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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bud Selig Fiddles While Baseball Continues to Burn

The Cardinals of St. Louis have won the World Series.

In a little less than 36 hours we were able to witness the good, the bad, and the ugly of what was once America’s Pastime.

For those of you who missed the last two games, first the good...

Game six was incredible. I know we are not supposed to use adjectives like often, but in this case, it fits. Twice, the Cardinals were down to their last strike before somehow managing to pull even.

The stadium was rocking in the ninth inning when with two outs and two strikes David Freese tripled to the wall in right to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The Texas Rangers struck quick and the Cards once again saw themselves headed home in the bottom half of the inning. This time the hero was Lance Berkman who singled to bring in the tying run and we were on to the 11th.

As if on cue, David Freese found himself at the plate again. Hometown hero David Freese, a modern day Roy Hobbs, connects and drives the ball over the wall in dead center sending the series to a game seven finale.

But that’s the good, now we move on to the bad...

The game ended at 12:45am on the east coast. I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, 10:00pm was my latest bedtime on a school night, and that was the exception.

How is baseball going to draw kids into the fold if they cannot see their sports idols in the Fall Classic? How many young kids in Pittsburgh never would have given baseball a second thought had they not been witness to Bill Mazeroski’s famous home run that beat the mighty Yankees in 1960?

In the 60’s and 70’s, baseball ruled the US sports scene and the World Series was a huge part of the reason why. With Curt Gowdy and later Vin Scully calling the games on television and the home town announcers helping out on radio, time stood still in America for 3 hours in the middle of every game day.

If you were not watching the game somewhere, you smuggled a transistor radio into school or work and listened on your crummy little earplug.

And then, if you were a kid, you went outside and became not only Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford, and Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, but also unlikely heroes Bucky Dent, Gene Tenace, and yes David Freese. Because you had witnessed their greatness on the World Series stage.

But if that is the bad, what’s the ugly?

The St Louis Cardinals winning the World Series.

Now I have nothing against the storied St. Louis franchise. They won the games they needed to win, and in stirring fashion to boot. Coming back from from the grave during the season, as they did, should serve as a testament to the old cliche “it ain’t over til it’s over.”

But they did not deserve to be in the World Series. They finished second in their division.

Baseball was the last of the major sports to suckle up completely to the teat of television and allow losers into the championship. And the man most responsible for that is baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Since assuming the mantle of commish, Selig has a record that, while delivering millions to the owners, has left the game a shell of its former self.

A missed World Series, an All Star Game tie, interleague play that has diluted the Fall Classic, steroids, and the wild card, allowing second place teams a chance to play for the championship are just a few of the foibles of Bud Selig’s reign of terror on baseball.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The fans, after witnessing it all the last 36 hours can only say, “Hey Bud Selig! You know what you are? Just a dirty son of a bitch!”

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Comments on "Bud Selig Fiddles While Baseball Continues to Burn"


Blogger Doug said ... (9:42 AM) : 

I agree. I find it harder and harder to get "into" baseball now a days. Though, I am mildly interested in the Nationals only because I enjoy watching them build a team that now seems to be just a year or two away from contention.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:08 AM) : 

Poor Doug, as a long time baseball follower, I cannot ever remember when the Washington team was any good...

Maybe when Walter Johnson was there...

I suspect you might as well follow the Cubs!


Blogger BB-Idaho said ... (4:18 PM) : 

Kind of disappointing..there were a number of better teams this year.
The Cards happened to get hot at the end. (heck, they are going to
catch up with the Series owning
Yankeess in a few years!)


Blogger btc said ... (5:55 AM) : 

1) The Cards won it fair and square. They were the best team in baseball when it mattered. And how can a Dodgers/Angels fan ever oppose a policy which puts extra underdogs in the playoffs?

2) With as many teams as there are, it seems difficult to imagine anything less than an eight-team playoff. Granted, it might be more even-keeled if there were no divisions.

3) listening to baseball on the radio is vastly superior to watching it on tv. My boys will grow up listening to the game while playing catch or whiffle-ball/doing homework.


Blogger dmarks said ... (9:29 AM) : 

I am so thankful for the baseball players' union and its tireless efforts to keep drug-addled cheaters in the game.

I guess a union that doesn't have a typical union's noble purpose (to fight to make sure working people get a decent wage.... not applicable to millionaires) has to find something to fight for.

btc: yes, the Cards won fair and square. Reading Dave saying "But they did not deserve to be in the World Series. They finished second in their division.".... it implies that he means we should not even have league playoffs, or even a World Series. If the only teams that "deserve" to win are those with the highest standings at the end of the regular season.

I guess that means that the Phillies, with the 2011 high standing of .630, are the team that really deserved to have been in the World Series and won it.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:09 AM) : 

Well Dmarks, in the post expansion/divisional system that we were given in 1969, the Phillies would have played the DBacks from Arizona.

The Yankees would have played the Rangers.

Then the two league champions would have played for the title World Series Champion.

And I would have been fine with that.

Now whether the Phillies would have won or not is another story. Plenty of teams that have won lots of games have stumbled in the series, like the mighty Yankees of 1960.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:12 AM) : 

Brian, I'm one of those baseball purists.

Yes, the Cards did what was asked and won fair and square, but they were still a second place finisher.

I am sure we are headed for even more mediocrity in the playoffs. Sadly.

And the radio is indeed much better, especially if you get to hear Vin Scully.

BB, the Cards have always been seen as one of the class acts of baseball, and they have the championships to prove it.


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