AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! and AMEN! again

I feel zero sympathy for A-Fraud, but Joe Sheehan’s body slam of the Used Car Salesman, who’s reportedly prepared to ban the Yankees third sacker for life under the “best interests of baseball” clause, is SOLID FUCKING GOLD.

It is ludicrous that Bud Selig would find himself about to invoke XII.B against anyone. In the 1980s, as owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and a labor hawk, Selig faithfully executed MLB’s plan of colluding to fix the market for baseball players. With his fellow owners under then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth, Selig agreed to not compete for talent, to not look to improve his team, in violation of federal labor law. … Selig may have cost his team a division title while spearheading an approach that would end up costing MLB owners $280 million across three separate judgments and queering relations with the MLBPA for the next two decades.

Seven years later, Selig would make the costs of collusion look like ashtray money. After participating in the ouster of commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992, Selig became the de facto commissioner in advance of the negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1994. As the head of the Executive Council, Selig pushed a hardline approach that included a payroll cap, the ending of salary arbitration and the gutting of free agency. The walkout forced by this approach would cost the game more than a half-billion in direct lost revenue in 1994, and more than a billion dollars in total when 1995 and slack revenues in post-strike seasons are tallied. …

The single most destructive act towards baseball in my lifetime isn’t a player cheating, isn’t Pete Rose betting, isn’t a team snorting coke and it isn’t baseball teams colluding. It’s 1994, and 1994 happened because Bud Selig called a play that a Supreme Court Justice saw right through. Alex Rodriguez could kidnap the NL Central, the Texas League and the Southeastern Conference, shoot them up with heroin and drop them off a barge and not violate XII.B to the extent that Selig has.

This should be required reading for every baseball scribe and broadcaster, most of whom forward the ridiculous argument that the Scourge of Milwaukee has somehow been good for the game.

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5 thoughts on “AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! and AMEN! again

  1. Indeed. That’s a bullseye.

    I’ve tried to explain to some damned obdurate people what collusion really was. Marvin Miller makes the best case in his excellent book “A Whole Different Ballgame” but Joe (who is a writer who I like to read and always take seriously, even when I disagree with him) lays out a good thumbnail sketch here.

    Selig and every other owner and executive of that time who participated in that disgrace (including St. Bart Giamatti) should be permanently ineligible for the Hall of Fame because they did exactly when Jackson, Cicotte and all of the other ’19 Sox did: they agreed not to compete in order to make a common financial gain.

  2. charlesad, That’s exactly what Butt Seatlick is doing. He doesn’t choose to bring the hammer down hard on the star player of the team he no longer owns (wink-wink), but instead chooses to make an example of a roundly disliked asshole at the end of his career whom the Steinbrenner heirs would just as soon not to pay the crazy money their father promised to him. I’m not going to grieve over the raw deal A-Knob is getting, but neither am I going think that giving his career the death penalty accomplishes any sort of justice in the big scheme of things.

    And in that excerpt, Joe Sheehan doesn’t touch on Butt’s modus operandi in determining which prospective ownership groups to support when franchises are sold. If Time-Warner structures a deal that weakens the franchise it is selling primarily so it can cheat on corporate income taxes, it doesn’t matter as long as the incoming owners will vote with Butt. The dodgy former owners of the Cubs and Dodgers? Better them than a maverick like Mark Cuban. The operator of a mercenary army as the Astros owner? As long as he paves the way for Butt’s Brewers to move into the National League, he’s good.

    I am physically repulsed that a statue of that shitheel stands outside Crappy Domestic SAB Product Park near the one of Bad Henry.

  3. It’s a common misconception that the game is “good” and “pure.” It never has been. Never will.

    There’s a similar misconception that the players are overpaid. Not a chance. Squeeze every dime from the owners that you can. As you soon as you get hurt, you’re discarded.

  4. jon, Players are never overpaid. They may not produce at the level that would be considered commensurate with what they’re earning, but they’re never overpaid. One of the reasons I like baseball a lot more than football is that most baseball players can still walk when their playing days are over, and they’re not likely to begin showing signs of CTE in their late 40s.

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