MLB needs Selig to retire


BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

A wise man once said “This Bud’s for you.”  While I do enjoy a Bud(weiser) every now and then, this Bud (Selig) isn’t for me.  And I hope MLB fans agree.

Rumors are out that Selig will be offered a new contract extension as MLB commissioner.  As a devout fan of the game, I cringe at the thought of this.  Many could argue that Selig has been great for baseball.  After an amazing finish to September and perhaps one of the best post seasons we have had in decades, baseball is growing its fan base and gaining popularity in younger generations.  But I would argue that Selig has little to do with where baseball currently stands.

Selig was named commissioner in 1992, making him the second longest commissioner in the history of the game.  But it’s time for a change.  Many of the decisions he has made have been controversial, such as calling the 2002 All-Star game a tie after 11 innings or granting home field advantage in the World Series to the division that won the All-Star game.  But he has also been a key player in improving the game as well.  Adding the wild card in 1994 and interleague play in 1997 have undoubtedly improved the game and helped gain popularity.

So while Selig has improved baseball in many ways, the game still needs fixed and Bub’s not the man for the job.  We just saw the current NL MVP Ryan Braun test positive for performance enhancing drugs which earns him a 50 game suspension.  That’s it?  50 games? That sounds like a lot, but it’s obviously not enough.  Braun knew what the penalty would be if he was caught and yet he still chose to break the rules and use steroids.  Ultimately this falls on the shoulders of the commissioner.  Selig has been an advocate for stricter PED use penalties, but when the stars of the game are getting busted, Bud needs to step up.  Sure he would encounter a lot of obstacles (owners, the players union, etc.), but he needs to show the fans that he is absolutely serious about this.  After the Braun incident, it would have been nice to see Selig discussing stricter penalties (perhaps a suspension of 80+ games for first time offenders) and more rigorous drug testing.

But the one reason that I hate Selig so much is because of something he hasn’t done.  And that is pave the way for Pete Rose to enter the hall of fame.  Sure he hasn’t specifically kept Rose out of the hall.  That duty belonged to past commissioner Bart Giamatti.  But at a time when baseball is so popular, Selig could do something that really defined his tenure as commissioner.  It’s an absolute shame that Rose has been banned.  And the one person who has the authority to overrule this decision and allow it to go to a vote has simply looked the other way.

Selig has been good for baseball, but not great.  I’ll also give him credit when it comes to instant replay.  Baseball fans are traditional and have strongly opposed instant replay being implemented.  He has maintained this view and I know this is something the fans appreciate.  But at the end of the day, I hope he doesn’t accept a new contract extension so that we can finally say bye bye to Bud.

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