Please do not take this the wrong way, but thank you for not opting to re-new your contract as Commissioner of Major League Baseball. For some bizarre reason, unbeknown to us, the owners extended you an open offer to keep your gig going for a few more years.
Perhaps they just liked the idea of having one of their own as acting Commish. What? You didn’t think we’d remember? C’mon Bud, it wasn’t that long ago. After all, we are only talking about 1992. We would have to have memories shorter than John Rocker’s reign of terror not to recall how you were conveniently plucked from your position as owner of the Milwaukee Brewers to replace Fay Vincent, whom with a group of your peers, you voted off the island before taking his job.
If that is the case, perhaps someone should tell former Dodgers co-owner, Jamie McCourt, to stop wasting her time fighting her soon to be ex-husband and current Dodgers head man, for her old office and title. Instead, Jamie should FedEx a few fruit baskets to the other 29 majority shareholders in the league. We hear you have a position opening up. Or is it, your position is opening up? Either way, she might want to send them under the memo, “re: 2012.”
It’s not that we want you gone Bud. Ok, maybe it is exactly that. But still, we know you have been through a lot over the last 17-plus years. And you have done a lot of great things for the game. For instance…
After only two years on the job, you craftily steered your new boat through a torrential downpour (heated labor disagreements between the owners and Players Association) and safely ashore to a strike shortened season, with an encore of the first canceled Fall Classic in 90 years. Classic indeed.
You were on-hand in 2002, in the comfy confines of your very own Miller Park, as an All-Star Game ended in a tie, to your never-ending chagrin. So you vowed the winds of 2003 would bring major changes, and ruled that to encourage more competition – in an exhibition game, might we remind you – and no further ties, the winner of the All-Star Game would determine home field advantage in the World Series.
In 2008, at the urging of just about everyone, you dutifully introduced the sporting world to the use of in-game instant replay (oh wait, that was actually the USFL in 1985, our mistake), to dispute hard to determine home run calls. Yet, despite a bevy of horrendous calls in the 2009 postseason, and a public outcry to expand the parameters of official replay, you refused to do so. Refused. No way, no how.
(To be fair, replay expansion was shut down via the General Managers, though to also be fair, we didn’t exactly see you campaigning for the change.)
Let’s not forget that it was you Bud, who was responsible for introducing baseball to George Mitchell. And to think, to this point, we hadn’t even mentioned the words steroids, BALCO, cream, clear, HGH, greenies, PEDs, Canseco, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire or asterisk. To this point.
Bud, look at that list closely. A glowing resume? Ok, maybe not.
But you did introduce interleague play and the Wild Card. Although, come to think of it, not everyone agrees that those were good additions to the game. Hmm. You are a perplexing man, Bud.
Regardless, we doubt you will be able to find anyone who takes issue with what you were able to pull off in 1993. With the help of Rick Reilly’s reporting – who know’s if he still knows the meaning of the word – you were able to discover Marge Scott’s inner Michael Richards, suspend her for a year and eventually, stonewall her from the game. Not even Marge Scott would want Marge Scott around. No, seriously, Scott wasn’t just racist, she was sexist too; against women in the work place. Go figure.
So as you can see Bud, we aren’t exactly thrilled with your body of work over the years. But who knows, you still have a few seasons left, maybe there is time for you to redeem yourself. If not, don’t plan on turning to us as a support system. We are counting down the days with a figurative Christmas paper chain.
In conclusion,we thank you again for turning down that contract extension. You made us smile. When it comes down to it, isn’t that all one can strive for?
-Baseball Fans Everywhere