Tuesday, October 28

The World Series: Bud Selig Strikes Again

The first five and a half innings of game 5 of the World Series made a mockery of baseball. The Phillies and Rays play 162 games just to make the playoffs, defeat all comers, and their reward: on the most important night of the season they play in near-freezing temperatures, with atrocious officiating and a driving rain storm. It was like a reality show, but without the snarky comments of one of the judges (although McCarver tried his best).

The comedy of errors began with the scheduling of the entire postseason. Late starts, AM finishes, trying to compete with college football, allowing Fox to dictate the schedule all pointed to disaster for the ratings and baseball, as a whole. The crescendo of the postseason debacle appeared to be the Saturday night game that ended with people on the West Coast complaining about how late the games went, but oh no. In potentially the series clinching game baseball decided the getting the game in was more important than showcasing the best of the best under optimal conditions. The Commissioner’s Office made a farce of their sport playing in that weather. It’s not hard to imagine a dry Bud Selig sounding like Monty Python’s Black Knight when describing the rain, “Tis but a drizzle. I’ve seen worse.” Watching the players with their hands down their pants, guys in the dugout drinking coffee, and the grounds crew taking every opportunity to attempt to make the infield playable was laughable and painful at the same time. It seemed like baseball was about five minutes from a massive rush order of ShamWows to force the game to continue.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the home plate umpire squeezing pitcher’s in a driving rain, the most ridiculous performance by an ump since Frank Drebin was calling the balls and strikes. The cherry on the top was listening to the dulcet tones of Joe Buck, who would rather have been making a bunt cake watching Paula Dean instead of at a baseball game. He, along with his cohort Tim McCarver have been in attack mode since the Series began. Rest assured Buck won’t be as critical of the league officials when he steps back in the booth to call NFL games. Listening to Buck describe the bad calls sounds like an abusive husband who has no fear of repercussion from his battered wife. Fans should be hoping that the MLB or Fox goes Laura Burney on Buck’s baseball broadcasting responsibilities before next season.

Instead of the World Series being baseball’s showcase and the coronation of an unexpected champ, it’s been turned to a circus. Bud Selig seems more interested in ending the season at the behest of Fox than in providing a grand stage for the young stars. They bended to the whim of Fox in eliminating the team introductions and Fox’s marketing department sees fit to (brought to you by Sprint) interrupt (Drinkability) each pitch (House is grumpy) with advertisements. Major League Baseball has written off attracting young fans with the start times and is content with being a second-rate professional sports league. David Stern would never play a Finals game with an eight foot rim, Roger Godell would never play a Super Bowl with a deflated football, hell even Gery Bettman wouldn’t play the Stanley Cup Finals with melted ice, but that’s exactly what Selig did by undermining both teams by allowing game 5 to continue. The nation’s past time has become a national after thought, and baseball owners have themselves to blame.


Stop Smoking said...

Not to defend Selig at all, but did he really have a choice??

Catfish said...

I couldn't disagree more. Selig should've called the game much earlier and every decision is being made with short-term money in mind, instead of building the fan base and strengthening the sport for the long run.