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Deep Thoughts: All Hail Bud

Sep 24, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Bud Selig Reuters

I hadn’t thought about it much, but someone on Twitter said it to me this morning and it’s hard to deny it, even if you set aside your pro-baseball prejudices:

Between the hockey lockout, the NFL referee lockout and other drama and the fact that the NBA seems to be turning into some sort of weird league in which there are four or five Harlem Globetrotter teams and the rest are Washington Generals, there is a pretty damn strong argument that Bud Selig is the best commissioner in the major sports.

Sure, we can all sharpshoot problems like the A’s/San Jose thing, TV blackouts and instant replay stuff. But there really isn’t one problem in all of baseballdom right now that goes to the center of the leagues viability, popularity or competitive integrity. And no other sport can say the same.

All hail Bud.

  1. cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    “The Smug Bud” photo? Jeez I hate the “Smug Bud”. I like Grumpy Bud, with the band aid on his forehead. Every time I see “The Smug Bud” I just KNOW you’re gonna make some point that has Bud looking pleased with himself. In this case I have to agree: Bud should be looking pleased with himself. He’s done a pretty good job of keeping labour strife out of MLB and seeing to it that games are being played at a largely competitive level. Now I must go. I feel dirty having said all that and I must wash with bleach.

    PS: More Grumpy Bud Photos please. It be the Cow Bell of HBT.

    • kalinedrive - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      I like Befuddled Bud throwing his hands up at the All Star Tie.

  2. jarathen - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    To borrow a famous quote, baseball is the worst-run professional sport in America – except for all of the rest of them.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Let’s give due credit here. I believe you borrowed that from Sir Winston Churchill, the Hall of Fame manager of a small, poorly funded but intrepid team in the early 1940s that against all odds, with some help from its closest friends, emerged unbeaten after some extremely difficult seasons.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Well said, sir.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Uh oh, Craig’s been zapped by Hypnotoad! quick give me a- ALL HAIL BUD

  4. amhendrick - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    “there really isn’t one problem in all of baseballdom right now that goes to the center of the leagues viability, popularity or competitive integrity”

    Well, there’s PEDs. But I’m not sure how much people who aren’t members of the BBWAA really care about that.

    • hackerjay - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Well, it’s not like the NFL has their house in order when it comes to PEDs either, it just doesn’t get the same press for whatever reason.

  5. silversun60 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    “Dear MLB Fans, The NHL Lockout… NFL referee issue… these are all further proof that there is no desire for the MLB to institute expanded replay. – Bud”

  6. kevinleaptrot - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    The other commissioners have set the bar really, really low. Bud’s probably sending them all Cadillacs right now.

    • skerney - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      That Cadillacs part, I see what you did there. I like it.

  7. danaking - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    This seems so out there I’m almost afraid to say ti, but could part of this be because baseball owners are the least greedy of major sports owners?

    • bsbiz - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Probably has more to do with the fact that MLBPA is still pitching no-hit ball in the 30th inning.

  8. ballou0254 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Bud is the best commissioner in the same way that Kourtney is the best Kardashian.

    • Phillies Homer - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      This analogy is so good that I decided to take the time to log in and tell you rather than give it a mere “thumbs up”

    • stex52 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      What he said.

  9. manifunk - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    What’s amazing about Bud is that he has done SO MUCH GOOD for the game (MLB Advanced Media, interleague, labor peace, financial strength, etc.), that he would have to make some terrible, horrible decisions to make his legacy anything less than great.

    And yet, that’s exactly what he’s done.

  10. El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    “All hail Bud.”

    That’s what I say each time I light one up. I expect a royalty check, Mr. Calcaterra.

  11. number42is1 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    “The Generals were due”

  12. randygnyc - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Looks like Bud has abandoned his “no one has the appetite for replay” excuse and has now embraced “it will negatively affect the pace of the game” tact. Apparently that was his answer to Michael Kay’s questions on the recently taped CenterStage which will be airing next week on the YES channel. He’s moving the goal posts. The viability of baseball is very much in question without a comprehensive replay system.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      It’s not like that’s a crazy thing to say. Replays really slow down football at the college and pro levels. Ticks me off when someone calls it “instant replay.” There’s nothing instantaneous about it.

  13. steveflack - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    He will always be “The Man Who Cancelled the 1994 World Series” to me.

  14. number42is1 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Craig – your constant Simpsons references that you slip in there are simply awesome. Even better that they are from the earlier (anything season 10 and earlier). I just wanted to say thank you!

  15. makeham98 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Record revenues, eight different teams winning the WS in the past ten years, only two teams playing in crappy stadiums not of their own doing (tampa and oakland), and people still call him an idiot.

    And MLB actually markets its product worldwide. No imminent multi billion dollar concussions lawsuit. No imminent strike. No Isiah Thomas.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      Also no sexual harassment lawsuits, which is pretty darn amazing considering all the women in mlb front offices. Bud is the king of EEO in sports!

  16. chill1184 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I’m sorry but no. Bud looks good because his counterparts in the other three leagues are bigger idiots than he is. The Bud Selig error is still rife with cronyism, incompetence and just plain stupidity.

    • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Well nothing you’ve you’ve just said invalidates the argument that Bud is the best of the bunch. In fact, you agree with the point: he’s the best because the others are so much worse. Also, give El Buddrick his due: there is labour peace. The teams are so competitive that its possible for teams to rise from nothing and compete (O’s, Nats, A’s) or spend like drunken sailors and sink (Marlins Feesh, LAA). Also the playoffs are not a foregone conclusion (The Reds might have pretty much cruised in, but they are by no means a lock). There will be games featuring actual athletes and actual Major League Officials on the field and this is likely to continue for quite some time. There is still “cronyism, incompetence and just plain stupidity” BUT there are also some pretty good moves on some pretty important aspects as well. Gotta give the devil his due. He’s not great; he’s lacks charisma, he’s not be right about some pretty important decisions, he favours a bottom lime over what’s best for the sport, he has NO effin clue about what it takes to make a good owner, BUT he does deliver the spectacle, and its largely a high quality spectacle at that.

  17. eagles512 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    The stupid one game playoff is a problem

    • pdowdy83 - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      It isn’t a “problem” for the league. It is a problem in some purist’s minds. Those are two entirely different things. Do I like it personally? No. Does it mean that with roughly 10 games to go in the season that both LA teams, Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore, Tampa, St Louis, Milwaukee, Arizona, Philly, Pittsburgh and San Deigo (trust me I checked) have not been eliminated from the playoffs yet and are still playing meaningful baseball when without the extra game over half of them wouldn’t? Yes. This means it is creating extra revenue for lots of teams by making them relative later in the year and should also help create even more competitive balance. To me that means it probably helps the game. It also makes more “casual” fans pay a little more attention.

      • kevinbnyc - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        It really has worked out well this year. But the idea behind it – recreating, by rule, the drama that was the various playoff races last year – sucks. Let stuff like that happen naturally, don’t try to force it. If this keeps up, we’ll be watching a league that’s like the NHL/NBA, where 4 teams don’t make the playoffs.

    • franklb - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      I disagree. I think teams fighting for the division to avoid the one game play-in makes for better baseball than watching teams slack off at the end of the season, knowing that they’ll at least get the wild card. I don’t care how many teams are “in it” theoretically or otherwise, but I do care that teams that have been comfortably in wild card position have been continuing to fight to catch their division leaders.

  18. personalspaceinvader - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    We don’t really have to go into whats wrong the NBA (season too long, super-teams, inmates run the prison), but what’s worse is that it actually seems like the NHL is trying to emulate them. I don’t actually mind Goodell in the NFL. He has done a lot to improve player safety. He did well to get the owners exactly what they wanted during the lockout. The only issue I have with him is consistency with issuing fines.

    Bud obviously has his problems (INSTANT REPLAY!), but I think he does a good job navigating the line between ushering the game into the modern era and preserving some of the longstanding traditions.

  19. stratomaticfan - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Whoo hoo….Bud is seen as the greatest of the slime. That’s quite an accomplishment. They all stink. They all are owners’ puppets. They don’t do what’s best for their games or their fans. They do what’s best for the Owners’ wallets. Kudos for being the highest level of pond scum, Bud.

  20. djpostl - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    So basically congratulate him for not drooling/urinating all over himself in public? Because that’s pretty much what the other commissioners do on a daily basis.

  21. Bob - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Hell, no. He used extortion to move the Astros into the AL, throwing away 51 seasons in the NL so that his precious Brewers could stay in the NL. You might as well just flip a coin to determine the winner of the one-game wild-card playoff. Interleague play has taken away a lot of interest from the ASG and the World Series (“but everyone goes bananas over Mets-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox, blah, blah”). And the endless rounds of playoffs have made the World Series an afterthought in most of the country. He also refuses to join the 21st century and implement more replay. Selig is a joke.

    • stex52 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

      What he said, too.

  22. itsonlyaspeedbump - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    funny thing I prefer nfl and nba to mlb, but as far as doing things that help the game…hard to argue

  23. scatterbrian - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Bud Selig protects us. We are his children. We pledge our devotion to him with an offering of flesh… and blood!

  24. psunick - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    steveflack…

    Wasn’t that Donald Fehr, and not Bud Selig, who cost us the 1994 World Series?

    The same jackass who is trying his damnedest to blow up the Stanley Cup this year.

    • umrguy42 - Sep 25, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      I dunno about 94, but technically, it’s the NHL owners who locked out the players, not a strike. Neither side looks that good, though. Haven’t delved into it much, but from a distance, it’s had the appearance (at times) of the owners basically trying to force the players into an agreement that protects the owners from their own idiocies in handing out crazy contracts.

  25. mazblast - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    The bar has been set very low by the other commissioners (Bettman, troll Stern, and that walking piece of excrement Goodell), but there’s little argument that Selig right now is the best of the bunch. When you compare interest and attendance now compared to when he took the job, when you see how many more teams are competitive, when you see that he tries to run a fair game (unlike David “a big market team of my choosing must and will win so we can sell more sh**” Stern), and when you see how long he’s managed to have labor peace, you can see the job he’s done.

    Is he perfect? Far from it. His stubborn refusal to improve/expand replay, the botched handling of the labor problem in 1994, and his governing by consensus rather than leadership are solid points against him. Keep in mind, though, that he can be fired at any time by the very people he governs, the owners, and that in any sport but particularly baseball, trying to govern can be compared unfavorably to trying to herd cats.

    I’m not a huge fan of Selig, but I recognize the job he’s done. Would you rather have “What the heck, let’s have a lockout” Bettman, “I decide who wins” Stern, or “The fans will watch any sh** we put out there” Goodell instead?

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