Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/29/13
We will give Bud Selig this: His 21-years as Commissioner of Major League Baseball have been free of all pretenses. He early and often made it clear that he would not serve as a genuine true-to-the-title Commissioner. A man who would ceaselessly and firmly serve the best interests of The Game — everyone’s best interests — more easily could be found waiting for a bus or a royal flush. From his start Selig demonstrated that the only best interests worth serving were those of his enablers — the teams’ owners. And the only serviceable interests they demanded is that he pad their bottom lines or for the newer owners service their inflated buy-in debt. To that exclusive interest Selig was a superstar. That he’s retiring after next season presents team owners with the opportunity to select someone with Selig’s sense of selective tapered allegiance and commitment. Both the idea and ideal of a Commissioner who would grant The Game and its fans any loftier regard than disregard is now out of the question. Selig met the terms of his $15 million per engagement. The next Commissioner will be expected to toe the same mark. There’s so much to choose from as representative of Selig’s negligent tenure. That there still is an on-going drugs scandal that Selig’s money-first mandate helped cause and sustain — his absurd claims to have pulled The Game from the PED abyss to the contrary — is the most onerous and obvious. But he also is responsible at least in title for the standardization of the illogical the unfriendly and even the misanthropic. The ripped-off fan became the common fan; the sucker MLB’s best customer. Consider that on Selig’s watch the three-hour rain delay was introduced then systematized. Same with fabricated “convenience fee” and other tack-on ticket charges. A real Commissioner would have protected Baseball’s customers from such victimization. For the just plain illogical Selig allowed Eastern Time Zone Sunday games to begin on — and to be changed to — 8:05 p.m. That’s now the traditional starting times of Sunday Yankees-Red Sox games. That the games’ tickets were sold as 1 p. m. starts didn’t matter. That many were sold as family and kids’ promotional afternoon games didn’t matter. That busloads of fans had purchased tickets months in advance for faraway community excursions — ticket purchases suddenly rendered useless — didn’t matter.
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