Boys and girls, gather around, because Uncle Joe has a story to tell. It’s about a foolish guy named Bud who could never get it right. There were some good choices, but these were few and far between. The majority of the time though, his decisions were either done horribly or done late. When he finally realized he was in the wrong line of work, it was too late too, just like countless other mistakes prior.

Bud Selig, baseball’s commissioner, is finally hanging it up after next year, and while that may be new that causes you pop open some champagne bottles and run around like a howling ape, it was not done soon enough. Baseball is past the point of saving. In Los Angeles right now, the Dodgers are in the NLCS, and more people want to talk about Kobe’s trip to Germany then a Juan Uribe’s walk off. That’s what “America’s Pastime” has come to. Americans are more interested in sports medicine than baseball. Let’s take a look a how we got here:

July 30, 1934: Allan H. “Bud” Selig is born: At this point in time, baseball was thriving. Lou Gehrig batted a .363 with a whopping 1.172 OPS and 49 home runs. Despite Gehrig’s remarkable year, the MVP went to Mickey Cochrane, in what should have been an omen of bad judgment to come. The Tigers’ catcher batted .320 with a .840 OPS, 2 homeruns, 78 RBIs, and 8 steals. Not a bad season by any stretch of the imagination, but nothing compared to Gehrig’s. Cochrane’s Tigers wound up losing the World Series to the Cardinals in 7 games.


April 1, 1970: Selig buys the Seattle Pilots, moves them to Milwaukee to become the Brewers: One of Selig’s smarter decisions was buying and relocating the bankrupt Pilots. At least it was smart in theory. Attendance was nearly as bad in Milwaukee as it was in Seattle. The team couldn’t draw a home crowd of more than 40,000 in its debut season until August. The Brew Crew has never won a World Series and has only been to the playoffs twice, winning the AL in 1982. Oh, Bud.


September 9, 1992: Selig named commissioner of the MLB: From that day forward, September 9 has become a day of remorse for baseball fans everywhere.


1994: Divisions are realigned, one wild card slot is added per league, and the league divisional series are added as well: Selig’s first major act wasn’t so horrifically awful as almost all of his others. Division realignment isn’t a huge deal, but the wild card and divisional series are huge improvements. Before, only four teams made the playoffs. The fight for the pennant was intense, sure, but I’ll take a 5-game playoff series any day of the week.


September 1994: Players go on strike, rest of season, playoffs cancelled: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the new divisional series or wild card spots, because Bud screwed us all. Not only did he screw baseball fans by canceling the World Series, but he also didn’t hold out for the best interest of baseball. If he is going to allow players to go on strike for half a year, he shouldn’t have just given up and given in to the players. But Bud did just that, and now A-Rod makes more than the entire Houston Astros. That’s what happens when you give the players exactly what they want. Oh, Bud.

April 2, 1995: Strike Ends: ‘Bout time.


April 15, 1997: Jackie Robinson’s 42 is retired: This wasn’t a bad idea, but if the MLB wanted to retire a number, why didn’t they retire immediately? Why let players using 42 stay with 42 until they retire? Oh, Bud.

June 12, 1997: Interleague play is introduced: Interleague play was Bud’s best idea, although it was bound to happen eventually. Not only did it create crosstown rivalries, but it also manufactured intense and exciting games in the middle of the long, long season. Oh, Bud.


November 5, 1997: Brewers moved to NL Central: In an effort to balance divisions with the 2 new expansion teams joining the MLB in 1998 Bud moved his former Brewers to the NL Central. The move was extremely successful financially, but since this is Bud Selig we’re talking about nothing is ever as good as it seems. Sure the MLB says that they gave Kansas City first dibs on switching conferences, but does anyone else find the blatant conflict of interest fishy? Oh, Bud.


1998: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays are added: I have 3 problems with these teams. First, neither Phoenix nor Tampa ever were or will be baseball towns, a fact that was confirmed again this year. The D-Backs rank 22nd in attendance and the Rays are dead last even though both clubs were competitive. Secondly, the D-Backs’ Chase Field and the Rays’ Tropicana Field are tied with the Oakland Coliseum as the worst stadiums in the MLB. And that’s a fact. Finally, could nobody think of better team names? Arizona could have gone as the A-Team (A for Arizona), and Tampa could have been the Tampa Terminators. Think of what we could have had. Why Diamondbacks and Devil Rays? Oh, Bud.


2002: National and American League umpires are combined to make one group of umpires: The more organized umps are, the more power they have. And power for umps is the last thing anyone wants. As Johnny Evers once said, “My favorite ump is a dead one.” Oh, Bud.


July 9, 2002: All-Star game ends in a tie after 11 innings, new rule is subsequently put into place that awards winning league home field advantage: So many things about the All-Star Game mattering irks me. All-Star games shouldn’t matter. They’re for fun. They’re for the fans. I’d rather not see the same people play most of the game. I want everyone to play. I want more moments like this:

There’s a reason this year’s all-star game only got a lousy 2.9 rating. Oh, Bud.

November 15, 2005: Drug testing program is installed with penalties. Amphetamines, HGH banned: That’s right. Up until 2005 it was legal to juice. He must have missed that topic when it came up in meetings. Oh, Bud.


March 2006: World Baseball Classic is played: This would be great idea if more than 8 countries played baseball competitively. Oh, Bud.

Bud Selig will retire as MLB commissioner after the 2014 season

December 13, 2007: Mitchell Report is released: The day the Mitchell Report was released and 89 players were accused of doping, Bud said “ [It is] a call to action. And I will act.” In the end, no players were or have been suspended in that call to action. Oh, Bud.


2008: Instant replay for home run calls is instituted: Finally! Baseball has replay! But barely. Only home runs can be reviewed, neither balls and strikes (which is done instantaneously on TV, why umps still call balls and strikes is beyond me), nor outfield catches, nor base running can be replayed. Oh, Bud.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York

2009: MLB Network launched: The Golf Channel began in 1995. Fox Soccer was created in 1997. NBA TV was launched in 1999. The NHL Network started in 2001. The NFL Network and the Tennis Channel went on air in 2003. The Mountain West Sports Network originated in 2006. The Big 10 Network hit TVs in 2007. It wasn’t until 2009 that the MLB made its way to our TVs full time. Oh, Bud.


August 24, 2010: Bud Selig statue erected outside of Miller Park in Milwaukee: I have one question and one question only about this: Why?


November 17, 2011: Second wild card team for each league is announced, two wild cards will play in one game playoffs: Your telling me that the Cincinnati Reds played 162 games and after 9 innings they are eliminated? And the added game delays the start of the World Series, so it is increasingly likely that the Series is played in snow. Oh, Bud.


November 16, 2012: Bud debuts his new blond haircut: Could it be the side effects of Anthony Bosch’s newest anti-aging supplement? Oh, Bud.

Bud Selig

July 15, 2013: Because we need further proof that Selig is out of touch, he reveals he has never used email in his life and swears he never will: However, he does follow the ball games via ticker tape.

2013: Houston Astros move to the AL West: It was about time. Divisions and leagues always need to be equal. This move came 10 years too late. Oh, Bud.


August 15, 2013: 13 players suspended in connection to Biogenesis: So the MLB doesn’t take the word of a former US Senator (George Mitchell), but they do take sleazy Anthony Bosch’s word? I’m not saying the suspensions weren’t justified, but let’s not forget, this is Bud Selig we’re talking about. Ryan Braun, a second time offender, was only suspended for 65 games, while A-Rod, another second time offender, was suspended for 211. Yes, A-Rod did sue. Oh, Bud.

MLB: Bud Seilig responds to Mitchell Report

August 15, 2013: Replay expanded, giving managers 3 challenges per game beginning in 2014: Managers get 1 challenge before the 6th inning and 2 after. No, they are not given more going into extra innings. If only these rules had come 10 years earlier. Even professional bull riding had replay by 2006. Oh, Bud.


There you have it. When Bud retires in 2015, he will have successfully ruined baseball in just 21 years. There are fewer fans than ever, the MLB’s talent is extremely diluted due to over-expansion, and baseball’s perception of being an old man’s sport is going to take a long time to fix. Good luck to whoever has to clean up Bud’s mess. I don’t know what that person can do, or if they’ll even be successful, but there is one thing I do know: after sitting down and wondering what to do, whoever is running baseball come 2015 will mutter this expletive: Oh, Bud.



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