Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig today confirmed his plans to retire on January 24, 2015. As part of his retirement, Selig said he wants to partake in a Mariano Rivera inspired type tour where he would visit all 30 Major League stadiums and meet with fans as well as people who work behind the scenes.
“I like talking to people. And … that’s what I want to do: [speak to] season-ticket holders, people who work at ballparks. I just like to walk around and talk to people. I love that. I did that when I ran the Brewers. And I enjoyed it. I miss that,” Selig said today.
He acknowledged how there was a time 9-years ago when he wouldn’t be able to do something like this based on the fans dislike of him. Selig believes those days are over. He’s wrong.
Bud Selig may be a lot of things, but one thing he’s not is someone who’s beloved by everyone in the sport.
Mariano Rivera’s farewell tour worked brilliantly because he was so well liked and respected. Other than Rivera being a major reason why the Yankees won so often, there was really not one reason to dislike him. He played the game the right way and was a class act.
Unfortunately for Selig, he doesn’t have nearly the same like-ability Rivera has. Many blame Selig for turning a blind eye on players using performance enhancing drugs for ratings and attendance purposes. Instead of choosing to save the integrity of the game, Selig instead chose to do nothing about steroids.
In 2008, Florida congressman Cliff Stearns (R) even called for Selig’s resignation.
“The explosion in the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs occurred under Selig’s 15-year tenure. I have found commissioner Selig’s glacial response to this growing stain on baseball unacceptable and I have called on him to step down,” Stearns said in 2008.
As a result of his actions, Selig is now attempting to make an example out of Alex Rodriguez in an effort to write the wrongs of his past. As for everyone else who took steroids, Selig doesn’t seem nearly as angry with them.
Now anytime a player comes out of no where to put up big numbers, take Chris Davis last season with the Orioles for example, the first thing people think of is steroids. There’s nothing worse for the game of baseball than that.
So before Bud Selig travels to every Major League stadium next season, he better realize he could be in for a rude awakening with fans not being so eager to embrace and thank him for what he’s done as commissioner of baseball. He’s no Mariano Rivera, that’s for sure.