Just two days after an amazing World Series ended, commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball would contract two teams before the 2002 season.

Two days after an unbelievable Super Bowl, the Master of Timing struck again, announcing that contraction would not happen before the 2002 season after all.

However, he tempered this good news with the pledge that two teams will be gone before the 2003 season starts.

For the love of baseball, somebody get rid of this man before he tries to horn in on another champion’s spotlight. I don’t care whether it’s himself, the owners, the players or the fans as long as somebody gets Selig out of the commissioner’s office.

The most pressing issue this off-season should have been the labor agreement with the Player’s Association.

Instead, Selig spent all of his time trying to make sure contraction took place. He did this at the expense of smooth labor negotiations as he and the owners voted in favor of contraction without consulting the Player’s Association.

When various court decisions made contracting two teams before the 2002 season seem impossible, Selig continued full steam ahead and ignored all of his other duties.

In fact, Selig has only really done two things this winter. He unsuccessfully attempted to contract two teams and he successfully got the owners to give him a contract extension.

Neither of these things are good for baseball. You could actually make a very strong case that they are both very bad for the game.

With his misguided contraction attempt, he pissed off the players and alienated many fans. With his contract extension, he threatened baseball with five more years of his control.

I’m actually not really being fair to Mr. Selig ? that’s not all he did. He also went to Washington and successfully angered a bunch of politicians. However, while that may have been entertaining to some people, it certainly did not help the league.

The primary concern of every commissioner should be caring for the welfare of his sport and Selig is not doing that. He is not addressing the main problems with baseball and the things he is doing are just creating more problems.

Selig certainly will not remove himself from office, and for that I don’t blame him. If I were getting paid millions of dollars to run my favorite sport, I wouldn’t walk away either.

So it’s up to us ? the fans. We need to write to the owners and tell them we want Selig out of office. We need to call them and say that we don’t like what Selig is doing. We need to make it clear that if Selig retains control of baseball, baseball may not retain control of our hearts.

And we need to hope that they listen because I, for one, do not want to see Selig walk to the podium a couple days after the NBA Finals and announce that the rest of the season is canceled.

Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.



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