Can anyone out there please explain to me why Bud Selig was selected for the baseball Hall of Fame? What was his skill set? Upon further review, it is fitting that the Chevy salesman will enter the hall shortly after the Donald enters the White House, but aren’t people supposed to have accomplished something? It was a bit of an accomplishment for the man who made Milwaukee famous again to somehow avoid a debilitating neck injury while frantically looking the other way during the Steroid Era as home run totals and earned run averages resembled the Deutschmark after World War One. How about, as Joe Buck would say, the deft manner in which he freaked out after a tie in an All Star game and decided that it was necessary to Make It Count by having it determine home field advantage for the World Series? That was brilliant, like selling some fool the safety package on a new Corvair.
One of the similarities between Trump and Selig is the way they each made themselves a ton of money while essentially bullshitting the rest of the world. Selig reigned as the game, hereafter referred to reverently by its acronym MLB, increased revenues as never before in recorded history. It happened first by the winning of sensational new television contracts that guaranteed that even success challenged organizations like Oakland and Milwaukee could garner millions just by showing up for work. Now, an even more lucrative field of cash has blossomed as the marketing of everything from “game worn” jerseys to every different cap that every different team has ever worn separates people from their presumably hard earned cash. Selig, I guess, gets credit for these revenue streams and that, no doubt, accounts for his selection to be honored in the same building as his “good friend” Henry Aaron and the likes of Willie Mays and maybe some day Pete Rose. I don’t know about you, but when I think about some skinny eleven year old kid in Cincinnati wearing a replica Reds jersey that says Kluszewski on the back I kind of feel sorry for not only the kid but also Ted Kluszewski. Because I remember being that age and finding, in a closet where I probably shouldn’t have been looking, my older brother’s letterman jacket he earned by playing high school football. It was a little big on me but I wanted to wear it to bask in some glory. So I did, but not for long. My mother sternly pointed out that my brother, who was now old enough to have moved out of the house, would probably not be pleased to learn that I was wearing his jacket. I soon realized that while it felt cool to act like a star I had not yet earned that right. So it went back into the closet and I felt a bit ashamed. These days I cannot imagine going out in public wearing an “authentic” jersey with the name Posey or even Puig on the back, and not just because it would cost me a couple hundred bucks to get one.
So all hail the commissioner. He was the commissioner for the owners, the money people and not the fans who just love baseball and that’s the way it has always been In the same manner, the president, who now gets his own acronym too, “POTUS” because no one likes to speak in complete sentences,is the president of all the money people who paid to put him there. We can still love the game, and we can still love our country. We don’t have to genuflect before phonies, though.