Improving baseball should start at top

By Kevin Wilson

Imagine you’re the boss of one of America’s most public companies, with a payroll in the billions going to roughly 1,200 employees.

Now imagine your most productive employees are suspected to be illegal drug users. And you’ve got to go to Washington, D.C. to talk about what’s going wrong with your business. And you’ve gone from the No. 1 business in your area to fighting for a distant second place.

Your reward for such a masterful job? A three-year extension, of course. Welcome to the life of Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball.

That’s what happened last week for Selig, who has been at his post since 1992. His accomplishments include the cancellation of the 1994 World Series, a playoff format that does nothing to reward excellence in the regular season and overseeing an era so tainted by the prospect of steroids the top two single-season home run hitters, including home run king Barry Bonds, may never get into the Hall of Fame.

I was at a loss, and when I’m at a loss when it comes to baseball, I call my friend Robert. He’s a Mets fan, so he’s well-versed in disappointment from baseball.

I didn’t even give any type of greeting, and went straight in with, “What does Bud Selig have to do to get fired?” He was just as mystified as I.

We talked for a few more minutes, and Robert said Major League Baseball simply hasn’t thought somebody might be better as commissioner.

I thought of a lot of candidates who would be better than Selig, but I don’t have enough words in this column to suggest myself, Robert, you, anybody you know or even that guy who made me that really awesome hot chocolate at Hastings last month. They’d all be better, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve narrowed my choices down to two finalists:
George W. Bush: First off, he’s got some history in baseball, being a former part owner of the Texas Rangers. One of his first actions in the Oval Office was to give citizens $250 rebate checks, so maybe he’ll give out free hats or tickets as a way of saying, “Sorry about the steroids.”

As the last seven years have shown us, Bush demands an administration of people loyal to him, and who would be more loyal than the people who have kept Selig around throughout all of the game’s disasters? Plus, invading another country isn’t an option for baseball, so he’d have to find other solutions.

Mark Cuban: The Dallas Mavericks owner is crazy about sports, and sinks everything into his sports endeavors. Anybody who remembers the Mavericks before Cuban can’t help but admit his ability to turn around losers. He wants to get in baseball anyway, as he’s been trying to buy the Cubs.

He listens to fans, and answers queries to mark.cuban@dallasmavs.com. Some of his greatest ideas in basketball, like the triangular shot clock that gives every fan a view, came from an e-mail.

Baseball needs improvement, and you’ve got to start at the top. The fans deserve nothing less than anybody but Bud Selig.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com