The man who’s run the sport I love into the ground must be doing so deliberately. Bud Selig isn’t baseball’s caretaker, he’s its undertaker, responsible for P.R. blunders so staggeringly ignorant they must be intentional.
The latest: disallowing Mets players from donning the caps of the NYPD, FDNY, PAPD and other first responders, as the team did 10 years ago when it returned to the field 9 days after 9/11. Then, as now, MLB said no.
Mets players, then as now, said fuck you, Bud, but this time the Used Car Salesman was prepared to squash any mutiny. According to Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, Bud’s henchmen literally took the hats from the dugout.
What could have provoked such soulless overreaction? The bottom line, of course. The “official” American flag hats the Mets were mandated to wear, along with every other MLB team, are now available for $36.99 on the league’s official website.
To be fair, Bud needs to hoard every last cent, as he’s largely responsible for turning America’s pastime into little more than a boutique sport. Television ratings have nosedived since he took over in 1992; now the World Series barely outdraws and NFL exhibition game. Attendance is also down through much of the sport, despite baseball’s dishonest calculations.
Under Bud’s watch, the owners of the Cubs, Rangers and Dodgers have declared bankruptcy. The Dodgers, once the gold standard of all professional sports franchises, have been gutted by the team’s heavily leveraged owners, who were endorsed and approved by the Used Car Salesman.
Don’t forget the cancellation of the 1994 World Series. And the steroid scandal.
He’s even partly responsible for George W. Bush’s presidency. Seriously.
Fay Vincent — baseball’s former top dog — relayed a story about how George W. wanted to succeed him as commish. Selig had apparently told Bush he would support his candidacy, but Vincent warned him not to trust Selig.
Vincent was right. Bud wanted the job for himself and the owners wanted someone who wouldn’t act independently.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Bud claims he’s presiding over baseball’s golden age. No surprise, since shameless propaganda is the trademark of enemy agents.