Bud Selig wants his innovation and absolution too.
Word on the street is the outgoing president of major league baseball is in the early stages of planning a town-by-town, ballpark by ballpark ode to himself so laced with idolatry it will make the Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries wedding debacle look like a high school prom. And, mind you, the mere thought of the latter strikes the most conscience as being about as sacrilegious as the act that the former painfully proved to be.
All at once, Bud Selig wants to be saluted as the man who oversaw the growth of the game to the point of garnering its “chick’s dig the long ball” like swagger and applauded as the old-school spirit who nurtured it back to its purest and most performance enhancing drugs free beginnings.
Only is Selig’s world of overly selective memorialization can one rationalize being the overseer of both concurrent eras, yet freely pick and choose as to how history comes to define his impact on the overlapping times.
No matter how responsible you find the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez to be for the avalanche of bad PR major league baseball still finds itself trying to uproot from, no way, even given all steroids-induced might, should they be left to shoulder all the responsibility for the monster that PEDS became to be all by their lonesome.
That’s to say that baseball, at absolute best, was at least duplicitous in dealing with its star of that era as it relates to the one issue that now still most smears the game. By his own gleeful admission, Bud Selig was the Mr. Baseball of that time, not to mention the ongoing reigning Commissioner of the game for the last two-plus decades.
It’s what all those now scheduled forays to all the ballparks are now about. “I like talking to people,” Selig told ESPN of his masterplan to further immortalize himself. “That’s what I want to do, talk to season-ticket holders, people who work at ballparks. I just like to walk around and talk to people. I love that. And you knew what they were thinking, too, because they’ll tell you, especially if your team is losing.”
But ask yourself how much might that conversation change if fans are allowed to express their inner-most thoughts in face-to-face dealings with the very man many of them consider to have allowed the game to deteriorate to the point of now being under siege?
Try as he might, Bud Selig can’t have it both ways. He can’t totally manipulate conversation to be only in the tones that most easily resonate to his ears.
“I don’t want to hear the Commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig told Newsday in yet another interview. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism.”
Well, Mr. Commissioner, the truth will set you as free as now deposed Alex Rodriguez figures to be for the upcoming 2014 season. The real is the real, and that is as much as Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens and Rodriguez are, maybe even as much as they are combined, the perception is you are about that steroids life.