Bud Selig: Be objective now...has he really been THAT bad a Commissioner?
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| By joseozzie on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:26 pm:|
Bud Selig's Achievements
Shunned for most of the 20th century, regular-season play between the American and National Leagues was instituted in 1997 to great criticism from traditionalists. But in the eight seasons since that format commenced during the month of June, attendance has spiked and natural rivalries have thrived. It has become a major component of every season.
The new alignment began with the 1994 season and eliminated the two-division format that each league had utilized from 1969-1993. Playoffs were expanded from four teams to eight, with three division winners and a Wild Card berth in each league.
Wild Card berths
Additional playoff spots, added in the 1995 season, created an alternative pennant race in each league involving a pair of Wild Card spots. They kept fans interested late in the season, when traditional division races might have already been over. The last two World Series champs -- Anaheim and Florida -- were both Wild Card berth winners.
Owners universally resisted the notion of sharing local revenue until the labor agreement was signed, which came after the players' strike cancelled the playoffs and World Series at the end of the 1994 season and delayed the start of the 1995 season. In the current Basic Agreement, which was signed in 2002 and expires on Dec. 19, 2006, higher-revenue teams are sharing an average of $258 million a season. Selig says there is a direct correlation between increased revenue sharing competitive balance.
AL and NL umbrella
Until Selig took control under increased powers given to him by the owners, the American League and the National League functioned as separate entities and sometimes acted in conflict to each other's interests. Under Selig, the official league presidents were abolished and the umpires were brought under one umbrella. Major League Baseball has since become a single business entity.
Under Selig and with the cooperation of the players association, baseball has taken steps to globalize the game. Major League-affilated players were made available to play in the 2000 Summer Olympics. MLB began opening its regular season outside of North America and the Expos played 22 games in each of the past two seasons in San Juan, Puerto Rico. MLB sends coaches to emerging baseball nations around the world each year to teach the game, and a World Cup-type tournament involving MLB players is on the docket for either 2005 or 2006. More star Japanese players than ever have come to the Major Leagues. And television rights fees paid to MLB by Japan media outlets has tripled because of it.
After a series of work stoppages during each negotiation for a new labor agreement dating back to the 1970s, both baseball and its union averted a strike by signing a far-reaching agreement at the deadline in August 2002. The agreement includes increased revenue sharing, a competitive balance tax on teams spending above an established player salary threshold each season and the first-ever random drug-testing program at the Major League level.
Under Selig, MLB adopted a strict random drug-testing policy for the minor leagues in 2001. As part of the 2002 Basic Agreement, for the first time the union agreed to allow random testing with possible fines and suspensions for steroids use only in the big leagues. Selig called it a good start, but he has pushed for the stricter drug-testing policies already in place in the minors. Both sides have been in negotiations this season to try and improve the plan.
After passing in a 30-0 vote by the owners in 2003, the All-Star Game's result was used for two years to determine home-field advantage in the World Series. Selig was looking for a way to increase interest and intensity after the 2002 game in his hometown of Milwaukee had to be stopped after 11 innings, with the score tied at seven, because both teams ran out of pitchers. The Commissioner wants to make the All-Star Game's home-field determination permanent, but it has to be bargained again with the union this offseason.
Fourteen new ballparks have been built in the Camden Yards mold since it opened in Baltimore in time for the 1992 season. Anaheim was also redesigned and reconfigured, and St. Louis is on its way. Selig has campaigned tirelessly in every community seeking to build a new ballpark and is doing the same now in Oakland, Minnesota and Florida.
Selig's greatest contribution: change
"Change moves so slowly in this game," he said. "We needed to move into the 21st century. We have the greatest game in the world, but it was time to be sensitive to what our customers think. People resist change, fight change, they're reluctant to change. Once I decide what I want to do, I discuss it with every owner. I don't want anyone to feel that they're outside the loop. I'll let other people determine why I was able to foster so much change when the people who came before me didn't. But it's been amazing. Most of the votes have been 30-0."
| By deajay on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:27 pm:|
Shouldn't this be posted in off field site?
| By joseozzie on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:27 pm:|
Now this should be fun...wondering how many of you will show me the link of him ripping our A's a few years back--No need-I have seen it...
| By joseozzie on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:27 pm:|
sorry....my bad--didn't even realize there was another site
| By eyleenn on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:37 pm:|
jo, did you write that or copy it from somewhere? If you copied it, you need to either post a link or at least state where you got it.
Them's the rules of the forum.
| By deajay on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:42 pm:|
jo, no bad ... others have done the same, including me. I tend to forget sometimes. Lil will probably be able to move it for you, as she has mine. I'm an "illiterate" pc user, so I can't help.