January 27, 2014

Is Bud Selig the best baseball commish ever? Uhh, maybe?

Jayson Stark says its a clear yes.

Craig Calcaterra says only if you allow for caveats.

He notes most of the commissioners were fairly poor material. Of the top two who weren't, Bart Giamatti died in office after a short tenure and the owners eventually ran off Fay Vincent for being too independent.

He also notes Bud got in office by leading the palace coup against Fay, though acknowledging that eventually led to some degree of revenue sharing and other things.

I'm with Craig on this. I don't know for sure, but I think either Giamatti or Vincent might have handled the revenue sharing better.

As for Stark's "purist alert"? I'm not a fan at all of the second wild card. And, even though it helped the Cardinals in 2011, I'm not totally a fan of the first. (Bob Costas' idea is just the three division winners, with the best getting a first-round bye. I'd be OK with four teams from each league with one more expansion to 32 teams, which would have the side benefits of reducing the number of interleague games and getting rid of year-round interleague play.

Oh, yes, that's another non-purist thing I don't like.

As for his successor? I'd like to see something done with local-level TV revenue sharing. Not a lot, but a slice. In exchange, let's put in a poor man's floor as well as a lux tax ceiling, requiring every team in baseball to have a minimum salary level. You go below that, and you lose revenue sharing money. If you as an owner fall below it a second time, you get booted off any ownership committees.

At the same time, let's make a small portion of the lux tax also go to revenue sharing. Let 80 percent of so of it go to its other current obligations, but dump a few $$ in the revenue sharing tank.

As for the ghost in the machine? I think Selig has led MLB to the best policy, and policing, of any American team sport. But, could he have done more sooner? I also say yes.

And, I didn't even mention letting an All-Star Game end in a tie, then later deciding the ASG would be used to set home-field advantage in the World Series. On that one, if we have year-round interleague play, why not just use best record instead of the old alternating-years system?

As for all the new stadiums? Yes, they're beautiful. And with baseball attendance and other things, they're at least smaller economic whales than football stadiums.

That's of importance with how Baseball Public Enemy No. 1, Jeff Loria, hosed Miami-Dade County on new stadium costs. And how current Braves ownership may wind up doing the same with the willing connivance of the Cobb County Commissioners Court.

Per Craig, isn't this like choosing the best hockey player in Nicaraguaa?

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