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Bud Selig's Legacy

March 22, 2006

The World Baseball Classic? If only.

We can debate the merits of the WBC until a week from next Monday, but even if you tally it up in the good column for Bud Selig, the scales hardly tip the commissioner’s way.

Anyway, if Bud Selig is thinking about a legacy now, and he oughta be, it’s not good news for Barry Bonds. Because Selig simply cannot leave baseball with a big ugly mark like steroids on its record, Selig’s record, and especially not with the entire evolution of the scandal taking place on his watch.

But there's so much more to Bud's legacy. Lest we forget, here is Selig’s list of “accomplishments” as Grand Exalted Mystic Ruler Leader of baseball:

Divisional realignment. So, there’s a nice one for the commish right off the bat. It was overdue, achieved harmlessly for the most part, and he even sacrificed his own club to the rival league. Result: Good.

The Wild Card and the Divisional Series. Not one for the baseball gods, nor Bob Costas, but you can’t argue with success. Result: Good.

World Baseball Classic. While I still believe the WBC is more a contrived-to-make-money event than anything else, and with the Bonds does Balco story breaking at the exact moment it did, Selig’s thunder was more than a tad stolen, I’ve been somewhat swayed by a couple of highly respected and well-placed baseball men. So I’m giving it up to the man for the new tournament. Result: Good.

Interleague play. Uninspired to begin with, boring shortly after, insignificant pretty much the rest of the time. Another one to piss off the baseball gods…and Bob Costas. Result: Bad.

MasterCard’s All-Century Team. You remember, 100 baseball greats, and the little Pete Rose, Jim Gray tête-à-tête at the 1999 World Series. While Selig was busy proclaiming the sport to be in the midst of a "wonderful renaissance” as often as humanly possible, it was Rose who experienced the renaissance. If you’re scoring at home, that’s E-Selig. Result: Bad.

2002 All-Star Tie Game. Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame. Result: Bad.

Fall Classic home field decided by fake Summer contest. Best idea ever. Uh, not. Result: Bad.

Drugs. Amphetamines, Androstenedione, Congressional oversight, HGH, steroids, urine sampling, you name it. Not exactly a prescription for baseball success. Result: Bad.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Sure, Arte Moreno is the primary evil-doer here, but any commissioner worth his salt substitute would’ve stepped in to some degree. The best interests of baseball, or something. Result: Bad.

Au revoir, Les Expos: The French are toast, remember. Off with their heads, remember. Let them eat French fries with vinegar, remember. Let them move to Washington, D.C. with no payroll, or even an owner for years at a time. Result: Good idea, kinda. Exciting on its face. Execution: Bad.

Expansion. Also known as Major League baseball played in the state of Florida at any time other than March. Result: Bad.

Florida Malins fire sale, twice. Result: Bad. Gee, ya think?

Becoming commissioner in the first place. Running Faye Vincent out of town on a rail. Result: Bad.

Canceling the World Series. Oh, and all of September and October of 1994. Wiped clean off the baseball calendar. Pennant races, League Championship Series, the whole nine yards. A work stoppage that ran into a second year of play. Result: Bad. Really, really bad. Unforgivable and unforgettable bad.

Now that, sports fans, is a legacy. I’m sure I left something out. Feel free to talkback.…

"Animal House" Usage of the Word, Legacy - Often Considered to be Much Funnier:

Hoover: Kent is a legacy, Otter. His brother was a '59, Fred Dorfman.

Flounder: He said legacies usually get asked to pledge automatically.

Otter: Oh, well, usually. Unless the pledge in question turns out to be a real closet-case.

Otter, Boon: Like Fred.

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Starbucks or Coffee Bean? C’mon, tell me that wasn’t a cool stunt last week. Free Starbucks coffee for a day, nationwide. Of course, three days later, a South Pasadena store actually ran out of coffee. Sunday morning and no coffee. OK, they didn’t actually run out of coffee; they ran out of water, and it wasn’t Bud Selig’s fault, but no coffee at Starbucks?

It's not completely without precedent, however. I wondered into McDonalds in Century City one time only to find them burgerless. I bleep you not. A grill problem, I think. It was deep fried or nothing. McNuggets, Filet-O-Fish and an order of fries.

Doesn’t matter. I still choose Starbucks over the Coffee Bean, which will simply will not let go of that “for here or to go” thing. It’s coffee!! And no, I don’t have a pink card. I don’t want a freaking pink card. I just want coffee!!!

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