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Old 09-26-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Report: Selig To Retire After 2014 Season

Quote:
Bud Selig will retire as the commissioner of Major League Baseball when his contract ends in January 2015, it was announced Thursday.

"It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life," Selig said Thursday in a statement. "Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig to retire after 2014 season - ESPN

Evaluations of Selig are going to depend a lot upon perspectives. It is important to keep in mind that Bud was not your father's commissioner. In theory, before Selig the commissioner was a neutral party whose job was to oversee and act for the "best interests of baseball." He was supposed to be the commissioner for the owners, the players and the fans.

In reality, once the MLBPA became powerful, the commissioner ceased representing anyone other than the owner collective, although the pretense that nothing had changed was sustained, at least until Selig took office. It began when the owners elected Bowie Kuhn, their own lawyer, to be commissioner in the '70's.

There was a brief rollback when in reaction to how badly Peter Ueberroth handled the collusion business, giving the owners a rather visible black eye, the owners voted in A. Bartlett Giamatti, a man with an image of integrity. Then when Giamatti started behaving as though he really was the commissioner of the owners, players and fans, the owners regretted this decision. They caught a break with Giamatti's early death and allowed Fay Vincent to replace him because by then they had already decided to abolish the office entirely.

Remember, when they sacked Vincent, they brought in Selig as "acting commissioner" and he was not given the title of commissioner until 1998. The pretense that the commissioner was this gentle patriarch of a fan presiding over fairness for all was dropped. The players had their representative, the head of the MLBPA, and now the owners had theirs.

It was the fans who were dropped from this formula and that is why in evaluating Selig, he takes a hit from the fans. The owners actually loved Selig, he helped make them a lot richer.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:43 PM
 
138 posts, read 127,678 times
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Good riddance
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
6,495 posts, read 10,802,779 times
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Maybe (just maybe) Pete Rose will finally be able to get in the Hall of Fame.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kmoran81 View Post
Good riddance
Ditto. At least assuming the next guy is any better. Quite fitting that Selig's initials are B.S.

The first of the B.S. "innovations" I'd like to see dropped would be this ridiculous wild card play-in. You can't fairly decide anything in baseball on the basis of one game.

Grandstander, you make a good point about the differences in commissioners in different eras. Maybe the owners do need some support to counter the power of the players' union, though I do agree that the fans seem to have been forgotten in the jockeying between players and owners during the Selig era.

My biggest complaint about Selig, though, has to do with my somewhat sarcastic comment above, about all his "innovations." There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the changes Selig has brought. He impresses me as a guy who might have a big ego which he wants to flatter by viewing himself as some kind of great innovator and/or someone who just likes change for its own sake. Try a little of this and a little of that. Gee, isn't this neat!

Some of the changes are probably good. For example, I prefer the eight-team playoff format to the four-team arrangement that preceded it, because you're less likely to have an undeserving team like (in my opinion) the '87 Twins lead a charmed existence for three rounds than for two, and end up being the official champions. It's the haphazard, little-of-this-little-of-that approach to change that needs to, well, change.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by grmasterb View Post
Maybe (just maybe) Pete Rose will finally be able to get in the Hall of Fame.
Why bother? By this time Rose is way, way past being able to be honored by such a thing. If he was enshrined the ceremony wouldn't be about Rose the player, it would be about Rose the controversy.

My feeling is that Pete doesn't have Bud Selig or Fay Vincent to blame for his troubles, he has Pete Rose to blame.

And I am certainly in no rush to see public honors being bestowed upon a man who spent ten years lying to the public about his guilt.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by ogre View Post
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the changes Selig has brought. .
The Selig promoted changes came with a consistent pattern of revenue enhancement motivation. Adding expansion teams generates new revenues, expanding the playoffs generates new revenues, expanding the number of teams in the post season generates more revenue, starting the MLB Network generated more revenue. About the only thing I can think of that Selig did which wasn't revenue related was approving limited replay use for the officiating.

Even though most what Selig did was for the well being of the owner's wallets, not for the fans and not for "The Game" whatever that actually means, I think it has worked out well enough and that most fans are happy with the changes.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:36 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,730,437 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The Selig promoted changes came with a consistent pattern of revenue enhancement motivation. Adding expansion teams generates new revenues, expanding the playoffs generates new revenues, expanding the number of teams in the post season generates more revenue, starting the MLB Network generated more revenue. About the only thing I can think of that Selig did which wasn't revenue related was approving limited replay use for the officiating.
Good point. It is true that making more money has consistently been the reason for many of Selig's moves, so there has been some consistency of a sort. I'm pretty much a pure fan, and I'm just old enough to remember the last couple of seasons when they didn't have divisions, and the World Series was all there was to the postseason. So, even though of course I understand that it's a business, I was thinking of this more in terms of consistency regarding reasons that make sense to me in how the game plays out on the field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Even though most what Selig did was for the well being of the owner's wallets, not for the fans and not for "The Game" whatever that actually means, I think it has worked out well enough and that most fans are happy with the changes.
Not that I'm no longer interested in watching. Far from it. However, even though it's true that the real reason for Selig's moves has been money, sometimes the stated reasons for these moves make no sense. Just to provide one example, the wild card seems to me to undermine the stated reason for the increase in the number of intra-divisional games.

Back a number of years ago when the schedule began being skewed toward a lot of games within divisions, the stated reason was that it would be entertaining to have a lot of good tight races for division championships. The trouble is, division titles have meant less when the team that finishes second has had the possibility of a wild card spot to fall back on. Back when you had to win your division to make the playoffs at all, that made for some really tense, exciting races.

I know that by pointing this out I might seem to be contradicting the statement in my post above that I prefer three rounds of playoffs to two, but I'm talking here about one point related to the wild card format, not the whole picture. You can say that it's still an advantage to win your division, but until they started this play-in arrangement last year, it really wasn't such a terrible disadvantage to be the wild card, certainly not compared to failing to make the playoffs at all if you finished anywhere but first in your division.

So, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to tout the likelihood of exciting divisional races as the reason to skew the schedule toward intra-divisional play, when the wild card possibility undermined the excitement that used to be there when every team in each division played for one playoff spot. That's one example of the inconsistencies in the effect Selig's changes have had on the actual play of the game.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by ogre View Post

I know that by pointing this out I might seem to be contradicting the statement in my post above that I prefer three rounds of playoffs to two, but I'm talking here about one point related to the wild card format, not the whole picture. .
If you were to design what you believed was the perfect system for handling how the ML champion is determined, exactly the right number of teams, exactly the right number of games, all rules about home field advantage meant to be as fair as you can make them....and then..

You took your system and began applying it retroactively to past seasons to see how it would have altered those years, you would discover that some seasons became more exciting than they actually were, some seasons are rendered less exciting by your system, and some don't seem to have changed much. Some unfairness of the past will be corrected, some new unfairness will replace it, only the identities of the teams change.

The problem is that so much of the outcome of matters is related to random luck. One year the rules sway to your advantage, the next year you are getting screwed by that same rule because your circumstances are different.

There is no one size fits all formula for a post season structure. Any system will be subject to good and bad outcomes.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:22 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,730,437 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
If you were to design what you believed was the perfect system for handling how the ML champion is determined, exactly the right number of teams, exactly the right number of games, all rules about home field advantage meant to be as fair as you can make them....and then..

You took your system and began applying it retroactively to past seasons to see how it would have altered those years, you would discover that some seasons became more exciting than they actually were, some seasons are rendered less exciting by your system, and some don't seem to have changed much. Some unfairness of the past will be corrected, some new unfairness will replace it, only the identities of the teams change.

The problem is that so much of the outcome of matters is related to random luck. One year the rules sway to your advantage, the next year you are getting screwed by that same rule because your circumstances are different.

There is no one size fits all formula for a post season structure. Any system will be subject to good and bad outcomes.
Just a quick note on the bolded part: not sure what you are referring to with "your system" since I haven't gone into any detail about my picture of the ideal playoff setup. Actually, I have a few ideas, but couldn't say for sure off the top of my head just what system I would set up if I were in the position to do so. That would take some thought.

On to your main point here. It's true that no system would work out right every year. I do think, though, that the idea behind Churchill's observation about democracy, that democracy is the worst system of government . . . except all others, fits pretty well with what we're talking about here. No sports scheduling system works perfectly all the time, but some setups may not look so good except when they are compared to others.

I wonder how you feel about the first post-Selig change I said in my first post that I'd like to see. I know there are arguments in favor of the current wild card play-in, but I'm curious about whether we can agree that in baseball a single game is not enough to fairly, realistically determine which is the better team.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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ogre
Quote:
Just a quick note on the bolded part: not sure what you are referring to with "your system" since I haven't gone into any detail about my picture of the ideal playoff setup.
It referenced any system you might design, that was the point, no matter what you propose, there will be years when it works out well and years when it does not.


Quote:
but I'm curious about whether we can agree that in baseball a single game is not enough to fairly, realistically determine which is the better team.
Off course, but then neither is a five or seven game series sufficient to determine which is the better team.
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