Bud Selig deserves a statue outside Miller Park for one legitimate reason

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By Jake McCormick

There are a hundred reasons why the Milwaukee Brewers shouldn’t build a statue for Bud Selig and one really good reason why they should: because they exist.

On most days, I would make like a Republican and say no to Bud Selig’s decisions as a commissioner and his time as owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. I’m the first to point out Selig’s reign as the MLB commish somewhat mirrors Bill Clinton’s presidency, and not in a good way.

A few good things (revenue sharing, wild card playoff spots, longest streak of player’s union peace) are completely overshadowed by one giant mistake (rampant steroid use) that was easily preventable. The one difference is that Selig’s ignorance to the problem actually affected his job performance as well as the integrity of the game he was supposed to be policing.

From the owner’s box, Selig did a fine job of keeping the tradition of front office ineptitude by handing the Brewers off to his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb, in 1998. Not to be outdone by her father’s whiff on Paul Molitor’s exit, Selig-Prieb oversaw the putrid acquisition of Jeffrey Hammonds, multiple 90-loss seasons, and a ride out of town on a rail.

The Brewers were nowhere close to good under Selig-Prieb, and reached 80 wins once after 1992 under Selig. But perhaps in a cruel twist of fate, Milwaukee would not have been able to experience the pain, loathing, and frustration of those years without Selig. Simply put, having a team is much better than rooting for one from Illinois, Michigan, or Minnesota.

In 1953, the first season of Braves baseball in Milwaukee, the team drew a then-NL record of 1.8 million fans and solidified the city’s addiction to baseball. In 1965, the Braves’ new majority owners moved the team to the larger television market in Atlanta. Selig, a minority owner, managed to keep the Braves in Milwaukee for a year longer than expected through a legal challenge.

Selig went so far as to arrange regular season Chicago White Sox games at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1968 and 1969 (they accounted for one-third of the White Sox total attendance each season). He was denied purchase of the team in 1970 with the intent to move them north on Interstate 94, but quickly snapped up the bankrupt Seattle Pilots and birthed the Milwaukee Brewers before the start of that season.

Although the Brewers haven’t exactly oozed excellence over the years, it’s still much better to feel something than nothing at all. As hard as it is to stomach all the failure that has dominated the 39 year existence of the Brewers, Selig deserves all the credit in the world for keeping baseball alive in Milwaukee.

So on August 24 at 1 p.m., when Selig’s Paul Wolfowitz lookalike statue is officially unveiled in front of Miller Park, it’s only appropriate to pay a small amount of respect for his efforts in defense of Milwaukee baseball. You don’t have to like his regime as an owner or commissioner, but he cared enough about the sport’s presence in the other windy city on Lake Michigan to keep a team there at any cost.

Comments

  1. mswollering says

    Thank you for defending our position! It’s not the strongest, but it’s valid! Take that Peter! (Still love you, Pete). But the Douchebrackets on this one hurt like when you rip the bandoff off arm hair.

  2. paulmbanks says

    Of course, Pete had added motivation against the Selig statue! he’s a Twins fan and Selig tried to contract them. You’re right about the Wolfowitz lookalike..that’s frightening!

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