By Rex Oâ€™Rourke
MIAMI, FL â€“ Bud Seligâ€™s reign has certainly had its ups and downs; of this we can be certain. Hired to be a yes man for the owners and an owner himself (conflict of interest anyone?), Bud presided over a crippling strike that changed the course of baseball history, not to mention the record books and how we view Hall of Fame eligibility. In his haste to repair the damage he and Donald Fehr presided over, Mr. Selig looked the other way as PEDs infiltrated our beloved game, trading integrity for money, lots of money. The long ball was all the rage and it put fannies back in the seats. Of course, this deal with The Devil, came at a huge price that the game will be paying for, for years to come.
Obviously, Budâ€™s tenure will be defined by this and other boo-boos; a tied All-Star Game, ticket prices beyond the means of the common man and the lack of a salary cap so long overdue that itâ€™s been needed since Deee-Lite and Blind Melon were relevant. That said, I must give the thumbs up for interleague play and the extra tier of playoffs slash Wildcard. Iâ€™m a purist as much as the next guy, but the Wildcard has kept more teams in the race later in the season, and interleague has brought teams to parks and cities for the first time in ages. As a Yankees fan, I get to see pitchers hit, double switches, and real baseball strategy. The annual six-pack of games with The Mutts is always good theatre and around the country fans get to see some interesting match-ups. Sure, there is the occasional Pittsburgh-Seattle series, but itâ€™s only a question of time (probably a long time) until that becomes a meeting of past World Series foes. With player movement, plots and sub plots, and history building between all the possible match-ups, interleague will only get more interesting as the years go by. Give Bud credit for that.
Happy Fatherâ€™s Day to all dadâ€™s out there.
Until next week,
P.S. Hey Pop, wanna have a catch?