Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brewers To Build A Giant Bud Selig Statue

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig will be honored by the team he formerly owned on August 24th when the Brewers will unveil a Bud Selig statue...
Selig's likeness will join those of Hank Aaron and Robin Yount in front of Miller Park. Selig's foundation donated the first two statues at the stadium.

Selig's statue will be cast in bronze and measure more than seven feet tall.
Over 7 feet tall, huh? That's nearly 3 times the size of the actual Bud Selig. Selig did bring baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves split for the greener pastures of Atlanta. Selig bought the financially dead-in-the-water Seattle Pilots in 1970, moved them to Milwaukee and renamed them the Brewers. Selig owned and operated the Brewers until he became Commissioner in 1992. He transferred ownership to his daughter to remove any conflict of interest. *wink, wink* The team would eventually be sold to Mark Attanasio.

Aside from a little ownership collusion in the mid 80's, Selig might be worthy of a statue for bringing baseball back to Milwaukee. I certainly wouldn't let him hang out with the statues of Hank Aaron and Robin Yount but I don't consume 4 pounds of sausage and a gallon of beer on a Tuesday afternoon either. Usually.

His seemingly endless tenure as the Commish is a different story altogether. Selig gave us the Wild Card which I personally enjoy and made a ton of cash for the owners. But he also cost us the 1994 World Series, made the All Star Game decide World Series home field advantage because of one tied ASG and turned a blind eye of steroids for far too long. But hey, anybody could have a tough 18-year stretch. They just don't usually get paid $10+ million a year for it.


  1. How can you "enjoy" the wild card when it destroys pennant races and a World Series dominant post-season.

    Your team has an extra four chances to make it to the post-season? What happens to the other 22 teams and their fans?

    Pennant races are more competitive than wild cards, higher quality, and much more intense.
    They are better for the season as whole, for September, and for October.

    Shame on Commissioner Selig for hyping this inferior product for short-term revenues while sacrificing long-term growth. And shame on a gullible baseball public for lapping it up.

  2. How does it destroy pennant races?

    I know not everybody likes the wild card. I know the playoffs can be a crap shoot if you just manage to get in. But I think that's a little harsh to call it an inferior product when 6 straight wild card teams made it to the World Series from 2002-2007 with 3 of them winning. Not to mention in 2002 both teams were wild cards.

    What's your solution? Go back to 2 divisions in each league? Never going to happen. That takes too much post-season revenue out of owners' pockets. It is, after all, a business.

  3. Pennant races are the day to day, head to head, competition between rivals for the same pennant. Winners go on and all losers go home.
    The very nature of what a pennant race is no longer exists in baseball. Most of a teams games aren't even played against rivals for the same pennant. Having a 2nd place team go on is defeats the whole concept of losers go home.

    I call wild cards inferior because objective fact shows it to be. Pennant races are superior to wild card with regard to the level of competition, intensity of the race, and quality of the participants. The wild card in the World Series is a huge minus rather than a plus. Take a whole 162 game season and negate the results by having a 2nd place team beat a 1st place team in a short series? You've just turned the World Series into an inferior product.

    The last point shows baseball has a serious credibility gap with many sports fans as witnessed by its last media contract's inferiority to the one before it. FOX no longer wanted the Division Series it created. It and half the LCS was forced to switch to cable. MLB also lost a weekend of the World Series, and can't seem to compete with the big boys during the day.

    Yes, I realize that baseball is a business. I also realize, if you provide a superior product you will produce superior revenues. Baseball should go back to being baseball rather than trying to imitate the inferior NBA's and NHL's regular season and playoff system.

    Yes, go back to 2 divisions and structure them so you have season long pennant races like you haven't had in years. Play 80% of your games against rivals for the same pennant. Play the other 20% against your leagues other division according to how you finish in the standings.

    Real pennant races in September will make the fans and media forget the cluttered extra week of playoffs. The World Series will again become the crown jewel of the sports world. Instead of accepting more short-term cash (very suspicious) baseball's long-term growth will ensure greater revenues for all.

  4. Your system still doesn't get the best teams playing each other in the playoffs though. Hell, the Blue Jays are 3rd in third order wins in all of baseball and they're still going to finish 4th in their division. I'd rather get the Rays into the playoffs instead of just having the Yankees play the Rangers this year to see who goes into the WS. The Rays, a second place team, are also the second best team in the AL.

    And you can't compare MLB's playoff structure to that of the NBA or NHL where half of the teams in the league make the post season. 8 out of 30 isn't compromising the regular season.

    As far as games switching from network TV to cable, ESPN pays a lot of money for those rights. Do you think ABC just didn't want Monday Night Football anymore and let it go to ESPN?

    I want to see the best teams in baseball in the playoffs. Your system would keep either the Yankees, Red Sox or Rays out every year in the AL and the Braves, Phillies or Cardinals out in the NL. I don't see how that's better for the playoffs.

  5. Your response to my discussion about the affect that wild cards have on baseball illustrates a basic problem with the wild card and the extra week of playoffs has on MLB's entire season. Instead of enjoying baseball's long 162 game season, from the first day of play, your mind is already on the playoffs. For two extra playoff positions per league, and an extra week of post-season, you seriously hurt pennant races and the Worlde Series. These are baseball's best features.

    Instead of imagining the best teams playing in the post-season, you can watch them play in the best competition, all season long, straight through to September, in climax building pennant races.

    If good teams can't make the final cut, that's baseball; and they can say they've given their all for the best sport there is. Post-seasons are made to be competitions between the best of the best, not for those who come out second best. You want to see TB in the post-season? What would you say if you could see them in a season long pennant race with the Yankees and Red Sox!

    And this is the difference between MLB and the NHL and NBA. The latter sports have regular season's that are viewed as "jokes". Baseball needs to be careful that by adding exta teams and extra weeks of playoff that it does do damage to its twice as long season.

    Remember, over 6 months of solid baseball, you're sacrificing season long pennant races, intense Septembers and a post-season that features only the very best teams.

    As far as media is concerned, I like to compare baseball to the NFL, NBA, and NHL, with the NFL as the Gold Standard and the other two leagues as also rans.

    How many NFL playoff games are on cable. The answer is none. How many weekend playoff games are played in so called "Prime Time". Not many. When you look at the NBA and NHL, most of their playoff games are on cable. Any move by baseball toward basketball and hockey and away from football is a move backwards.

    It seems to me that baseball accepted a contract with FOX because they saw it as a better short-term deal. But having FOX as their national broadcast vehicle puts them into perpetual 2nd class citizenship to football. I would have tried to negotiate a deal with one of the other networks that would have made baseball #1, and ensured their chances for long-term growth.

    I have no problems with ESPN and TBS telecasting regular season games. The problem I do have is that FOX's broadcasts have regional rather than national appeal. I think this is in large part due to the fact that MLB lacks a strong national product. This would not be the case if baseball had pennant races rather than wild card to offer a national audience. If they had a better product they would have higher ratings and they could get more money from all their media partners.

    Pennant races and strong World Series are a much better product than what MLB is offering its fans now. If we can realize this, it is the kind of game all fans should want to see and work toward having; for the regular season, for September, and for October.

  6. Cliff -

    we appreciate you reading and your passion for the game is what we're hoping to draw to the site.

    Your main argument seems to be that the wild card hurts pennant races. I just don't think that's true. Let's just look at the current season: every single division except the AL West has a tight race going on right now. And you said "what would you say if you could see (Tampa) in a season-long pennant race with the Yankees and Redsox?" Well, Cliff, I'd say "is it 2010?" because that's exactly what's going on in the East right now.

    I do agree with you that the season is too long (I'd be more comfortable with about 145 regular season games), but it's been 162 games since the first wave of expansion and there have been dozens of great pennant races in the last 50 years.

    As for TV, as long as Chip Caray isn't involved, I'm fine with whatever TV package baseball provides.

  7. Two things:
    1)When your schedule cuts across 14-16 teams to accommodate for the wild card, you can't plop down in one division and call it a pennant race. What you actually have in the AL is 6 teams competing for 4 playoff spots. Not very exciting or engrossing when you think about it.

    2)If you must look at the AL East, you cannot make the case for a pennant race, when out of three teams two will be going on. Again, not as exciting as a pennant race when it's winner take all and 2nd place team goes home.

    This is not semantics, but merely a statement of fact.

    Finally, I referred to baseball's media package because MTD mentioned that MLB was a business; and I was just indicating how they do a poor job at it!

    Pennant races all season and in September; and a World Series dominant October will eventually bring more of that thing that all businesses thrive on---revenues.

  8. So you didn't enjoy last year's extra inning tie breaker game between the Twins and Tigers? That wasn't exciting? I enjoy the division races. Except for the AL West, every other division has the second place team within 3 games. There are going to be some good races down the stretch. But what do I know? I'll watch the Pirates and Marlins in mid September. I love baseball. And I'm sorry but I find playoff baseball very exciting and want to see the best teams in it. Not just the Yankees and whoever beat up the most on the Royals, Indians and Mariners.

    Obviously, the schedule could use some work and inter-league play needs some serious retooling. And I feel bad for the Blue Jays who would probably be the best team in any other division in baseball except theirs but that's not the wild card's fault and a two division system wouldn't help them either.

    Baseball's media package is really petty good. ESPN has a fairly decent audience. This isn't 15 years ago. How many people do you know that don't have at least $15 a month basic cable? Plus MLB.tv is amazing.

    Besides, just ask the owners how they feel about the tons of cash Bud Selig has made for them since he implemented the wild card. You're not going to get many complaints.

  9. I'm not talking negative about MLB, I'm a lifelong fan,too; who thinks that they can do better by being "Baseball". The wild card, three divisions, and extra round of playoffs take away too much from season long pennant races, pennant race Septembers, and the World Series. You give me Tigers vs. Twins and I say you lose Bobby Thompson, Bucky Dent, and three other post-season playoffs between baseball's top teams from 1947-1962.

    Reconfiguring the divisions gives the league a strength they lose with the current structure. Detroit might have been involved in a 4 team pennant race with Tampa Bay, New York, and Boston; Minnesota in a four team one with LAA, Texas and Chicago. And if they're good enough they would meet in a 7 game ALCS rather than a one game playoff.

    I have nothing against MLB's contract with ESPN.
    All I am saying is that with the strength of pennant races they would get better ratings and more revenues.

    Talking about the playoffs, as a die-hard baseball fan I'm right there with you, but I wonder who else is. The current set-up that emphasizes the achievements of individual teams ends up costing viewership as fans of individual teams leave their couches as their teams leave the scene. September and October baseball needs to pick up viewers as the action goes on, not lose them. Attracting new life-time fans needs to become part of the playoff mix.

    This is why I complain about baseball's media package. While the powers that be originally claimed that the wild card would save September and October, the opposite seems to be the case. Baseball's post-season contract with FOX has deteriorated since FOX demanded an extra round of playoff. The rating must improve if MLB is going to do better in the future.

    I know that owners are doing a jig when they consider the money that Selig has made for them. I will say again that he has sacrificed long-term MLB growth for short-term financial gain. But by creating the best possible product, which I firmly believe is pennant races and a World Series dominant October, baseball's financial future and the quality of the game itself will come out much better.

  10. I have to tell you Cliff, you almost sold me with that last comment. Keep up the good work.