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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Does Bud Selig personally hand out paychecks at the MLB Network?

He might as well.  It might as well be called the Buddy Network.  Since there's no A-Rod Network, it's no wonder that all the commentary is pro-Selig and anti-Rodriguez.

Yesterday, like many baseball fans, I followed the breaking news that suspended player Alex Rodriguez had dropped his law suits against Selig's league and against Selig's union, formerly the players union, which previously sided with players and not with the league.

Rodriguez should file one more law suit: against Joe Tacopina, A-Rod's celebrity attorney, and his other high priced advisers.

Rodriguez now settles into his season of discontent.  As I understand it he will be re-instated after the last game of the 2014 tournament finals, which will be in late October.  One year from now Rodriguez will be preparing to report to spring training with the Yankees since his contract with the team extends through 2017.

But maybe not.  Selig's employees at his TV network speculated that the Yankees might not want A-Rod back and that the other 29 teams might also not want him.  Just how would that work?  Would A-Rod be blackballed as Barry Bonds was after his contract expired?  Bonds apparently received no offers, either from his Giants, nor form any other team, despite the fact that Bonds led in on base average in each of his final two seasons.  With "Money Ball" all the rage, you'd have thought that skill would have made Bonds valuable.

While no longer a star, A-Rod demonstrated in his 44 games and 181 plate appearances (OPS+ 111) that he is still likely a better player than anyone currently on the Yankee roster who is likely to play third base.

Selig wound up with half a loaf.  Obviously, Selig wanted to prevent Rodriguez from playing for TWO years, not one.  Remember, Rodriguez was returning from hip surgery when Selig rushed to judgement, trying to prevent Rodriguez from playing at all in 2013.  As it played out, Rodriguez appealed his suspension, as was his right, and played his first game since October 2012 on August 5, 2013 in Chicago against the White Sox, whose owner is one of the 16 members of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame, along with Selig who has been a member since 1976.

Bud Selig: longest serving member of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.  Monday, January 13, 2014

Selig's TV network employees, who had formerly worked in the players division of Selig's company, were unanimous, as they always are, that their boss was right.  Billy Ripken and Ron Darling dutifully supported their boss, as did writer-employee Tom Verducci.  Ripken and Darling stated that the 50 game suspension accepted by 12 other players was not really any penalty at all.  Darling stated that a player like Jhonny Peralta, after serving his 50 game suspension with no pay, should then be required to play a season at the half a million dollar minimum wage before being allowed to get the $53 million four contract that free agent Peralta got from the St. Louis Cardinals, whose owner is also a one of the 16 members of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame.  Ripken agreed and Marvin Miller rolled over in his grave as these former players advocated that the union agree to have the penalties increased for current players but, I guess, not apply retroactively to former players.  That would be a relief for Nolan Ryan, former player and former president of the Texas Rangers.

Nolan Ryan: more on possible steroid use.  Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Verducci advocated that Rodriguez perform an act of contrition and do penance.  Always good advice.  Verducci invoked the example of Mark McGwire, who did both only to see his support for the Hall of Fame go down each succeeding year.  Too bad Verducci's fellow writers who vote for the Hall are not sophisticated enough to embrace that idea.  Also too bad that McGwire's manager in both Oakland and St. Louis, Tony LaRussa, was just voted into the Hall as a manger without a hint of hypocrisy or embarrassment.

Tony LaRussa managed Mark McGwire (twice). So why is LaRussa a Hall of Famer but not McGwire?  Thursday, January 9, 2014

Irony abounds.

Maybe this entire mess could have been avoided.  All the Yankees had to do was move the fence closer to home plate.

Ralph Kiner: did he make the Hall of Fame because his home park was adulterated?  Friday, February 7, 2014

Ralph Kiner was a one dimensional player with a short career.  His one dimension was aided by his team moving the fences closer to home late.

What helps a home run hitter more: performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids, or moving in the fence?  For Ralph Kiner my guess is that it's about even.  If PED allow a batter to hit the ball about 30 feet farther, then at least at home Kiner had that benefit without even having to lift weights.

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