I’ve never been a Bud Selig fan.
I didn’t like him when he was a colluding owner.
I didn’t like how he led the cabal to push Fay Vincent out of office.
I didn’t like his role in the 1994 strike and 1995 lockout.
I didn’t like his role in the contraction talk.
I thought he looked like a buffoon in the 2002 All Star Game.
I thought he looked like a liar during the steroid controversy.
I thought he looked like a jackass during the 2008 World Series rain delays.
I know nit picking.
So when I actually praise him, that’s time to perk up and listen.
As the NBA is taking the scorched earth approach in its strike, something the NFL narrowly avoided and 7 years after the NHL cancelled an entire season and is desperately trying to crawl back to relevancy, baseball signed a new CBA.
It had such little controversy that it took the back seat to discussing whether or not a starting pitcher should win the MVP.
And that EXACTLY what people should be discussing.
Baseball had work stoppages in 1972 (the year I was born), 1981, 1985 (for one day) and the disaster of 1994 and the madhouse of replacement players in 1995.
I was 23 years old when the players went back to work.
I am 39 now. And baseball hasn’t stopped playing.
16 straight seasons.
Now keep in mind my formula that you don’t follow a team day in and day out until you are 8 years old, that means any baseball fan 24 years or younger have no memory of haggling players, lawyers, Don Fehr or Selig talking about revenue or anything like that.
The NBA will soon learn that fans aren’t really sympathetic to any side during a recession haggling over distribution of millions of dollars.
So there will be at least 21 seasons of labor peace.
And the new CBA will include an expanded playoff (which I think could be a good idea.)
Possibility of expanded instant replay is included (which I’ve been SCREAMING about.)
So if Selig could preside over nearly a quarter of a century of Labor Peace after such a disastrous first few seasons of acrimony and deception as commissioner, then I have to give him credit.
If those seasons would mean lots of different champions (2/3 of all teams have won at least one playoff series since 2001 and there have been 9 different champions in the past 11 seasons) then I have to give him credit.
If the A’s and Giants can work out the San Jose deal (which looks like it will happen) and the Dodgers and Mets ownerships can be sorted out, that would leave only the Rays in a bad place in terms of their stadium and survival.
So it doesn’t happen often, Mr. Selig.
I’m giving thanks for what you’ve done.
I’ve not been thrilled with the method… but maybe in the end the result will outweigh the other stuff.
And whoever is in charge of baseball in 2016… please keep the peace.
The only strikes being called should be by the umpires.