Dave Kindred is my new hero!
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| By jeffreyb on Monday, April 29, 2002 - 10:24 pm:|
Selig: Twins can't solve their problems by winning
April 29, 2002
The Sporting News
April is only the first chapter in the novel that is a major league baseball season. But don't you love it so far? The orphaned and abandoned Expos are the game's hottest team. The Twins, marked for extermination, again are championship contenders. Meanwhile, the Brewers, owned by the man who wants the Expos and Twins dead, have descended to levels of incompetence so complete as to warm a contrarian's heart.
Imagine a Montreal-Minneapolis World Series: Jose Vidro and Vladimir Guerrero against Brad Radke; the Hall of Famer Frank Robinson against baseball lifer Ron Gardenhire, now famous for saying after a 9-1 defeat in Tampa Bay, "It's not the dome. . . . We could've played in Russia and they'd have kicked our butts."
How delicious would that be?
We can only hope.
We can look at the standings, and we can read the public prints, and we can say, "Hmmm, yep, some teams sure do need gotten rid of. Like those last-place, manager-firing, bad-hit/no-field, can't-win-on-the-road, run-by-the-busy-daddy's-daughter Brewers."
A petty thought, that.
But sooo sweet.
Contrarians, and other folks with beating baseball hearts, have it in for the Brewers' owner. His name is Bud Selig and he is up to no good again. In his other job as MLB commissioner, Selig in 1994 presided over the most disastrous labor negotiation in the game's history of disastrous labor negotiations. He now appears intent on topping himself.
Not only does he order up a hit list of teams to be offed . . . not only does he babble so evasively to the U.S. Congress about the game's financial state as to be reminded by a congresswoman that he is under oath . . . not only does he make the grandstanding announcement that owners won't lock out players this season (the only meaningful promise would be no lockout before next April) . . .
Not only all that, but he also now says of the Twins, "The fact of the matter that they're winning on the field doesn't solve their problems."
Selig spoke that remarkable sentence at a meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors where (it is fervently hoped) a distinguished editor may have raised a hand and inquired of the owner/commissioner, "WHAAAAAT THE . . . ?"
Haven't we been told all along that the compelling issue in baseball is competitive balance? That every team must go to spring training with a chance to win? Haven't we been told that all problems will disappear as soon as such balance is achieved, that we need an artificial mechanism that will make it possible for every team to win every game every year until the end of the time, thereby satisfying the need for instant and eternal gratification now endemic in sports fans?
Yet here it is, May 2002, and the Twins are among those teams competitively balanced. And now the owner/commissioner says competitive balance really doesn't mean anything?
What means everything is that the Minneapolis franchise isn't producing as much money for its owner as that owner would like. So owner/commissioner Selig, a friend of the Minneapolis owner from whom he once borrowed a few million dollars, decided that MLB should end the poor man's suffering, buy the franchise for a hundred million or so and close it down.
Never mind that the franchise history is that of the American League itself, from Clark Griffith to Walter Johnson to the crafty southpaw Harry Truman throwing out a first pitch. Never mind that the Senators-become-Twins won two World Series in the last 15 years, including the greatest Series ever, the 1991 classic against the Braves. Never mind that nearly two million fans a year for the last decade have been so faithful as to pay good money for bad seats in a stadium built for football.
None of that matters. Nor does the Twins' good work today matter.
Owner/commissioner Selig has decided two teams must be eliminated. That way the owner/commissioner can (1) divide the owners' revenue pie 28 ways instead of 30, and (2) put the players' union on notice that "We Really Really Mean It This Time."
The prediction here is that MLB will be ordered by an arbitrator after a June 6 hearing to abandon its contraction plans. Which leaves owner/commissioner Selig to consider his second option, unpalatable at any time, all but unbelievable in the wake of 1994, and yet apparently at the cold center of his strategy: the labor war to end all labor wars.
Well, until then, we have the Expos' three-game sweep of the Brewers in late April to remind us there is justice. By suicide squeeze in the 15th inning one night and by three home runs the next, the Expos beat the Brewers where it really matters to anyone who really cares about baseball -- on the field.
And we hasten to add that owner/commissioner Selig is not always wrong. During his session with the Associated Press Sports Editors group, he said he often is asked about the success of the marked-for-extermination teams. He said people always are telling him, "Look at how well the Twins are doing, and Kansas City stinks and Milwaukee stinks."
Got that right.
Dave Kindred is a contributing writer for The Sporting News. Email him at email@example.com.
Great Article!! But it is still early in the season but I don't think the Brewers will be a factor this season, a slap in the face to Mr. Selig.
I still think though, the Expos will be relocated to D.C.
"Competitive balance in baseball" is Selig-speak for comparable revenue, not comparable talent on the field. It matters not whether the Twins or Expos or A's win the World Series; all that matters is whether they have luxury boxes, and the level of corporate sponsorship they have.
....As a silent protest to all that Selig represents, I've taken to wearing an Expos cap this season (not at work, but when we're out and about running errands). It will be even more appropriate this next week when Montreal plays the Giants.
| By darth2900 on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 09:02 pm:|
That is a great idea... wearing an expos cap... I wish I could find one of those old circus tent looking ones they wore up until the late 80's early 90's. Those were sweet. Whatever happened to all of those multihued affairs teams wore back in the day... some team needs ot bring one of those styled hats back.... er.... there I go rambling on a tangent
| By linusalf on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 09:23 pm:|
I got one!!
U can get those expo pinwheel hats online. I think hatland.com has some, and there is another site. New Era has begun making them as a "Cooperstown COllection" hat
"Whatever happened to all of those multihued affairs teams wore back in the day?"
They died with disco....
Remember the Pirates' caps with the striped yellow piping? Remember when the Giants had a black cap with an orange bill? I prefer tradition than '70s fashion trends (no fashions looked good in the '70s when you think about it), but it's nice to know the older caps are still available somewhere.
| By darth2900 on Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 02:31 pm:|
Yeah, but if you think about it, tradition for the Expos really is 70's fashion.... wow, what a dichotomy
| By darth2900 on Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 02:53 pm:|
now here is what I am talking about
I'm a sucker for hats. I might go for that one. It's distinctive.
I think the Houston Astro Jerseys from the 70's are the funkiest jerseys I've ever seen! All those orange and yellow stripes?!?
The A's uniform hasn't changed that much over the years. The Black Jerseys and Black Hats they introduced in the 2000 season did not stay. Many fans complained that the Black Jerseys and Hats lacked a yellow or golden trim to them. Some thought they were just ugly and thought that black is just not an A's color.
The only recent successful uniform change for the A's was the introduction of the A's "road cap" all green with golden A's lettering introduced in the 95' or 96' season. The Road Cap is very popular and I see more fans wearing the Road Cap than the traditional or Home Cap. In fact, I mostly buy the Road Cap when I need a new A's Hat.
| By darth2900 on Friday, May 03, 2002 - 07:07 am:|
Yeah the A's uniforms have stayed pretty consistent since 88... I would like to see them go back to their uniforms of 69 but retainng the current dark green color... at least for the home uni's.
Those Astros uniforms were like softball uniforms. My uncle bought me and my brother each 2 jerseys back then... he got us each a gray road jersey for the A's and then he let us pick one from any other team we wanted, I loved baby blue (hey I was like 6) so I got the old Cardinals road jersey and my brother who was 4 got the Astros jersey... my mom had to wash it every night because he wouldn't wear anything but his "pretty" jersey and an orange courduroy hat that my grandpa gave him... a couple years later he got a yellow A's jersey with the number 4 on the back and he wouldn't take that off, Carney was his hero... man, why can't we wear baseball uniforms eveyday to work as adults.