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Brad Holschuh column: Selig is down on strikes

The rules of baseball are simple: three strikes, you're out. Seeing how Bud Selig is commissioner of Major League Baseball, I, and undoubtedly millions of other Americans, assumed he of all people would be able to grasp this elementary concep...

The rules of baseball are simple: three strikes, you're out. Seeing how Bud Selig is commissioner of Major League Baseball, I, and undoubtedly millions of other Americans, assumed he of all people would be able to grasp this elementary concept. Sure enough, I was wrong.

Allan H. "Bud" Selig has managed to suck the life out of MLB, despite the fact that he has only been the official commissioner for four years. With a diminishing fan base, fizzling ratings and rumors of steroid abuse, baseball is dying. Selig is behind the reins of an industry on the brink of failure and has done little to nothing to revive it.

It's time for America to do what it does best: force a regime change.

It makes perfect sense. In baseball, if a team fails to produce results over an extended period of time, what happens? The man in charge, the manager, gets the axe. The same should be true for the industry as a whole. Baseball began a downward spiral when Selig entered the scene 10 years ago; a spin from which it has yet to recover. Only one solution is acceptable: contract Bud Selig.

Remember back to the fateful summer of 1994. The player's union and owners clashed over who-knows-what for the umpteenth time, leading to yet another wasteful strike.


Selig, the diplomatic genius that he is, apparently decided to "wait this one out." Nine months, one cancelled World Series and billions of dollars in uncollected revenue later, baseball resumed activity, still under supreme chancellor Selig's command.

It's strange; how could Selig, a self-proclaimed capitalist, make such a suicidal business decision? Like a child playing pin the tail on the donkey and accidentally impaling his teacher, Selig was way off.

Strike one, Commish.

In 1998, Selig really began to shine. Officially elected as the commissioner of Major League Baseball (prior to this point, Selig had only been acting as commissioner because the previous head honcho resigned), Selig implemented several new changes to the game. I have to give him some credit; he did establish one noteworthy improvement -- interleague play (but if you want to be an optimist, Adolph Hitler did one or two good things in his lifetime as well).

Selig also found it necessary to expand the league, allowing both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to enter the majors. Not only did this decision create an unequal balance between the National and American leagues, it forced an industry already economically unstable to deal with the addition of two new components, pushing some of the smaller market teams even further into the background.

Wrong move again. Strike two.

This year's baseball season was scarred by some of the worst decisions ever made by a commissioner of any sport. First off, Selig persistently pushed for contraction, which, in itself, was a contradiction to his prior actions.

Remember, just four years back, Selig was the one who allowed the addition of two new teams to the league. Now he's pushing to contract two? Bud Selig is the textbook definition of a hypocrite. Every Minnesotan can see that Selig, in his infinite wisdom, is not fighting for the fans or for the game like he says he is. He's fighting for his checkbook.


Selig, who has undeniable financial ties to the Milwaukee Brewers' franchise, conveniently targeted the Twins as the first casualty of the capitalist machine (a.k.a. destroying his personal economic competition). To simplify the situation, by eliminating the Twins, the Brewers' fan base would subsequently grow, based solely upon the fact that Minneapolis and Milwaukee are competitively close to one another.

A larger fan base means a larger revenue and a larger revenue means mucho dinero for the Selig family. How much cash could Bud Selig stash if Bud Selig could stash cash? The answer is billions. A conflict of interest? I'd say so.

Contraction wasn't Selig's only blunder of the year, not in the least. For only the second time in history, the All-Star Game ended in a tie. Who ordered the game to be called? None other than The Don himself.

Compounded by nearly another work stoppage and the steroid abuse epidemic that surfaced, I would venture to say that 2002 has been the worst year ever for the sport of baseball, at least in terms of commissioner action and inaction.

Sorry Bud, a swing and a miss: strike three; you're out.

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