. Certainly baseball owners have made money, although some will plead poverty as they cut salary on teams whose worth has escalated far beyond ownerships wildest dreams. Players chase contracts that exceed 20 million dollars in some cases. Virtually every player has an agent, negotiating those contracts and taking a percentage. . Colleges today offer courses in ‘Sports Representation’. The Media led by the alphabet soup of ESPN, MLB, in addition to the over the air FOX, ABC, etc. are paying huge premiums for the best packages. A certain indicator they must be ekeing out a living.
It would appear that ‘Bud has met every ones needs except for the fans.
Selig’s desire to repair his legacy will cost baseball in some unseen fashion as he negotiates the addition of another layer of playoffs. In this arena, despite the benefits the Players Assoc. members have garnered under his appointment, Selig has been raw meat in a tiger’s cage. The likely cost will be exposing fans to inclement weather even further in November than we have already visited.
It wasn’t so very long ago that the World Series was played and over before mid-October. Those were games that if you were attending you probably brought sunglasses. You might have heard the voice of Mel Allen in any number of years telling you it was a beautiful day for a game. Maybe it was Ernie Harwell or Jack Buck describing the shirt sleeve crowd. If you go back far enough it might have been Russ Hodges or Red Barber setting the scene for a mid ‘50s’ Giants or Dodgers world Series. Just maybe it was Bob Murphy, Lindsey Nelson or Ralph Kiner from Shea Stadium in 1969. Every game played without lights, without an overcoat, without scarves, mittens, or hand warmers. We know that New York and Philadelphia are cold at 8:30 pm in Nov., In years to come we will find out about Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and maybe even Pittsburgh.
No Commissioner has done so much to disenfranchise the fans than Allan Huber Selig.