Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bud Selig's Inconsistent Opinions

Bud Selig offers his thoughts on the New Yankee Stadium. We will now see yet another example of the commissioner being a waffling milquetoast. I, for one, can't wait until baseball hires a commissioner that looks as bad ass as this guy:

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig felt like he was 15 again.

I figure the last time he felt completely childish was when he called the All-Star game a tie and then instituted the lousy-ass "this time it counts" rule. From the tone of my critique so far, you should be able to determine that I am going to rip Selig. I know that seems to be low-hanging fruit, but the guy deserves it.

Selig remember that it was for his 15th birthday that he first stepped into historic Yankee Stadium. His mother had brought him to the Bronx so that he could see his favorite team in person, by way of the third deck.

How nice. Was Selig's family too poor to take him there before his 15th birthday? What a Horatio Alger story that Bud Selig is.

Fast-forward nearly 60 years, and here Selig was at the opening of the Yankees' new $1.5 billion home.

Goddamn, I didn't realize Bud was that old. Someone put him out to pasture already.

"My view is a little better today," Selig joked.

And take his jokes with him.

But in many ways, his feelings about the new facility echo those about the original one.

"I'll never forget the thrill of walking in [the old Stadium] the first time," Selig said. "What I sense today is they've preserved the history."

By moving into a brand-new stadium designed to generate approximately a skillion more dollars a year, yes, they preserved the history. I wrote about this issue last summer, and I stand by it. The Yankees sold their history to more money, and nobody's even mentioning it.

Selig is also in favor of preserving the history at two of baseball's most hallowed shrines -- Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. As much as he likes the way architects have brought Yankee Stadium into the 21st century, Selig hopes Fenway and Wrigley can remain a central part of the sport's connection to previous generations by staying open.

Note how he avoids criticizing what the Yankees did, even though their now-defunct stadium was thrice the hallowed shrine than either of those other parks. I guess it's not the commish's place to critique a team, but it sure seems like this is example #842 of Bud Selig not having the cojones to tell it like it is.

"There's something about Fenway and Wrigley that I'd like to see preserved," Selig said. "I think the institution of Fenway and Wrigley is something that should be preserved. If they can make it work [economically], good for them."

Goddamn: don't people realize that the Yankees, in old Yankee Stadium, were certainly "making it work [economically]" - shit, they were raking in money to the tune of $327,000,000 dollars. That is not enough to support the Yankees' lust for bigger money, bigger stars, bigger everything. Therefore, they built a new stadium, hoping to exceed that. Note again that Bud avoids saying that the "institution of Yankee stadium should've been preserved.

The opening of this lavish park in the midst of a recession is seen by some as incongruous. And the Yankees have been criticized by some for the 52,325-seat ballpark's ticket prices, which reach as high as $2,625.

If you build it, they will come. If the Yankees can get people to pay it, fine by me. Also, whoever sees this as "incongruous" is an idiot, since they started building this thing like five years ago, when this country was not in a recession. Can you imagine the Yankees' brass saying: "Oh, shit, there's a recession, let's just have this mostly-built ballpark just sit there idly!".

Me neither.

But while the priciest seats get a lot of the attention, Selig looks at the park's full range of prices -- including $5 bleacher seats, $29 grandstand seats and $48 terrace seats on the low end of the spectrum -- and considers the charges to be fair, for the most part.

I'm glad they have forty-eight dollar seats for all those poor New Yorkers who want to sit on the terrace but couldn't afford sixty-dollar seats.

"I know there's been a focus on the expensive seats," he said. "[Yankees co-chairman] Hal Steinbrenner himself has said that's something that they should review. But in the meantime, there are a lot of seats priced here that are quite fair and competitive."

And Selig said he believes MLB's clubs have done a fine job staying fair and competitive at a time when many fans are forced to tighten their belts.

"As a sport, baseball's done an amazing job with ticket prices this year," Selig said. "I'm proud of our clubs. We've reacted very well. A lot of clubs have cut prices and concession prices. My father used to always say to me, 'There's nothing good or bad, except by comparison.' If you look at other forms of entertainment, our ticket prices overall are competitive."

Bud Selig's dad is endorsing a dangerous form of moral relativism here. I wonder if the young Selig ever used his dad's argument against him. It seems to me that any father that concedes such a point is entering dangerous waters!

Selig didn't take the full tour of the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday. He said he plans to give this park and Citi Field, which the Mets opened up on Monday, a full review when each club has an off-day.

Glad the commissioner is earning his keep by going around, touring new stadiums, and offering inconsisten opinions on baseball's own commitment to history.

But Selig did get a chance to watch some of Thursday's game with Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner III.

I wonder if you have to do this once you become commish. I think I'd probably just tell Steinbrenner to kiss my ass and go sit in the bleachers, but then again, Bud Selig didn't get where he is without knowing how to butter up the real kingmakers.

"I sat with him for a little while," Selig said. "I did most of the talking. I just told him he ought to be very proud."

Bud, jellyfish that you are, you just don't have the courage to go up to George Steinbrenner III and tell him what you really think of his team's fairly clear abandoning of baseball history for bigger revenue streams.


Jarrett said...

Does anybody else picture George Steinbrenner as Hedonism Bot?

"Your latest performance was as delectable as dipping my bottom over and over into a bath of the silkiest oils and creams!"

Tonus said...

I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that Bud Selig is out there making sure that the Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox make sure to "preserve the history" when they build new ballparks.

Does anyone know if he celebrated by popping some "greenies" with Steinbrenner? Gotta keep that baseball tradition alive!

Elliot said...

New Yankee Stadium needs more ads in the outfield. It's really not ostentatious enough.

Jack M said...

@ Jarrett

A man writing an article about baseball? How delightfully absurd!

Chris W said...

in the words of Hedonism Bot: "I regret NOTHING"

Eddie said...

I just came across this article on yahoo (insert punctuation mark of choice here) sports by a kelly dwyer regarding the Rookie of the Yr award in the NBA and why Derrick Rose deserves the award:;_ylt=AgncDyKbcQFhXDvE_ZWlnl.8vLYF?urn=nba,157266

While i don't disagree with her pick, her assessment is GOD AWFUL. This is what I call a fungo article for you guys. Every line is pure filth.