Bud Selig to step down in 2012

According to a report by the Boston Herald, baseball commissioner Bud Selig plans to step down after the 2011 season.

It was the same kind of approach that had been used to convince him to stay in charge at least two other times, the first being after he stepped in as head of the executive council to lead ownership after Fay Vincent was forced to resign as commissioner in 1992. Selig’s tenure most recently had been scheduled to end in 2009, but his deal was extended quietly in early 2008.

This time, according to sources, Selig told the owners he will step aside after 2012 — not because he is tiring but because he has other things to do while he’s able.

One of Selig’s top lieutenants, Bob DuPuy or Rob Manfred, might be the best choice if the goal of owners is to continue in the same direction. Baltimore Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail, whose father and grandfather are in the Hall of Fame as executives, would be a popular choice among owners. The list is sure to grow as Selig moves closer to retiring.

Many will remember Selig for turning a blind eye during the steroid era and calling the 2002 All-Star Game a tie. But he also brought interleague play to baseball, as well as instant replay.

Whoever takes over for Selig will have to deal with striking a new collective bargaining deal, which is no small task.


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Selig considering reinstatement for Rose?

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is seriously considering reinstatement for banished former player Pete Rose.

Lobbying for the move began five years ago but died when Selig became convinced Rose was not “reconfiguring” his life, the newspaper report said, part of the late commissioner Bart Giamatti’s demands on Rose when he was ruled ineligible.

“I think a lot of the guys feel that it’s been 20 years now for Pete, and would lean toward leniency and time served,” an unnamed Hall of Famer said, according to the Daily News. “If he had admitted it in the first place and apologized way back then, he’d probably be in the Hall by now.”
If Rose were to become eligible, it stands to reason he would have to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the 65 living members that make up the Veterans Committee.

Inclusion on the writers’ ballot expires after 15 years, but Rose has never appeared on their ballot except by write-in.

“I know there are still guys who feel strongly against him,” said another Hall of Famer, according to the report. “And I don’t know if that would change even if Selig clears him.”

This might be like comparing apples to oranges, but to me, players using steroids is 10 times worse than betting on baseball when you’re a manager. I’m not justifying what Rose did, but compared to what these selfish players did in the steroid era, “Charlie Hustle” should get a reprieve.

Gambling never helped Rose accomplish what he did on the field. Was he a scumbag for gambling on games he was managing? Yes. But he would be getting into the Hall of Fame based on what he accomplished as a player, which was (in short) quite a lot.

Selig doesn’t want suspended players to play in minors

Bud Selig wants a rule changed that allows suspended MLB players to sharpen up in the minor leagues before their suspensions are over. The latest example of this rule came this year when outfielder Manny Ramirez was able to play in the Dodgers’ minor league system before his 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance was up.

“I believe that should be changed,” Selig said Tuesday during a one-hour question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “Their logic was OK — look, guys get hurt, they can go out on rehab, and so on and so forth. But I think that’s something we need to really change in the next labor negotiation.”

The current rules are in place through December 2011. Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, said management will not ask for a rules change before then.
“I’ll let them work that out. I don’t want to do our negotiating here,” Selig said. “But it’s 50 games and then go do what you got to do to get back into [shape].”

For one of the first times in the history of my existence, I actually agree with Bud the Slug.

If a player is suspended, he should have to serve the full length of that suspension before he’s allowed to partake in baseball on the major or minor league level. I was vilified by a couple of readers in this article for criticizing this rule, but it’s amazing how people don’t find a player being allowed to sharpen up in the minors (while they’re suspended mind you) a ridiculous concept. I understand that it’s baseball’s rule, but it’s a dumb freaking rule.

It’s like sending a kid to time out in the corner for 15 minutes, but for the last five minutes, he gets to play with Legos so that he’s ready to get back to building a Lego house with the other kids after his 15 minutes have been served.

Selig upset with steroid leaks

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, baseball commissioner Bud Selig is upset that names from the 2003 list of players who tested positive for banned substances are being leaked to the media.

Apparently Selig and others around Major League Baseball believe that a lawyer with the U.S. Attorney’s office (either past or present) ignored a court seal in order to give Sammy Sosa’s name to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Daily News, who reported yesterday that the slugger was on the ’03 list.

I don’t blame Selig for being peeved that someone is leaking names that were supposed to be kept anonymous. After all, the only reason the player’s union agreed to the ’03 drug testing was because the players who tested positive wouldn’t be punished and because their names would never be released.

That said – give…me…a…break. If Selig wants to be upset with anything, how about he get upset with himself, the owners and the player’s union that allowed us to get to this point. He turned a blind eye to the steroid issue and now he wants to play victim. I guess he has to put on this little front about being mad about the leaks in efforts to settle down the player’s union, but he has nobody to blame but himself for this mess.

What Selig should do is go back on his word to the player’s union and release the rest of the 104 names on that 2003 list before the media does. A-Rod and Sosa’s names have already been released – how much longer until more names are announced? If Selig thinks that the media is going to stop digging, he has another thing coming. He may anger the players and the union by releasing the names, but it’s well past time for people to start taking responsibility for what has happened to the game of baseball.

The MLB draft will never be popular

Joe Posnanski of SI.com wrote an interesting piece about why the MLB draft doesn’t work as a popular television event.

1. The vast majority of players drafted will never get close to the big leagues. Take the 1994 draft … 15 years ago. There were 287 players taken in the first 10 rounds, and 190 of them — two thirds — did not get a single at-bat or throw a single pitch in the big leagues.

2. Even the players who DO make it will not make it for years. If the NFL Draft is, as the cliché goes, like getting presents on Christmas morning, well, the baseball draft is like getting a savings bond from your grandmother that will mature when you turn 18.

I love the analogy Posnanski used in his second point.

Yesterday I DVR’d the MLB draft and was actually looking forward to watching it. The MLB Network had hyped the event up for a couple of weeks and being a Giants fan, I was excited to see who’d they take at pick No. 6.

But once Bud Selig (who was awful, by the way) read Zack Wheeler’s name at pick six, I realized that I could care less about the rest of the first round. Unless you’ve lived under a rock the past couple weeks, you knew that the Nationals were going to take San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the top pick and there was a good chance the Mariners would select North Carolina’s Dustin Ackley (arguably the best position player in the draft) at No. 2. So outside of hearing whom your favorite team picked, there wasn’t much excitement to the draft.

Posnanski is right – the MLB draft as a televised event doesn’t work. I applaud MLB for trying to make the event even a smidgen as popular as the NFL draft, but there just isn’t enough quality substance in the end. As Posnanski points out, most (and that’s not an exaggeration) of the players drafted in the first couple of rounds will never see the big leagues and even if they do, as a fan you have to wait three to four years before that happens. By that time, most casual fans have forgotten where those players came from.

Again, I think it’s great that baseball has embraced the idea of making the draft more of an event. But the reality is that I would rather watch the entire third round of the NFL draft than just one pick in the first round of the MLB draft. And I think others feel the same way.

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