Results tagged ‘ Bud Selig ’

Putting the “Legitimate” in Legitimately Dumb

What would MLB do if it turned out that Melky Cabrera was “legitimately” using PEDs?  For the same matter, what if Barry Bonds came out and told us that he had been using the “cream” and the “clear” but it was legitimate so we didn’t need to worry about it?  I’m pretty sure that the fans and MLB would call bullsh*t on both of them.

By now I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with this since you couldn’t swing a cat this week without hitting some news about Clay Aiken‘s long-lost father, Todd.  (Ok, fine, they spell their names differently but how funny would that be?)  And with both sides of the debate more than willing to weigh in, once again the Presidential race turned away from the economy and back towards the Republican’s seeming fetish for pushing away women voters.

Getting back to the original question I posed, of course you’d laugh at Cabrera or Bonds’ statements (speaking of which, what is it with the Bay Area??).  Whether it was “legitimate” or not, violating the League’s substance abuse policy means you have to face the consequences.  Sure, some guys, like Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, benfited from Bud’s willingness to look the other way as long as the money kept rolling in.  But the way things stand now, a violation is going to get you fifty games, just like Manny and Melky.  Except for when it doesn’t.  Yes, I’m looking at you Ryan Braun and your technicality.

Whether or not you get away with it, there is no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” PED use just like there’s no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” rape.  And it’s important to keep in mind here that although PED’s may tarnish someone’s legacy or hurt a team in the playoff hunt, rape destroys a person’s life, no matter what Mike Huckabee or Todd Akin say.  It has nothing to do with “legitimate” or “illegitimate.”  It’s plainly and simply unacceptable.

-A

The Filibuster

Looks like MLB is going to televise the first part of the draft again.  Will Bud ever learn?

Jack
Bridgeview, IL
___________________________________

When people want to explain how boring something is, they often resort to the idiom “Like watching paint dry.”  Well, compared to the MLB draft, watching paint dry is edge-of-your-seat, action packed drama.  The sad thing is, that doesn’t mean Bud won’t keep on trying.

We all know the problem.  Succeeding in baseball requires development and in all but the rarest of cases, it’s pretty much impossible for a player to jump directly to the big leagues and make an immediate impact.  There are a lot of adjustments that even the best ballplayers have to make before they’re ready to succeed in the majors.  Bud has been in the game a long time and he obviously knows this but something keeps him from accepting it.

I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe it’s an inferiority complex because of the craziness and drama inherent to the NFL and NBA drafts.  Maybe it’s an inability to accept that baseball is different.  Maybe it’s just that Bud is completely out of touch and has made a lot of bad decisions that should have long ago cost him his job.  Whatever it is, it means that once again the MLB draft will be televised and once again no one but the absolute junkies will tune in.  Don’t tell him I said this but I bet you that not even Jeff will watch.  Yeah, it’s that boring.

Don’t get me wrong here.  The draft is important and when you look at the recent success of this year’s National’s ballclub, it’s obvious how important a good draft strategy can be.  But just because the future success of a team depends on the players a team chooses, that doesn’t mean the process is all that exciting to watch.  We know the basketball players from following them through the NCAAs.  We know the football players from the bowl games and college football saturdays.  Baseball players?  These are guys coming out of random colleges, even more random Latin American development leagues and god knows where else.  There’s no story attached to them until they make it to the big leagues.

Let me put it another way.  We all know about Len Bias and his cocaine overdose death.  Bias never played a day in the NBA but is still spoken of with reverence.  Meanwhile, until he made it to the major leagues, Josh Hamilton was just another talented athlete with substance abuse problems.  If Hamilton hadn’t have made the bigs, he’d simply be in rehab somewhere or out on the streets.

I know what Bud’s doing here.  He thinks that he can drive revenue growth by trying to create drama around the sorting process.  But you have to be invested in a person’s story in order for there to be drama.  We don’t know anything about these young baseball players so there’s no drama in watching them get drafted.  Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say there’s about as much drama as watching paint dry.

-A

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Dirty Dancing at the World Bank

In response to the twin shocks of the Great Depression and World War II, the allied powers decided to cooperate on a system that would hopefully prevent another catastrophic financial collapse.  The plan they came up with, the Bretton Woods system, created two of the most powerful financial institutions in the world today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

By convention, the IMF is headed by a European and the World Bank by an American.  And since voting is by quota, not by a one vote per person system, it’s relatively easy for this practice to continue.  That doesn’t mean the unwritten policy is always appreciated, though.  For instance, the World Bank is in the process of electing a new president who is not the top choice of the African continent and most of the developing world, the constituencies most served by the Bank.  If you’re curious as to who this person might be, wait until about the two minute point in this video and you’ll see him:

Yes, he’s the former President of Dartmouth.  Yes, he’s a founder of Partner’s in Health which has ostensibly helped many poor people in Haiti access health care.  However, Mr. Jim Yong Kim is not a good dancer.  He also has no background in economics despite that being somewhat germane to the subject matter.  Actually, let’s really simplify this.  Bud Selig is more qualified to be MLB Commissioner than Kim is to be World Bank president.  Man, that statement even scares me.

-A

Why I am Leaving MLB

The recent New York Times editorial/open letter from a former Goldman Sachs employee appears to have opened the floodgates to those seeking to leave behind a no longer fulfilling employment.  However, RSBS was still shocked when the following letter arrived in our inbox the other day signed simply, Bud S.

-A
________________

TODAY is my last day at MLB. After more than 40 years at the organization — first as a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, then in bringing the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee and renaming them the Brewers, and now as commissioner — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the owners continue to be sidelined in the way the organization operates and thinks about making money. MLB is one of the world’s largest and most important sports leagues and it is too integral to global baseball to continue to act this way. The organization has veered so far from the place I created that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

But this was not always the case. For instance, over more than a decade I made sure that steroids not only entered the game but also redefined it.  By looking the other way while Sammy, Mark and Barry launched bomb after artificially powered bomb, I ensured that baseball once again excited the ordinary American that had been lured away by the corn syrup sweetness of NASCAR and the NFL.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look players in the eye and tell them they could continue to juice.

How did we get here? The organization changed the way it thought about owners. Ownership used to be about overcharging fans, merchandising everything from jock straps to girly colored hats and looking the other way while players shot ‘roids in the locker room. Today, if you treat the team as your personal piggy bank (and use its assets to pay off the divorce settlement with your crazy ex-wife) you will lose the team and the money from its lucrative TV rights.

There used to be three quick ways to become a leader among owners: a) Execute on the organization’s “axes,” which is MLB-speak for persuading your fans to buy tickets or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your fans — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to buy whatever will bring the biggest profit to MLB. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. I prefer to sell them at least three. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any washed-up, aging slugger for much more than he’s worth.  Adam Dunn, anyone?

Today, though, many owners display an MLB culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend postseason merchandising and ticket sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help owners or hose fans. It’s purely about how we can make this a “September to Remember.” If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that an owners’ success or pocketbook was not part of the thought process at all.

When I was a minority owner I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out how to charge more for cheaper hotdogs, understanding the process of selling the same volume of beer at three different (and increasingly more expensive) prices, getting to know our players and what motivated them while making sure they had a safe place and a helping hand when injecting steroids in their asses.

My proudest moments in life — owning a Brewers team that posted one of the worst winning percentages over a ten-year period in the history of baseball, joining other owners in colluding and then helping pay the $280 million settlement, overseeing the worst All-Star game in the history of baseball — have all come through focusing on profits and passing the prices on to the fans. MLB today has become too much “the fan experience” and not enough about soaking the suckers. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the owners. Make your fellow owners the focal point of your business again. Without fans you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. But fans are simple-minded sheep who will do whatever you want so don’t worry about them. Get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons: steroids and making money for the owners. People who care only about making fans happy will not sustain this organization — or the trust of the owners — for very much longer.

Bud S.

Don’t Blame Braun

I feel a little sick to my stomach when I hear about someone getting off on a technicality.  Illegal search, improper handling, failure of the arresting officer to read the suspect their rights.  The list of possible screw-ups is endless.

But you know what’s even worse than seeing someone get off on a technicality?  Watching someone get convicted for a crime they truly didn’t commit.

I’ll be honest, just like all of you, I have no idea whether or not Ryan Braun is guilty.  He claims he’s innocent, MLB implies he’s guilty and the fan is left to wonder what the real story is.  But whether he’s an innocent charged with a crime he didn’t commit or a ne’er-do-well who got off on a technicality, the fact of the matter is that Braun has been cleared and this story never should have been in the press in the first place.  More than that, if Braun was guilty of using PEDs, MLB has no one to blame but itself for his exoneration.

The reason courts and commissions have procedures is so that at the end of the process, you can be absolutely sure that the person was dealt with fairly and deserved the consequences of their actions.  Even though it makes me sick when a criminal goes free because a DNA sample was mishandled, you can’t put that on the criminal.  It’s the fault of the lab or the officers who did the mishandling.

Same goes for Braun.  This isn’t a story about him using PEDs.  No, this is a story about MLB screwing up a procedure that was set in place to assure fairness and impartiality inthe judgement.  MLB has no right to disagree with the arbitration panel’s findings.  If the organization had done their job correctly we’d either just now be finding out that Braun was a cheater or we’d have never heard anything at all.

I don’t like the Braun case.  Whether he juiced or not, this story taints him, taints MLB and taints the game.  However, instead of attacking Braun, the mob should be pointing their fingers at the only known guilty party, an organization that again and again fails to deal appropriately with the issues it faces.  Don’t blame Braun.  Blame Bud.

-A

__________________________

After a grueling off-season training regimen, the Filibuster comes back even bigger and badder then ever next Sunday.  Maybe you want to know what the RSBS crew thinks about divisional realignment.  Perhaps you’d like to make Allen see red by asking his feelings on pink team caps.  Or maybe you’re just wondering why asking Jeff the question “Boxers or briefs” leads him to respond “Depends.”  No matter what the query, send it to RSBSBlog@gmail.com and we’ll let you know what we think.

Three Up, Three Down

Just like the Cubs’ shot at the 2012 World Series crown, this is going to be fleeting, groan-inducing and will probably offend a great number of people.

The Popey Pope

That guy in the pointy hat made another statement on gay marriage recently, saying it is “one of the most serious threats to the traditional family unit” and that it undermines “the very future of humanity.”

Hmm.  I can think of a bazillion things that are a far greater danger to the very future of humanity, like, protecting monsters who rape children, making it illegal for someone to marry whom he/she loves, and not challenging a discourse that is solely based on bronze age delusions “encouraged” by an invisible sky daddy.

Two More Years of Bud Selig

Ugh.  Really?  If only MTV could rock the MLB owners’ vote.  No more King Bud!  Things have gotten better recently, yes, but there are at least three egregious errors committed during his reign that demand a new king: 1) Not addressing the PED issue until it was too late 2) the ongoing All-Star Game yields World Series home field advantage fiasco and 3) being the last of the big four to launch its own network (seriously, it’s sad when the NHL beats you, at anything).

Also, I can think of at least three perfect candidates for the commissioner’s job: Joe Torre, Bob Costas and ME!!!

The GOP

Between Mitt, Santorum and a bevy of derailed crazy trains, I can only shake my head as I watch the Republican party fall deeper and deeper into delirium.  If only our political leaders would take a page out of Aussie PM Bob Hawke’s book:

Now THAT, my friends, is a dear leader.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

How to Fix the Dodgers

All-around baseball good guy Joe Torre is stepping down from his MLB front office position to pursue his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers.  While this is bad news (I think) for those of us who hoped he might take over for King Bud once the reign of terror is over at the end of the year, I have to think that a group headed by Torre is probably a great way to save this storied franchise.

Of course, there are alternatives.  And yep, you guessed it.  The RSBS interns are ready to report:

1.  Go back in time, don’t trade Kevin Brown and instead have him break Frank McCourt’s hand so it won’t wander onto a woman who isn’t his wife.

2.  Stop making it mandatory that Alyssa Milano wear clothes to the ballpark.  (Holy Jackie Robinson, I’ve been in love with Alyssa for 20 years now; she just gets better looking!!!)

3.  Trade Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman for superstar Chris Paul.  Oh.  Wait.

4.  Get a mascot!  I know just the one!

Or… if none of the above works…

How about signing Prince Fielder?  Seriously.  Make him some crazy offer like $30 million a year for 6 years or something.  Wouldn’t that make the Dodgers a nice, EXPENSIVE and attractive purchase?  And besides, it’s L.A.  Just use somebody else’s money.

Hate me.  FINE.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 30: Pat Matheny’s Anesthesioxity and Other Stuff (LIKE HIGHLIGHTS!)

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The RSBS crew celebrates its 30th episode by taking a stroll down podcast memory lane, remembering things that busted our (and hopefully your) guts.  AIDS salad and Ron Santo’s memory get rehashed while new memories (like gay ponies v. horsicorns, an iguana named Dudley and how you can cure your foot problems) are created!  Jump on board the RSBS crazy train!  No stops til you question how you spend your free time!

Don’t forget to getcho Crown Royal and enjoy some happy time!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Follow Keith on on Twitter for all his movie magic updates and make sure to check out his crew and their hilariousness on the Undercast! podcast.

- – -

Recorded Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Option of Silence

There are times when a team is inseparable from its broadcaster.  Think Jack Buck.  Ernie Harwell.  Phil Rizzuto.  Those golden voices had the rare ability to know when to shut up and when to comment, when to add something to the game and when to let the game be the game.

The truth is: baseball doesn’t need commentary.

Sure, it’s helpful at times and yes, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit getting a kick out of the “OUTTA HERE”s, the “JIMMY JACK”s and “OPPO TACO”s.  Baseball, at its root, is game of great sounds: PA announcers and bat cracks and balls slamming mitts.  But more often than not, I find myself at great odds with the voices who are currently mucking up my baseball game on television watching experiences.

The White Sox, in particular, harbor the most egregious of all audio-felons.  I mean, Hawk Harrelson’s commentary is almost entirely made up of stupid catchphrases that he donned eons ago.  And while they may have been cute back then, they are nothing short of annoying now.

Hawk is certainly not alone.  There are countless other offenders.  Michael Kay.  Rod Allen.  Bert Blyleven.  I have nothing against them, personally, but often the commentary they provide is as mindless as it is boring, and I would like the option to shut them up.

Because MUTE ain’t the answer.

I want to hear the ump’s calls.  I want to hear the beer guy in section 113.  I want to hear the crowd roar on a go-ahead RBI double.

Back in 2009, SNY — a station that, ironically, has one of the better broadcasting teams in baseball — experimented with something they called “The Silent Sixth”, where they did just that: they shut up.  Silence.  No talking.  But they cranked up the sound on the field mics and I can attest: it was a true thing of beauty.  Soon I found myself tuning into lots of Mets games come the sixth inning, enjoying the pure sounds of the game the way they were meant to be enjoyed before egocentric legacy hunters and no-limit-in-yer-face advertising began trashing the game (seriously, does every bullpen move have to be sponsored by Domino’s?).

In this era of technocracy, where I can watch every single baseball game on my television, my computer AND my phone, where I can choose which broadcast I want to listen to WHENEVER I want, one would think that providing the option for silence would not be asking too much.

Baseball titans (King Bud, Joe Torre, whoevs), do me a favor and git ‘er done.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Chillin’ with the Enemy

Rubbin' a little Bernie Brewer belly... because I can.

For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times).  When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run.  And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).

It’s 2011 and enemies abound.  In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good.  In politics, we have Sarah Palin.  In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.

But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together.  Am I angry?  Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits?  Am I going to hurt someone?

No, of course not.  It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun.  But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.

On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport.  Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!?  I mean, everyone was so… nice!  And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!

Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82.  Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish.  And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.

But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex.  It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake.  And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year.  And did I mention the cheese curds!?

Oh what heaven!!!

Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft.  I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.

That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Johanna and I posin' prior to first pitch.

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