ESPN.com reported that Bud Selig 'earned' a salary of $17.5 million in 2007.
Since the former used car salesman has taken over as commissioner of Major League Baseball he has done nothing but make a collection of bad or late decisions that have caused the sport we love to spiral downward out of control. Yet the owners of MLB's clubs stand behind their man bumbling interview after bumbling interview, and to the tune of 18.35 M in total compensation.
David Stern in his tenure has taken the NBA from an afterthought sport to the most iconic in our country. No other sport has the stars that the NBA hosts. No sport has the recognizable personalities or faces, you see NBA jersey's on the backs of fans everywhere and to this day we all still want to be like Mike. Remember the lockout? No? Remember that the games biggest star was brought up on rape charges? No, you don't, when you think of the NBA you think of Donald Sterns class operation, the NBA that 'cares.'
Roger Goodell has only been with the NFL for several years but even he has earned a reputation for laying down the law and improving the sport. He had no
remorse in indeffinately suspending Pacman Jones or fining possibly the greatest coach of all time half a million dollars. The NFL today is America's sport. Sunday during football season is considered a holiday for many and the sports championship is the biggest television event of the year.
Lets take a look at Bud Selig's accomplishments:
In 1994 the Major League Players Association went on strike and the end of the 1994 season was cancelled including the playoffs. While the strike was as much the players fault as was the owners, the Commissioner could not keep his sport together, ruining what could have been a .400 season for Tony Gwynn and the best season the Montreal Expo's ever had.
He allowed the steroid scandal to brew for years before it was finally exposed (not by him but by federal investigators) and then denied any responsibility. In doing so he lost any of the fans he had managed to draw back after the strike, and as a result baseball players are a joke in the media and the sports community as suspected cheaters.
In 2002 the All-Star game ended in a tie after the American and National Leagues were dead locked after 11 innings. Confusing and embarrassing to some, but logical to most, Selig felt the need for the first time in his reign to take action. Instead of explaining to the media in a press conference that would be forgotten in six months, that in an exhibition game these things happen and in order to protect the players he did what any manager would have wanted him to do, he inserted his foot in his mouth. He just brought more, and perpetual attention to the incident by creating a rule more useless and dumb than any other in sports.
In 2001 Bud Selig decided to take over and purchase the Montreal Expos for 120 million dollars. For two years the team was run by Major League baseball as Bud decided what he wanted to do with this orphan team. Everyone knew the team was going to go to Washington, it had been the obvious choice for a team for years. Selig for some inexplicable reason couldn't pull the trigger. Instead of playing their games in Washington, the team played a quarter of their home games in impoverished Puerto Rico and with no owner or leadership watched as all the talent that was packed into its roster slipped away.
In 2007 Barry Bonds was approaching the most hallowed record in baseball, Aarons 755 mark. Everyone knew he had been roiding; the feds, the fans, the writers. The outrage wasn't as much at Bonds for cheating, but at Selig and baseball for letting it happen. For weeks Selig bumbled like an idiot figuring out whether or not he would go to the game. He couldn't make a simple decision on whether or not to embrace or reject the accomplishment. The only thing that could make the sport look like it had less leadership than Bonds breaking the record, was Selig looking like a moron.
Despite all of this Selig makes a whopping 18 total million dollars a year. Almost double the 10 million that Goodell and Stern make.
It's time that fans across the board demand a new commissioner. With a record like that he is only hurting the integrity of the game and the quality presented to the fans. The owners will keep him forever because he makes them money, so it is in the fans hands to demand that their owners make a change.
It's about time for one.