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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Selig To Consider Additional Contraction Targets
A scoop for Szymborski?
With MLBs attempt to contract two of their thirty franchises this past winter thwarted by an activist judge in Minnesota, Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig is now forced to take drastic measures in order to save Americas national pastime.
"Its clear that baseballs financial structure is completely out of whack with reality," said Selig in a news conference Thursday in Milwaukee. "With the MLBPA not cooperating with our generous offer of a revenue-sharing system that would restore hope and faith to the 28 teams that have no chance of either making the playoffs or raising adequate revenues, we now face the very real possibility that between 30 and 35 teams will go bankrupt between now and some indeterminate time in the future."
After some cryptic remarks involving liberal use of the words hope and faith, Richard Levin, spokesman for Selig, expanded on Seligs remarks.
"Just contracting some of the franchises that constitute the organization known as Major League Baseball is not enough at this point. With financial insolvency staring us in the face, were forced by the MLBPA to consider contracting future franchises such as the Buffalo Wings and the next incarnation of the Washington Senators. Buffalo residents have been slow to replace Dunn Tire Park in anticipation of the possibility of the chance of MLB expanding into upstate New York. Since our figures already show the future of MLB threatened by future expansion teams that currently dont exist, you can only imagine the negative impact on Major League Baseball if we reached a point at which these non-existent franchised existed in a state of actual existence. Franchise fees won’t even cover a year of our bribery expenses."
After a short break to distribute materials to the press, Levin continued with Bud Seligs presentation.
"There does, unfortunately, exist the chance that the partisan opponents of contraction will attempt to halt our restructuring in another example of tragic intrusion of government into a privately-owned organization. If we do, in fact, decide to recognize the jurisdiction of the American government, there are some additional plans that we are currently considering."
"One plan were considering is that of retroactive contraction. The bonus with this plan is it can be done with any number of teams and theres no deadline for implementation. Retroactive contraction, to be perfectly frank, involves contracting teams retroactively. For instance, if the Montreal Expos are selected as a target for retroactive contraction, we would simply contract all Montreal Expo events back to an undetermined point of time. How could Jeff Fassero keep the $2,800,000 he received from the Expos as compensation for the 1996 season if the 1996 season never took place? He cant and we believe that baseballs arbitrator, Shyam Das, will also agree that players cant collect money when they dont fulfill the requirements of their contract."
"Cooperation is a two-way street," said Selig, returning to the podium to end the day’s remarks, "but negotiation is a one-way street that ends outside my fabulous mansion. When the players finally realize this, we’ll finally make some progress in saving the national pastime."
Not surprisingly, after Commissioner Selig’s press conference, Don Fehr had some choice words about the framework for baseball’s future as laid out by MLB’s Dapper Don.
"Perhaps the worst thing about this news conference is that it consisted of Bud Selig’s least implausible ideas. Not mentioned to the news media but saved for the negotiating table include proposals such as a salary cap with thresholds set based on Commissioner Selig’s mood on any given day and all future contracts being paid in a currency printed by Major League Baseball. Not even Kenny Williams would agree to that."
EDITORS NOTE: In case this isn’t over the top enough for you, I’d like to mention that none of this has taken place anywhere other than Dan’s very fertile imagination.
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