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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ruben Amaro Jr., Joe Torre among possible candidates for MLB commissioner, report says

“... Other potential candidates include MLB execs such as COO Rob Manfred as well as Dodgers owner Stan Kasten and Phillies GM Rubén Amaro Jr….”

Ruben Amaro, Jr.?  We need to start having our sports writers taking drug tests.

NattyBoh Posted: May 22, 2014 at 07:11 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bud selig, commissioner, ruben amaro jr.

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   1. TJ Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4711870)
Amaro's first act as commish would be to raise the MLB minimum draft age to 32...
   2. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4711873)
LOL
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4711877)
Serious comment: People deluding themselves into thinking the next Commissioner will be anyone other than Manfred are some combination of inattentive and dreaming. The Commissioner is not the benevolent overseer on behalf of the fans. He's the public spokesman for the owners and the CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation. As such, one expects the outgoing Commissioner to spend years training his successor. As with Tagliabue and Goodell, and as with Stern and Silver, so it will be with Selig and Manfred.

Also I don't believe Selig is going anywhere until he's passed Landis as the longest-serving Commissioner.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4711880)
People deluding themselves into thinking the next Commissioner will be anyone other than Manfred are some combination of inattentive and dreaming.

I think this is probably correct (unfortunately). Although it is possible there is an anti-Manfred owner faction, for reasons that may not be known, yet. The key may be how many votes does it take to elect a Commissioner. IIRC, before the NFL elected Tagliabue, Jim Finks was the front-runner and early round vote leader, but he could never get whatever super-majority was required.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 22, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4711885)
Thank goodness for that. Can you imagine a name like "Jim Finks" being on all the footballs for 20 years?
   6. Joe Kehoskie Posted: May 22, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4711897)
Ruben Amaro, Jr.?  We need to start having our sports writers taking drug tests.

The idea of Amaro being a legit candidate for commissioner is silly, but Phillies president David Montgomery is on the search committee, and MLB will have to at least pretend to have considered minority candidates, both for p.r. reasons and because MLB requires the teams to do so for jobs a lot less prominent than commissioner.

I still see Manfred as the heavy favorite, but it's possible that someone like Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose name headlined the article on which the above-linked article is based, could emerge as the next commissioner.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4711915)
The idea of Amaro being a legit candidate for commissioner is silly,


It's not silly, it's bat-####, pants-on-head crazy; the kind that gets you institutionalized and meds forced down your gullet.

RAJ is not, not, not, not going to be the next commissioner of baseball.
   8. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4711919)
If Rob Manfred is half as good a Commissioner as Bud Selig turned out to be, then MLB will have done well by selecting him. The job has had very few competent ones, and even Selig's checkered tenure places him significantly higher than every other man to hold the job except for Landis -- who had his own flaws -- and maybe Happy Chandler (easily the most underrated Commissioner in the game's history).

Like others here, I would enjoy seen Ruben Amaro, Jr. become the next Commissioner purely for the "wrack and ruin" aspect of things. Oh what a beautiful disaster that would turn out to be.
   9. Joe Kehoskie Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4711923)

Things might be getting interesting in the search for the next commissioner:

Baseball Lords Vexed by Plan for a New King

The story claims Jerry Reinsdorf, who's been a steadfast Selig ally, has "broken ranks and tried to upend the plan to slide Mr. Manfred into the commissioner’s office on Park Avenue."
   10. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4711926)
Baseball Lords Vexed by Plan for a New King


FTA:

Mr. Reinsdorf began agitating last year with a few other owners, proposing that he and two others should run the league instead of having one full-time commissioner.


This whole thing might wind up being a lot of fun.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:05 AM (#4711927)
Why would Amaro or Torre be people that the owners would select?
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:08 AM (#4711929)
Mr. Reinsdorf began agitating last year with a few other owners, proposing that he and two others should run the league instead of having one full-time commissioner.

If the only alternative is Ruben Amaro, Jr. , I'll [gulp] take Amaro.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:20 AM (#4711930)
From the NYT article linked in # 9:
The other candidates being considered [in addition to Manfred] include Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger; the San Francisco Giants’ president and chief executive, Larry Baer; the Atlanta Braves’ chairman and chief executive, Terry McGuirk; and Detroit’s David Dombrowski. Senior business executives in the commissioner’s office — Tim Brosnan and Bob Bowman — are seen as even longer shots.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:48 AM (#4711937)
Selig was probably the best commissioner in sports history, it's going to be hard to top that or even be acceptable replacement, big shoes to fill. Hopefully whoever fills it, is a true baseball fan like Bud. (except, hopefully he likes Montreal a little more, and evil ##### like Loria a little less)

I think I would support Dombrowski, nobody else on that list in 13 remotely seems competent and have the track record of being a baseball savvy guy.
   15. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:25 AM (#4711942)
Still suspect that it will be George W Bush.
   16. Jeltzandini Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:01 AM (#4711947)
Mr. Reinsdorf began agitating last year with a few other owners, proposing that he and two others should run the league instead of having one full-time commissioner


Commissioner By Committee or College Of Commissioners?

It'll work out as long as the most effective commissioner is used in high-leverage commissioning situations.
   17. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:48 AM (#4711951)
No Bob Costas? His name has been included in this type of article since at least the late 90s .
   18. OsunaSakata Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:14 AM (#4711962)
If Amaro is on the list as the token minority candidate, that's blatant window dressing. Throw out an obviously unqualified minority and you don't have to answer any questions about inclusion. I can think of Bob Watson, Ken Williams, Kim Ng off the top my head as more qualified than Amaro. You guys can probably think of more. But of course, if there was a qualified minority on the list, there might actually be support for his/her election. This illusion of opportunity is more insulting than if Bud just imperiously handpicked Manfred.
   19. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:14 AM (#4711964)
It appears to be because this article is strictly reporting facts. Costas' name incessantly appears in opinion pieces written by idiots.

Joe K. is probably spot on that Amaro's name is in there for the sake of pretending to be considering nonwhites.

How many of the majority owners aren't white? I can think of only Arte Moreno off the top of my head but there must be a handful of others.
   20. villageidiom Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4711969)
How many of the majority owners aren't white?
John Henry is whiter. Does that count as not white?
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4711970)
I agree with cfb. Selig has his flaws but he's been excellent. I am extremely worried that if we get someone other than Manfred we are going to have a meaningful work stoppage. The owners are going to say "NFL has a salary cap, NBA has a salary cap, NHL has a salary cap...why not us?" and go to war.
   22. eddieot Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4711971)
I literally just spit coffee across my desk when I read that headline.
   23. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4711984)
Mr. Reinsdorf began agitating last year with a few other owners, proposing that he and two others should run the league instead of having one full-time commissioner


A "National Commission"? Why the heck didn't they try that before? Oh wait, they did
   24. Gamingboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4711989)
Sounds to me like Reinsdorf wishes he was commissioner, knows there is no chance, so is trying to get some sort of plan put in place where he can still have some commissioner-like power.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4711994)
I am surprised and disappointed to see so many of you people, who should know better, touting Selig's time as GM as some kind of exemplar.

The ghost of Doug Pappas is gonna haunt y'all, if there's any justice.
   26. Ron J2 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4711998)
#11

Jack Adams described Clarence Campell as a Rhodes Scholar and war hero who would follow orders. Torre has his own useful resume and has a record of following orders. I can totally see hiring him.

Though I think the arguments raised in #2 are very strong -- I'm not predicting a Torre hiring, just explaining why he could be considered. Obviously his age works against him.
   27. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4712000)
Sounds to me like Reinsdorf wishes he was commissioner, knows there is no chance, so is trying to get some sort of plan put in place where he can still have some commissioner-like power.

As much as I love baseball, I don't think I'd want to live in a world where Hawk Harrelson is the voice of Major League Baseball.
   28. TerpNats Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4712005)
Don't count out Kasten, if the folks with Guggenheim think they can find someone to replace him as the Dodgers' prime executive while Magic Johnson -- who's proven himself to be a fine businessman otherwise -- serves as the public face of the franchise.
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4712007)
Selig was probably the best commissioner in sports history,


Selig wasn't half as successful as Pete Rozelle. David Stern was a lot better, too.
   30. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4712008)
The idea of Amaro being a legit candidate for commissioner is silly, but Phillies president David Montgomery is on the search committee, and MLB will have to at least pretend to have considered minority candidates, both for p.r. reasons and because MLB requires the teams to do so for jobs a lot less prominent than commissioner.


Joe K. is probably spot on that Amaro's name is in there for the sake of pretending to be considering nonwhites.

You mean it's not because he's Sephardic?

When Abe Foxman announced a few months ago he was stepping down as ADL's grand poobah, Religion News published an article which included a list of "rumored" candidates to succeed him. In all likelihood, the list came from Abe and one or two organization board memebers, designed to make those named feel better about themselves. (Of the 10 mentioned, I doubt more than one is under serious consideration.)
   31. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4712013)
Double post.
   32. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4712018)
Sorry for the italics, folks.

Is this better?
   33. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4712023)
I am surprised and disappointed to see so many of you people, who should know better, touting Selig's time as GM as some kind of exemplar.
It really was. The obvious black marks (The Strike, the steroids scandal) are, well, obvious. But the game has not only recovered fully from the first and as much as possible from the second, it is in a far better position now than it was in 1992.

There is true labor peace (anyone who underrates this needs to look at the periodic work stoppages and lockouts in the NBA/NHL/NFL). Owners are making ridiculous amounts of money, and the players are seeing commensurate salary increases as a result. Something approaching league parity now exists, so that smaller-market teams can compete with the Goliaths provided they're run by intelligent and foresighted people. And most importantly, all this was achieved without the hamhanded and labor-displeasing method of a salary cap, which the owners would have no doubt loved.

Finally, the quality of MLB's online presence wildly outstrips that of every other major American sport. Though I've seen some around here who would wish to deny Selig any credit for that (because he's not the guy writing the code for MLB.com or something), it happened on his watch and at his urging, extremely early. It's a major credit to him.
   34. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4712025)
</i>
   35. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4712027)
EPSTEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!

[shakes fist helplessly]
   36. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4712028)
Is it really that hard to fix the bug that puts the entire rest of the page in italics when someone forgets to close their i tag?
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4712030)
Is this better?


You've actually made it worse, now everything is in double italics!
   38. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4712040)
Is it really that hard to fix the bug that puts the entire rest of the page in italics when someone forgets to close their i tag?


The correct question is: why do people not just use the "italics" button provided by the site?
   39. Banta Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4712041)
I really don't know how to turn these italics off. It's common sense impaired.
   40. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4712042)
</i>

I tried doing that too. How do you think it turned out? :(

EPSTEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!

[shakes fist helplessly]

Didn't this just happen on the OTP thread? How did that get fixed?
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4712046)
Jack Adams described Clarence Campell as a Rhodes Scholar and war hero who would follow orders. Torre has his own useful resume and has a record of following orders. I can totally see hiring him.


But it's more than following orders and working on behalf of the owners and in their interests; it's also a deep understanding of franchise agreements; of labor and contract law; of the inner politics between the owners; of PR; of marketing; of how things are done; of relations between players and owners, and owners and owners; of owners and potential owners; of stadia issues; of dealing with federal, state, and local governments; of dealing with the media.

I really think that you sort of need a lifer for this job, someone who has spent 15 or 20 or 25 years immersed in these issues. That's not Torre or Amaro.

It is Rob Manfred, unfortunately.
   42. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4712048)
FIXED. Thank you.
   43. asinwreck Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4712050)
   44. asinwreck Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4712051)
test?
   45. Accent Shallow Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4712053)
No, it isn't.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4712054)
Fixed?
   47. Accent Shallow Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4712055)
Hmm.
   48. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4712057)
I kick ass!!!
   49. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4712059)
OH NO IT'S BROKEN AGAIN! THANKS OBAMA!
   50. JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4712063)
Something's got to be wrong with the system. Everything was fine pretty much two seconds ago.
   51. Ron J2 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4712070)
#41 There's no particular reason that you can't have somebody like Manfred supporting Torre. Torre handles the PR side and gets advice (that he follows) from somebody like Manfred on the issues that he's out of his depth on.

I know. Why not skip the middle man. This assumes that you want somebody behind the scenes (like Adams in my Clarence Campbell quote) really in charge while giving lip service to the independent commissioner representing the game's best interests.

This assumes that somebody like Mafred would not be concerned about the lack of the title. Don't know Manfred, but there are people who would be glad to avoid the spokesman duties that I think Torre could discharge capably.

But it's kind of moot. About the only way I can see Torre getting the job is as a short term compromise assuming that Manfred can't get the votes required (and that nobody else can). Essentially an agreement to defer the long term solution for a few years.

And I make that a low probability.

But far more likely than somebody like Costas. Torre at least understands the reality that the Commissioner is the owner's agent.
   52. Ron J2 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4712071)
#50 YR is just messing with you Jason.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4712090)
#41 There's no particular reason that you can't have somebody like Manfred supporting Torre. Torre handles the PR side and gets advice (that he follows) from somebody like Manfred on the issues that he's out of his depth on.


I agree with this, I guess. It's sort of what the MLBPA did with Tony Clark. Not completely sure it would be suited for the owners though.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4712093)
#50 YR is just messing with you Jason.

YR's the Messin' Man Supreme.
   55. GregD Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4712098)
Yes, I would say that their priorities are
1) someone who will hold the owners' line in negotiations with the union
2-9) see above
10) PR
11) other stuff

They have no reason to think that anyone with any independent background, whether a player or broadcaster, will be willing to endure the personal disgrace of presiding over a long strike. The worst outcome for them would be a commissioner who starts backing down during a strike over a desire to salvage his reputation.

Given that, I think it is undoubtedly going to be either an owner or labor lawyer who has been through the ringer.
   56. eddieot Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4712105)
This assumes that somebody like Manfred would not be concerned about the lack of the title. Don't know Manfred, but there are people who would be glad to avoid the spokesman duties that I think Torre could discharge capably.

Manfred has waited patiently for more years than he ever thought he'd have to for this shot and if he doesn't get it he'll be moving on. If you're the COO of a multi=billion entity and they pass you over for CEO, it's time to go.
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4712111)
YR's the Messin' Man Supreme.


Just this morning I got "de-friended" and immediately blocked by a casual acquaintance on Facebook because I made an offhand joke about "Game of Thones" (which I won't repeat details of here only because book spoilers are involved) whose punchline was along the lines of "I wonder what that character who was so horribly tortured did to make his torturer so angry as to make him torture so vigorously?" This was interpreted as my claiming people can deserve to be punished so awfully, how heartless of me. A comment about a fictional character in a fictional world that includes dragons and frost giants.

I think they were still pissed at me for my suggestion on Tuesday that the mysterious second nation the NSA was monitoring all communications from, which Greenwald said revealing would lead to deaths, was obviously Canada. Those maple-suckers are always on the cusp of violence.
   58. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4712133)
After mulling it over a bit more, I think the Reinsdorf rumor is MLB disinformation, designed to make the eventual Manfred selection look better than the alternatives.
   59. Ron J2 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4712136)
#58 Also helps to explain why Satan's name has been leaked as a candidate.
   60. villageidiom Posted: May 23, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4712151)
I agree with this, I guess. It's sort of what the MLBPA did with Tony Clark.
It's not clear to me that that's what MLBPA did with Tony Clark. Clark basically sacrificed his 2002 season working on labor negotiations surrounding the expiring CBA. He's been into the labor stuff for 15 years, and appeared to having been groomed for this very position after he stopped playing - although Weiner's death caused the timetable for grooming to be thrown out the window. Clark is not just there for PR and a figurehead for all other matters.

It's not clear to me that Torre is being groomed for anything.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4712153)
It's not clear to me that Torre is being groomed for anything.


No kidding, have you seen his eyebrows? He could pass for a Soviet premier.
   62. OsunaSakata Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4712164)
#58 Also helps to explain why Satan's name has been leaked as a candidate.


I'm sick of former players like Albert Belle and Chris Truby being named as possible commissioner candidates.
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4712175)
I made an offhand joke about "Game of Thones" (which I won't repeat details of here only because book spoilers are involved) whose punchline was along the lines of "I wonder what that character who was so horribly tortured did to make his torturer so angry as to make him torture so vigorously?"

Wow, I don't see how the BBTF community can remain silent in light of YR's admission. He should report immediately to the NBA thread to determine his punishment.
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4712197)
It's not clear to me that that's what MLBPA did with Tony Clark. Clark basically sacrificed his 2002 season working on labor negotiations surrounding the expiring CBA. He's been into the labor stuff for 15 years, and appeared to having been groomed for this very position after he stopped playing - although Weiner's death caused the timetable for grooming to be thrown out the window. Clark is not just there for PR and a figurehead for all other matters.


Unless Clark has been practicing labor law for 15-20 years -- and we know he hasn't been -- then he absolutely is a figurehead, to a large degree. It can't be any other way.
   65. Copronymus Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4712199)
How many of the majority owners aren't white? I can think of only Arte Moreno off the top of my head but there must be a handful of others.


Well, I guess you could argue for Nintendo not being white. That's pretty much it, though.
   66. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4712207)
So, yeah. For all pretenses to the contrary, the next Commissioner will be white.
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4712240)
Selig has his flaws but he's been excellent. I am extremely worried that if we get someone other than Manfred we are going to have a meaningful work stoppage. The owners are going to say "NFL has a salary cap, NBA has a salary cap, NHL has a salary cap...why not us?" and go to war.


exactly what I'm worried about. Selig had the one work stoppage and saw first hand how damaging it was to the game, and made a good effort to not have that happen again, in fact to not even face the threat of it possibly happening as the next few negotiations were handled professionally, quietly(as quietly as you can make one of these things) and with reasonable give and take. The reason I liked Selig's tenure so much, is that he doesn't write stuff in stone. He decides to have spider-man bases, the internet goes in an uproar he reverses direction. The league comes up with a poorly worded rule on the transfer, and he quickly allowed them to rescind that rule. He genuinely loves the game so that is a plus. He also seems to grasp that the strength of the league is helped by having strong teams in New York and California, even though he's a huge fan of a salary cap, he seems to understand that any cap system in place shouldn't hurt the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels or Dodgers way of doing things(too much)

Many of the things under his term were inevitable but he did a pretty decent jobs of enacting them. He fully deserves blame for baseball's blind spot to PED's, he more than fully deserves the blame for what happened to the Expos(There is probably a criminal case involved in that) and he deserves a lot of blame for the relative failure of the ability to gain fan traction in the Florida markets. So no one is saying he's perfect, but unlike the David Stern he didn't create a league that is clearly corrupt(Dave Stern if the Ulysses S Grant of commissioners)

Selig wasn't half as successful as Pete Rozelle. David Stern was a lot better, too.


I'll give you Rozelle, but most of Rozelle's success was timing, once the league got big and profitable, he was pretty much a failure at running the big successful company.

Won't give you Stern. He's an anti-commissioner. He's corrupt, he's created a system that made the individual players bigger than the game, he's a fan of storylines (he would make an excellent commissioner for wrestling) He grew the sports success at the cost of it's integrity. That is not what a commissioner does, that is what a CEO does.
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4712247)
Unless Clark has been practicing labor law for 15-20 years -- and we know he hasn't been -- then he absolutely is a figurehead, to a large degree. It can't be any other way.


Why? He negotiates, then puts the little hourly people into doing their jobs as proper paper monkeys, and let the lawyers fill in the paperwork to make it legal. He has consultants, but it's not like a lawyer who hasn't played the game, has a clue what the players would want.
   69. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4712248)
I don't think Commissioner is a meaningfully different job from CEO anymore.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4712252)
Selig sort of did The Opposite of what was expected of him. He upset the purists and traditionalists. He anti-marketed the sport. He continually told the fans of several teams that their teams had no hope of contending. He put into effect workplace rules, and commissioned an investigation, that smeared his players, that denigrated many of his sport's stars, that threw an entire era of baseball history into chaos and ridicule, that destroyed the Hall of Fame as an institution.

If success is judged by money then Selig was successful. (He certainly was successful in using the steroids issue as a hammer with which to secure for his owners their largest gains against the players in decades, as the union by and large has rolled over in many ways.) But by any other measure, Selig presided over a horrific and destructive reign.

And at that, the question is not whether he saw his sport's revenues increase; the question is whether his sport's revenues would have increased regardless, had he simply done the opposite of what he actually did do. For me the answer is not so clear, and in fact I would bet that another commissioner, with a wholly different approach, would have done just as well.

We know for example that the fans really didn't care about steroids, because they kept coming to the ballparks, and in droves.
   71. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4712255)
Fans never cared about steroids and never will. Media, on the other hand.....
   72. Joe Kehoskie Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4712265)
I can think of Bob Watson, Ken Williams, Kim Ng off the top my head as more qualified than Amaro.

Williams is interesting because he works for Reinsdorf, but it's hard to imagine a Reinsdorf loyalist would emerge as a compromise candidate if Reinsdorf is the one fighting the elevation of Manfred.

Watson and Ng are both in the commissioner's office already. It would be kind of bizarre to bypass Selig's longtime lieutenant in favor of an underling.

As for Ng, it seems like she's only at the commissioner's office because none of the owners have wanted to hire her as GM, so it seems doubtful she'd even be a token candidate for commissioner. (And she's only more qualified than Amaro in the same sense that a lot of people here are more qualified than Amaro. In strict MLB terms, Amaro has a much better résumé than Ng.)
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4712274)
If success is judged by money then Selig was successful. (He certainly was successful in using the steroids issue as a hammer with which to secure for his owners their largest gains against the players in decades, as the union by and large has rolled over in many ways.) But by any other measure, Selig presided over a horrific and destructive reign.


Really? What was destructive about it. Everyone said the DH was inevitable in the NL, and it never happened, and talk about it has pretty much stopped completely at the league level.

He oversaw improved post season chances with the wild card, while still maintaining the balancing act of the value of a division title, he incorporated interleague play which of course was going to also happen, but he managed to help make it not destructive by keeping it to a very limited number of games, it's the first full year of instant replay, and he already has a system better and more efficient than the NFL,etc..


I'm not sure what he did that was destructive, and heck you can argue that the labor stoppage happened while he was 'acting' commissioner and probably didn't have the full authority he would have later on. Again, his participation in the Expos moves is nearly an unforgivable crime, and his head in the sand view on steroids(which every commissioner, in every sport was doing) is a failure, but outside of that, most of his actions have been very positive for the game, both profitably and for the fans.


His telling fans of other teams that they had no hope led to better designed salary cap system, revenue system and often times better and newer ballparks..

Not really sure there is any validity to the destruction of the hall of fame argument. Add in, that it's the hall of fames silence on the matter that is hurting it, not anything to do with Selig. Selig and MLB has pretty clearly stated that any numbers resulting from a PED enhanced body count in the official records, and that the penalty for a positive test still allows a player to return to the league with arms and wallets wide open.
   74. madvillain Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4712278)
He grew the sports success at the cost of it's integrity.


What integrity has been lost?
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4712285)
What integrity has been lost?


Let's see. Refs being told to not whistle, games being thrown to force a game seven. Superstar players being given greater leeway to commit fouls.
   76. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4712289)
The reason I liked Selig's tenure so much, is that he doesn't write stuff in stone. He decides to have spider-man bases, the internet goes in an uproar he reverses direction. The league comes up with a poorly worded rule on the transfer, and he quickly allowed them to rescind that rule.


Part of this is because his ideas tend to be totally bass-ackwards to begin with. Great, he backtracked on contraction, but whose idea was contraction in the first place? "Note to self: Be sure not to cancel any more World Series." It's hard to give him much credit for that.
   77. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4712298)
Part of this is because his ideas tend to be totally bass-ackwards to begin with. Great, he backtracked on contraction, but whose idea was contraction in the first place? "Note to self: Be sure not to cancel any more World Series." It's hard to give him much credit for that.


Contraction was never, ever going to happen. It was a negotiating position pure and simple.
   78. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4712300)
Really? What was destructive about it.


What we have lost through the wild card has been gone over many times.

I definitely watch a lot less baseball than I did when there were real divisional races, and teams actually cared about finishing first.

More teams in the playoffs, the NBA-ization of MLB, has been terrible. (

And this is more of a preference thing but interleague play is unfortunate as well. Now just randomly AL and NL teams play throughout the year. It also works against having a somewhat balanced schedule.

   79. madvillain Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4712301)
Ray, I'm talking about Stern. I'm with ya on Selig, the game has changed under his watch, for the worse IMO. All the growth stuff revenue and international wise would have happened anyway. I give him some props for the WBC.

Let's see. Refs being told to not whistle, games being thrown to force a game seven. Superstar players being given greater leeway to commit fouls.


Oh boy.
   80. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4712305)
I'm not sure what he did that was destructive, and heck you can argue that the labor stoppage happened while he was 'acting' commissioner and probably didn't have the full authority he would have later on.


Right; I forgot to mention that one. We had a season without a World Series because of him.

Not really sure there is any validity to the destruction of the hall of fame argument.


I don't care who makes the Hall of Fame anymore, since several of the game's greatest players have been effectively banned due to the dishonest application of new standards on character that sprang from nowhere and don't align with the old standards.

I'm not alone.

That's a destruction of the Hall of Fame, which lost its ability to honor players by treating players in like situations differently.

Selig greased the wheels for that.

And if you don't buy that as destructive, then there's an argument along the lines of: HOF arguments now center not around the quality of the candidate versus other HOFers, but around steroids. That is pretty bad. Witness all of the times in a HOF discussion that someone has to say "steroids aside."

Much has been lost.

   81. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4712311)
I agree with cardsfanboy about Stern and agree with Ray about Selig...

I loathe Selig more than Stern because I care more about Baseball than Basketball, but on the whole I think Stern may have been worse.

Stern basically turned the NBA into a slightly less cartoony version of WWE, the only real difference is that every outcome in the WWE is rigged whereas Stern chose his spots to put his finger on the scale.
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4712317)
So basically your argument is that "this isn't what I care for anymore."....not really sure that matters though.

1. Interleague was going to happen. Anyone who thought differently is delusional. Selig managed to do it, while maintaining a little bit of the separtion from the leagues by keeping the games as few as possible. I've argued all along that it shouldn't have been an event driven thing, and that it should have been going all season long, since the 'event' driven aspect made the national broadcast mostly about who the Yankees were playing, but that is a nitpick.

2. Wild card was going to happen. You cannot have a sports league in this day and age and go with the dusty old fart concept of winning divisions/leagues as being the only way into the post season. Again, anyone who thought it wasn't going to happen was delusional. At the same time, MLB has set up a system that rewards winning the division more than in the other sports. NFL is arguably as good with the bye week, but it's not for winning the division, it's for winning the division with the best records as some teams can win the division and still have to play the first round. MLB has a system in place that makes wining the division much more valuable than winning the wild card.

3. You don't care about the HOF, doesn't mean it's destroyed, it means it's destroyed in your eyes. And it has nothing to do with MLB or Selig, it is easily fixable by the HOF making a simple one paragraph statement or changing a line on the ballot requirements. You want to blame someone, blame the sanctimonious writers. MLB has nothing to do with the current hof predicament.

   83. madvillain Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4712321)
Stern basically turned the NBA into a slightly less cartoony version of WWE, the only real difference is that every outcome in the WWE is rigged whereas Stern chose his spots to put his finger on the scale.


I honestly cannot believe people believe this stuff. People that should know better too. The NBA is not rigged. It suffers from poor officiating like every other sport. It has a messed up salary structure that allows teams to sign more than one supserstar (thanks to the cap on invidiual salaries) and form super teams.

Does it actively instruct officials to favor teams, rig the draft and otherwise interfere? Heck no. Anyone that believes that is being silly. You really think all the owners have agreed to this arrangement? Like Mark Cuban is just "totes, do whatever you want Stern"? You think Tom Thibs gets up in the morning and grinds out a 20 hour day because it's rigged?

Conspiracy theories are the work of weak minds.
   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4712322)
2. Wild card was going to happen. You cannot have a sports league in this day and age and go with the dusty old fart concept of winning divisions/leagues as being the only way into the post season. Again, anyone who thought it wasn't going to happen was delusional.


I don't think it had to happen. So I reject your argument.

But I think part of what made MLB special was its uniqueness - in a good way - over the other professional sports leagues. Kind of like how the US was exceptional before it just Had to be like other nations so slid towards socialism.
   85. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4712327)
Like Mark Cuban is just "totes, do whatever you want Stern"?


No, Cuban called Stern the officials out for rigging the 2006 Finals (which it seems likely to me they did) and was heavily fined for it, as I recall.

There have been for many years--though it seems like this receded some after the low water mark in 2006--particular playoff games in which NBA observers can confidently say in advance "yep, Team A will get about 35 free throws to Team B's 12 tonight."

I would bet my money that Tim Donaghy was the NBA's Jose Canseco--the reason the NBA was able to sweep his allegations under the rug mostly has to do with the differences between the NBA press and MLB press.
   86. madvillain Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4712331)
No, Cuban called Stern the officials out for rigging the 2006 Finals (which it seems likely to me they did) and was heavily fined for it, as I recall.


Yep and the NBA was so happy that he exposed their giant conspiracy that he was rewarded with a championship for his team in 2011 in exchange for a promise to never critique the league again.

Conspiracy theories are great, nothing is outside the realm of possibility it's like the ultimate tautology.
   87. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4712333)
Listen up! The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club.
   88. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4712334)
But I think part of what made MLB special was its uniqueness - in a good way - over the other professional sports leagues. Kind of like how the US was exceptional before it just Had to be like other nations so slid towards socialism.


That's great and all, but having 20 teams out of contention by mid August isn't a way to earn/keep fans in this day and age.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4712342)

Conspiracy theories are great, nothing is outside the realm of possibility it's like the ultimate tautology.


I don't think anyone reasonable thinks the league is trying to have certain teams win or lose. But it's also very probable that they are trying to get series to go long, and it's also probable that they are telling the refs to avoid making calls against the better players or to avoid making calls which will help the team winning the series.


I generally despise conspiracy theories (there is no conspiracy in the scientific community to prop up global warming, Obama was born in the U.S. Bush did not orchestrate 9/11, Kennedy was shot by one man, Loch Ness monster doesn't exist) but something as simple as directing a ref to only call flagrant fouls against one team while calling the other team normally, isn't really that far out of the realm of possibility.
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4712345)
90% of what's "wrong" with the three major pro sports has to do the pernicious influence of megabucks and the relentless courting of the corporate crowd over the working and middle class fan. But this has come about due to the auction mentality permeating our entire society, and it has little to do with who the commissioner happens to be. This is true whether you think that this league or that league has been enhanced or ruined over the past X number of years, or whether you think like I do that it's a mixed bag.

Everything I've read above is little more than a laundry list of personal preferences, and there's nothing wrong with that. But unless you're willing to support the likes of a Costas or a latter day Bill Veeck as your commissioner, answering primarily to the fans and allowed to stand up to the owners and the players, all you're ever going to see is the continuation of the trends that many of you say you don't like.

Nearly every move that Selig and Stern and Goodell have made has been in pursuit of more more more moolah, and until we deny the legitimacy of that entire philosophy as being allowed to override every other consideration, you can yell all you want about wild cards and too many commercials and superstar-favoring referees, and it ain't gonna do nothing but make you feel good. Whether a baseball man like Torre or some typical empty corporate suit like Goodell is the next commissioner is completely beside the point.
   91. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4712352)
That's great and all, but having 20 teams out of contention by mid August isn't a way to earn/keep fans in this day and age.


I think you need to show your work. Attendance was steadily increasing through the divisional era. And before.

Fans watch baseball with a wider lens than just "World Series or bust." Or used to, before the wildcard format drove the pimping of that guideline.

In any event, we see that attendance does not diminish to zero once a team is out of contention. Yes, winning drives attendance to a significant degree, but attendance is not only driven by that. Fans like to see the players, the competition at a high level, the games. They like to get away from home, get out to the ballpark, etc.

   92. cardsfanboy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4712366)

In any event, we see that attendance does not diminish to zero once a team is out of contention. Yes, winning drives attendance to a significant degree, but attendance is not only driven by that. Fans like to see the players, the competition at a high level, the games. They like to get away from home, get out to the ballpark, etc.


Never, ever have I argued that attendance drops to zero for a non-contending team, but it's pretty obvious to see how attendance correlates with contending teams.

Pirates have gone from averaging 20,000 to 27,000 as their teams have improved over the past 5 years. Astros have gone from 37,000 per game to 20,000 per game over the past few seasons. Basically you can look at the team attendance history, and tell how well they did in most years without bothering to look at their record. Attendance correlates with record and expectations.

I didn't think that was something people debated.
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4712375)
Attendance correlates with record and expectations.


Well, yes, but it also correlates with quality; the more wins a team has the better its attendance will be.
   94. Jeltzandini Posted: May 24, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4712499)
Arguments against the existence of systemic league-led referee corruption in the NBA:

1. A ref who refused orders and went public would seriously damage the league and send its commissioner to jail.
2. Fans who "know" which team is going to get favored on which day aren't more cynical than professional handicappers and the guys who set Vegas lines. Either the lines on those games reflect the fix, or it would be very easy for clued-in cynical bettors to make a lot of money. I don't think either is true.

I used to be on a message board with some guys who were strong fix-believers. They celebrated Dallas's game 5 win over Miami in 2011, but congratulated each other for knowing that there was no way Stern was going to let Miami lose game 6. The Heat were the league darlings, Stern hated Cuban, and even without all that the NBA would always want a game 7. Miami lost by 10.


   95. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 24, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4712502)
Listen up! The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club.

Pfft, stealing lines from XKCD without attribution is weak sauce.
   96. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 24, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4712512)
A lot of the complaints (expanded playoffs and wild cards, replay, interleague, All-Star ties and home field, etc) are matters of preference.

Selig was one of the primary engineers behind the late-80s collusion that led directly to the 1994 World Series cancellation. He blithely overlooked the Steroidmania era that created the wacky numbers, then did a screeching U-turn to "clean up" his legacy-- ahem, this great game of baseball-- by committing perjury, pouring acid on his own product, and approving illegal acts. Because of this, baseball absorbed major damage coming and going. As a side effect, the Hall of Fame has had a great deal of its celebratory function overshadowed by rancor. And then there's the Expos.

When weighing the scales, that side is pinned pretty hard to the ground.

On the other side of the scales, I'm not sure that turning a lot of money into a whole lot of money budges the cosmic balance very much. His top credential is the twenty years of owner-labor peace, but then, O.J. hasn't killed anybody since 1994, either.
   97. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 24, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4712514)
I used to be on a message board with some guys who were strong fix-believers. They celebrated Dallas's game 5 win over Miami in 2011, but congratulated each other for knowing that there was no way Stern was going to let Miami lose game 6. The Heat were the league darlings, Stern hated Cuban, and even without all that the NBA would always want a game 7. Miami lost by 10.

And I'm sure that those fix-believers had plenty of explanations for the outcome that proved they'd still been right all along.
   98. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4712524)
Pfft, stealing lines from XKCD without attribution is weak sauce.


I didn't bother attributing because I would be surprised if anyone here didn't know it was an xkcd quote. It's like saying "never tell me the odds" without citing Star Wars.
   99. Ron J Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4712621)
#92 Best I can tell "contention" in itself doesn't seem to matter much -- at least not in terms of revenue. The primary factors that drive revenue are:
making the playoffs the previous season,
winning a recent World Series (getting there doesn't seem to matter much, nor does winning the first round)
and the general sense as to how good the team is this year. For which last year's W/L record and this year's opening day payroll do a pretty decent job of representing this. (the two are highly correlated)

EDIT: It's not that there is zero value to being in contention, it's just that the other factors are so much more important.
   100. AuntBea Posted: May 24, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4712980)
I don't know what XKCD is.
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