Reading that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has agreed to a contract extension until 2012 makes me sick to my stomach.
Major League Baseball has serious problems. The league passed a blind eye to rampant steroid abuse and has allowed teams to compete with dollars not with skill. They have gone outside of the US to seek cheaper talent (except, of course, Japan) and, in my opinion, have crushed the US minor league system and made a 70 year tradition of winter league baseball in Puerto Rico a thing of history.
It is clear team owners are not seeking a new direction after this disaster of a year, with their unanimous vote in favor of continuing Selig’s reign. Sure, he was behind interleague play and wild cards in the postseason but the problems the league is facing far outweigh the good. Today’s kids aren’t interested in baseball anymore and these owners are not going to really feel the pinch until these kids become adults who will never feel the need to set foot into a ballpark.
I can only imagine the amount of money thrown at Bud to stay on knowing his earnings for the 2005 season topped $14 million!
I may not agree with the Billick firing as a biased Billick supporter, but, strictly as a sports fan, I agree with his removal as an impetus for change. If you are looking for change, change the parties involved.
This excerpt from espn.com’s article says it best:
When the Mitchell Report on drug in baseball was released last month, Rep. Cliff Stearns called on Selig to resign.
“Certainly, a lack of leadership and oversight in MLB enabled these abuses to continue,” the Florida Republican said then. “After 15 years of slow action, a new commissioner is needed to guide the league out of this era of drug abuse.”
Selig should have stuck with his original plan to step down in 2009. Better yet Bud, if you truly are a steward of America’s pastime, step down and allow some one else to put the entire league through rehab.