This could be the worst contract of the 2011 off-season. That aside, Bud Selig will be given a two year contract extension later this week in Phoenix. With the extension, we can look forward to Bud Selig until the end of the 2014 season. While team owners and General Managers are rejoicing, most fans and writers are not really thrilled about this.
Look, Bud has done some really great things since he took over in 1992. We can credit Bud directly with changes in revenue sharing, interleague play, drug testing, extended playoffs (coming soon), instant replay, and most importantly he has been at the forefront of helping teams build bigger and better stadiums. From a business standpoint, keeping Bud in place makes sense. According to Tom Haudricourt over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this deal may have been done out of necessity too. From what Tom reported this morning, there are no clear successors to take Selig’s place. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…I guess.
Maybe I am in the minority, but I really dislike Selig. I can appreciate that without his sleazy ways, we would not have our beloved Brewers, but that does not mean that I have to like him or how he conducts his business. Let us not forget, Selig traded Gary Sheffield for Ricky Bones, Jose Valentin, and Matt Mieske in 1991. Then there was the time Paul Molitor became a free-agent and wanted to stay in Milwaukee and Selig would only give him a one-year deal at almost a million dollars less than the previous season. That “decision” lead to Molitor going to Toronto, where he won two World Series titles. Then he transferred ownership of the team to his daughter, who basically made things unbearable (Richie Sexson and Jeff Cirillo were our big bats during her tenure), until Mark Attanasio bought the team in 2005. Needless to say, even as a kid I knew that Selig was kind of an idiot.
I understand why Owners want him around, he makes them money!! That is really the only thing he is good at. While he was the owner of the Brewers, they won organization of the year 7 different times. The man may be a bit of a snake in the grass, but he knows how to run a successful enterprise. We can’t forget that he does have a history of being accused of things like, racketeering, fraud, and collusion. But I would argue that any good business man has to get his hands dirty every once in a while. Even if that means breaking the law…repeatedly.
Bud Selig is not the best guy on the planet, but as of this moment he is probably the best guy for the job. Some good things are happening in baseball and he deserves some of the credit for that. When I really think about some of the things he has had to handle (i.e. September 11th, steroids era, 1994 players strike), he has done a pretty decent job. I’m not thrilled about him handing Mark Attanasio the World Series trophy next year, but I am sure I will live…in the end.
So, Brewers fans, get ready for 3 more years of Bud Selig calling the shots. Let’s all hope and pray he does us a solid during the Braun hearings. You owe us a solid Bud. A 25-game suspension is much better than a 50-gamer, but a 0-game suspension is ideal. Thanks in advance Commissioner!!