MLB General

Commissioner For A Day

Bud Selig. Most baseball fans shake their head in disgust or recoil at the sound of this man’s name. Granted, he has made some changes for the game of baseball that should not have happened. But, he also has done some great things for the sport.

Selig has made changes that turned out both good and bad, that were loved and hated. But all his decisions have been criticized around baseball for years. This is where I tell you how the job of Commissioner of Major League Baseball should be done. The changes that I think should be made and the things that I think should stay the same.

My first order of business, for the sake of normalcy, would be to change the name of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Just keep it the way it was. Or even change it back to California; just get rid of Los Angeles. They shouldn’t need to change their name to make more money off merchandise, they are already better than the only true Los Angeles team, the Dodgers.

Now while I don’t mind the DH rule, I can understand why people want to rid baseball of it. It can be argued that National League pitchers have an advantage over American League pitchers because they don’t have to face that extra hitter all year. If I was commissioner, the DH rule stays for one simple reason. The guys that get old and want to continue playing but can’t keep playing catcher (Mike Piazza) or are not good enough defensively to play first base (Mike Piazza) can keep their careers going in the American League.

This next one may seem crazy at first, but stay with me. Do we really need the Colorado Rockies and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? There is already a team in Florida, and the Devil Rays will not be able to make a run at the playoffs for a very long time with their limited payroll. The Rockies will NEVER win in Colorado. They will NEVER be a playoff team, so why are they even a team? Decrease each league by one team; put their players in a draft to go to other teams. Doing this, the level of play and talent increases slightly and you aren’t stuck with two teams going nowhere. You may be asking ‘Why not get rid of the Florida Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks too then?’ They have won the World Series. They earned it, and have a chance of continuing in the right direction. If Rockies and Devil Rays were slashed, there would be 28 major league teams. There could actually be fair, balanced divisions too. Keep the West divisions exactly the same (except Colorado would be gone from the NL), move Milwaukee back to the AL Central, and put Cleveland in the AL East to replace Tampa Bay. Keep the NL Central and East the same after that.

Now what do we do with interleague play? Like the DH rule, people argue against interleague play, and there really is not much of a point to it. But who doesn’t enjoy being able to go to a Mets/Yankees game, a Giants/A’s game, a Cubs/White Sox game in the regular season? If I am the Commissioner, that’s reason enough for me and interleague play stays.

Let’s talk about payrolls. The Yankees should not be allowed to spend $200 million a year to buy an All-Star team, while the Kansas City Royals struggle to get 60 wins with a miniscule payroll. There should be a limit to how much a team can have or spend. Designate a minimum and maximum amount, to keep the game more fair and balanced. Also, no more ridiculous $250 million contracts should be handed out. Maximum length of a contract: 7 years. Maximum salary per year: $10 million. There we go everyone is happy now. Except Manny Ramirez. But when has anyone actually cared about what he had to say?

Now, the biggest problem in baseball today: Steroids. Bud Selig is headed in the right direction, but I would suggest a system with even harsher penalties. At this point, everyone knows what’s going on, players know what to avoid. So, first time offenders sit for a year. No more excuses about over-the-counter medicines containing traces of illegal substances. If for health reasons, these MUST be taken, check them through with Major League Baseball so they won’t mistakenly suspend you for your allergy medicine. As for the second offense, a lifetime ban from baseball. That should have players second-guessing about trying to supplement their play. But, like I said I like what Selig has done about the problem so far, and you can already see the usage decreasing this season alone with the new penalty system. Now the only thing standing in the way of Selig’s proposal for the harsher system is the player’s union. What in the world is wrong with them? If you want to rid the game of steroids, just accept the system. With my proposed system also, people could argue that some players would refuse to play, or some star player would quit or hold out or retire. Well that would be just too bad for them, and great for baseball. Barry Bonds should have retired by now anyway.

Also, one thing that has broken my heart recently is the way the All-Star game and Home Run Derby is formatted. Instead of letting the fans vote for who plays in the All-Star game, let them choose the participants of the Home Run Derby. When All-Star voting is left to the fans, there are often deserving players who get snubbed because they aren’t popular enough. Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki, these types of guys are going to make it every year because they are so popular. This year, Beltran and Ichiro did not deserve to be in the All-Star game. Anyway, let the coaches, players, GM’s, analysts, sportswriters, people closely associated to baseball like that vote for the All-Stars. The players with the best seasons should be going, not the players with the most money, or necessarily the most talent. Also, I don’t think there is any need to include the requirement of one player from each team being in the All-Star game. The A’s had no deserving All-Stars this year. The Devil Rays had no deserving All-Stars. Why send them? Also for the Home Run Derby, after the All-Stars have been announced, that’s when the fans get their turn to vote in the 8 participants. No “International Competition” where 8 different countries are represented, just the 8 best home run hitters as decided by the fans. One more thing that bugs me about the All-Star game is that not all the players get into the game. It shouldn’t be that hard for the managers to get all their players in the game. The game is for the players to make memories of that one time they were in the All-Star game and of what a time they had. Of course, to do that, the home-field advantage needs to be eliminated. If you win the All-Star game you should get a pat on the back, not home-field advantage in the World Series. The team with the best regular-season record out of the two in the Series should get home field advantage. It’s as simple as that. One parting comment on my All-Star game format: No ties. There are no ties in baseball. That was one huge mistake Bud Selig made. Let them play the game and have fun.

My last order of business concerns Pete Rose. I don’t care if he bet on baseball, he has the most hits in major league history, is one of the best players to play the game, and he has been banned from the sport he loves. Betting did not affect his style of play. If I am commissioner, the first thing I do is find a way to get Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame. If anyone should get banished from baseball it should be the guys that used steroids. People like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi have all altered their play in some way. McGwire would not be in the 500 home run club if he didn’t use steroids his entire career. Jason Giambi would not have won an MVP award if he hadn’t used steroids. Maybe he would, but it would have been legitimate. Pete Rose made a minor misjudgment compared to them. Just put him in the Hall.

Bud Selig has done some things baseball fans have loved, some we’ve hated. But we all wish we could have his job, so we could change the game to our likings. The changes I have described above are the ones I would make if I were in Selig’s position. To make baseball better, they are the things I think need to be done.

18 replies on “Commissioner For A Day”

Good points I like this column. You bring up some great points and you make some good decisions. If we had to vote for a new commissioner, then my vote would be for you.

I definitely agree about capping the contract length and money. You should play the game because you love it, not because of how much money you can make. No one needs to make that much money.

comment Thanks, yeah I still wonder sometimes, if I were to ever play in the major leagues would I ever have accepted less money than I deserved just because I didn’t need it? All the MLB players can’t be that greedy…:)

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