This is a story of two completely different people, with two different motives and personas. Every story needs a hero and a villain, and this story encompasses both. Our hero is a great baseball leader. Our villain is a greedy business man with no passion towards the game.
And just like any story, the hero had his struggles. He had to fight for what he believed. He had to overcome the challenges of those who thought he was crazy. The villain, though, was able to rear his head at any given moment. The hero was often powerless to stop the ego and destruction associated with our story’s villain.
This is a man who needs no introduction. He has been the savior of baseball over the last two decades. His decisions have altered the game for the better, brought in a larger fan base, and helped create labor peace in the sport.
He was responsible for the Wild Card teams being added to the postseason, a move that was originally panned by most. However, the addition of two more teams in the play-offs has proven to be wildly (excuse the pun) successful. Wild Card teams have won World Series titles, played in multiple World Series games, and simply brought a new level of competition to the game. The addition of the Wild Card has also garner more fan support than could have ever been imagined.
Our hero helped restore faith in the game that was lost after labor strife stole the 1994 season’s conclusion from the fans. He helped build a new trust among fans and has now, after yet another CBA with no strike or lock-out threat, pushed baseball to new heights of popularity.
Our hero expanded the league in 1998 to include two teams who have been to the World Series, one actually won it. The Diamondbacks and Rays have become successful franchises after initial concerns that at least Tampa may have to be contracted.
The hero of this story created interleague play. This is another tale of an idea that was not received well initially, but has become a fan favorite. Interleague games generally lead to bumps in attendance because fans get to see teams they otherwise never would.
Our hero has done a lot for the game in his time. Yet, our hero is also a villain.
The Villain of this story has carefully disguised himself as a simple business man. He has led us to believe the game’s best interest was at the core of all his decisions. We know this was not the case.
The villain has shown a disregard for competitive balance in the league. He allowed uneven divisions for far too long.
The villain has often pushed for a draft pick slotting system that would limit the amount teams spend on draft picks. This thinking ignores the fact that many small markets can only compete through draft and must pay signees hefty bonuses.
And perhaps the most egregious crime by our story’s villain was the blind eye toward performance enhancing drug use. He refused to acknowledge the problem and let it build until it became an epidemic. He stood by and watched the controversy tear away at the gains baseball had made over the years following the strike.
Our villain has committed his fair share of baseball crimes, yet he is also our hero. They are one in the same. Our hero and our villain is Commissioner Bud Selig.
It would seem we can look forward to more heroism and more debauchery in the coming years if we are to believe an ESPN report. The report indicates that baseball owners plan to give Selig an extension, and Selig plans to renege on his retirement plans.
Depending on how you look at things, you could say our hero, if he agrees to the extension has defeated the villain. Or you can say the villain has regained his power. No matter the case, it looks as if Bud Selig will be around a few more years in baseball.