Why Bud Selig doesn’t deserve a statue

February 11, 2010

Off Base

Just as the Bronze Fonz statute seemed like an Onion article, I figured this was just as much BS, but it turns out it’s true.

Recently, the Milwaukee Brewers have decided to erect a 7 foot tall statue of the current MLB commissioner and I’m upset that I’ll have to look at that when I walk into the stadium.

I don’t think he deserves this statute. I was never a fan of him as the Brewers owner and I think he was an embarrassment to the Brewers organization for many years (The 90s) for a multitude of reasons, which I will get to in just a moment. And as commissioner I believe that his good is significantly shadowed by his bad.

However I thought I should shed some light on reasons why a statue would be a good idea for Brewers fans and the MLB:

  • Bringing baseball to Milwaukee. After the Braves moved, Milwaukee was without baseball.  Selig with the help of others brought the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee and they became the brewers. You have to like a team named after beer making. But then again, baseball was so abysmal in Milwaukee for much of the Selig family legacy it was like not having baseball at all (See below)
  • Inter-league Play? I think it devalues the World Series, but people like seeing teams from the opposing league.  Dad’s get to explain to their sons why the pitcher is or isn’t batting for 3 home series’ a year. But come on, you know you want to watch a Rays-Pirates or Royals-Padres series.
  • The Wild Card –I think this was a great addition to the game, but the playoffs still include far too few teams
  • Revenue sharing? It sounds like a good idea but it’s corrupt as hell. Owners can now turn profits on increasingly uncompetitive teams. – The Commissioner’s Blue Ribbon Panel Math is way over my head, but teams like the Royals, Rays and Marlins have all decreased their payroll while their revenue sharing, profits and team value have all gone up.

Now for the reasons why Selig’s been nothing more than terrible:

  • The abysmal teams Brewers during the 90s: From 1990 until Bud handed the team over to his daughter the Brewers were 668-724. Those (home)games were witnessed by just over 9.5m fans.
  • After becoming commissioner in 98, he handed the reins of the brewers over to his equally if not more incompetent daughter. From 1998 to their sale after the 2004 season the Brewers went 424 – 564. The games were witnessed by 11.8m fans (The stadium was built in 2001).
  • To put that in perspective the Brewers under current owner Mark Anastasio the Brewers are 409-401 (ABOVE .500!) and the home games were witnessed by over 8.3m fans.
  • Drafting Gary Sheiffeld, allowing Paul Molitor to leave the team(and virtually ever other Brewers transaction between 1993-2004).
  • The ’94 Strike and the cancellation of the World Series. Everyone was pissed at baseball because it was Rich owners versus Rich players trying to become richer.
  • His hostile takeover to become the commissioner of the MLB.
  • The integrity issues that have come out of baseball: Congress forcing Bud Selig to explain steroids where players purged themselves in front of the governing body, then Bud taking credit for his roid crackdown in baseball.  And subsequently not taking away Bonds’ and McGuire’s home run records while being mute on Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson’s ban from baseball.
  • The 2002 All-Star game that resulted in a tie because the rules that are forced on the amount pitchers of pitches one can throw.
  • Moving the Brewers to the National League, because of the financial interest.
  • His racketeering and collusion involving the Expos, Marlins and Twins.
  • Player’s salaries, owner’s profits, his salary – all at the expense of Fans and $8 beer.
  • Baseball in November
  • STILL HAVING A DH IN THE AL! Come on,  that has to be the worst rule in baseball.

However I think in all of these Cons, one stands out above all others:

The way he screwed Milwaukee tax payers into building a stadium for the team, that he then overvalued and sold, making an exorbitant profit off the backs of the fans and tax payers. Selig sold the team for $233 million, even though the team’s payroll at the time of sale was only $40m. The scumbag used car salesman made all his money off of taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin and I find that to be shameful.
ESPN’s Jim Caple agrees with me (and a hat tip for the above photo)

But an owner? The suit who controls ticket and beer prices? The filthy-rich man who demands that taxpayers help pay for new stadiums to make him even richer? The meddlesome guy who fails to re-sign a beloved star and then gives a boatload of cash to a free agent so fat he uses real donuts on his bat in the on-deck circle? Giving him a statue is just a bad idea. It’s like putting up a statue of a politician. You’re guaranteed to tick off at least half the people.

Brewers fans could recall Selig as the man who brought the Brewers to Milwaukee, and a World Series to the city in 1982. Or they could just as likely remember how he never got them back to the postseason after that, and lost Paul Molitor to free agency after offering him a paycut.

Bob Warja of  The Bleacher Report echoes my dismay.

Since there is no turning back now, I hope this is the model of the statue they use for Selig.


One comment

  1. I find it a bit strange that Selig is getting a statue that will be in the same company with Hank Aaron and Robin Yount. It really just doesn’t seem to fit does it? In today’s world, it is always easy to not like someone who is in a position of power, especially when they are the Commisioner of the MLB. As a Brewers fan, I did not like the fact that they sucked for so many years and the fact that he secretly “jewed” his way outta paying the $90 million towards Miller Park that he promised. However, he brought the MLB back to Milwaukee when it never should have left in the first place, which is monumental. Whether people like it or not, or want to recognize it, moving to the National League was a great move for the Brewers. It is a league with better players and more of the leagues “foundation” teams. Also, the Wild Card was necessary with the expanding # of teams, which never should have happended. If anything, the season should be shortened and the playoffs should be expanded by one additional round, like the NFL.

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