Results tagged ‘ Bud Selig ’
Besides all the fallout of the Alex Rodriguez steroid admission, which I will discuss on this blog in more detail in a later post, it was also recently announced that a federal judge dismissed basically all of Roger Clemens’ “defamation of character” lawsuit against former personal trainer Brian McNamee, who said in last year’s Mitchell Report that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.
For once, I think the U.S. justice system got things right!! McNamee was promised federal immunity for his contributions to George Mitchell, and that is exactly what he is getting right now. So, in essence, Clemens isn’t able to screw him over for just telling the truth.
As you will likely find out by reading my upcoming blog posts about steroids in major league baseball, I am a huge proponent of holding everyone (players, managers, trainers, commissioner Selig, etc.) accountable for the Steroid Era of 1994-2003. Thus, I think that Clemens is getting EXACTLY what he deserves. Whereas most players (Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, etc.) have completely disappeared following steroid accusations, Clemens (because he is a jerk…just ask Mike Piazza about that) decided to lie through his teeth and fight it tooth and nail. So far, though, he’s not winning and I’m all for that.
(First of all, I apologize for using such an unflattering picture of Carl Pohlad in this post, but you will understand why I made the choice in a few moments of reading).
Yesterday, I heard the news that Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad passed away from natural causes (essentially old age). Before I critique his presence as owner of my favorite sports franchise now and forever, I would like to extend my condolences to anyone who knew Mr. Pohlad on a personal level. From what I have gathered about the man over the years, he was very close to his family/friends/Twins staff/players, so I’m sure they are all grieving his loss right now. Also, I cannot personally begrudge a man who served his country during World War II and, if not for a case of Poison Oak, would have hit the beach at Normandy in 1944.
However, in all honesty, I think that the Twins as an organization are better off in the hands of Carl Pohlad’s son Jim Pohlad’s hands (and have been for the last few years). There are two reasons why I never really could throw my support behind Carlos as an owner:
First, of course, was his stinginess with his money. Although I don’t blame Carl for trying to spend with the big boys (Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc.), as do you spend your personal earnings at work (?), he was notoriously one of the more penny-pinching owners of the 1980s and 1990s and severely hindered the Twins’ chances of contending any earlier than they did. Pohlad took over ownership of the Twins in 1984, and really only had a few great seasons. The Twins lucked out in 1987 and won the World Series, then (when Carl finally signed a few key free agents like Jack Morris and Chili Davis) put together a solid team in 1991 and again captured the title. However, from that point until the new millennium, Carl refused to spend any money on the team and turned it into the laughingstock of the American League. It wasn’t until the early portion of the 21st century, when Carl’s involvement in the operations of the team (because of his advancing age) started to be turned over to son Jim, that the Twins really began to aggressively pursue a winning tradition. Before that, Carl was just completely unwilling to “open the purse strings” in the slightest.
Secondly, I lost a lot of respect for the business side of Carl Pohlad on three different occasions. Though, on one side of his mouth, Carl said he wanted to keep the Twins in Minnesota, he came dangerously close to selling out to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver in 1997. Then in 2002, Pohlad conspired with baseball commissioner Bud Selig to contract the Twins franchise and receive a large cash payback from MLB. Luckily, the contraction idea was terminated at the eleventh hour and the Twins (ironically) went on to win three consecutive division titles. Finally, just a few years after that, the Twins again came close to leaving Minnesota when they couldn’t get a new stadium. Only a Metrodome lease kept the team grounded.
So, though I don’t want to begrudge Mr. Pohlad or his family, I don’t think he was a very good owner for the Twins when all is said and done. The last mistake I think he made was not transferring official duties to his son, Jim, much earlier. As pictured above, the last few years of his life were spent with his eyes seemingly “pasted” shut and an inability to even stand up. Running a major league baseball team is a young man’s work, and Carl held out a bit too long out of pride.
I think that the Minnesota Twins, overall, are in better hands under Carl’s son Jim, who has proven himself very shrewd at balancing the financial aspect while also keeping the team competitive.
To be honest, I really can’t say this year that I am glad one team won the World Series over the other. Being a Twins fan I don’t follow the NL much, so the Phillies (besides their star players) were pretty much a mystery to me, while the Rays only came unto my “baseball radar” screen when they made the playoffs. Thus, I didn’t know enough about either team to have a rooting interest in either direction. However, after watching Phils closer Brad Lidge whiff Rays batter Eric Hinske to give Philadelphia its first baseball champion since 1980, there were two things I noticed about the Phils that will always shape how I remember their 2008 championship season:
First, I was very impressed by the genuine excitement and gratitude shown by Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel. While on the outside “Charmin Chuck” (as he was known when he played for the Minnesota Twins from 1969-1972) seems like a grumpy old codger (I likened him to Tom Kelly in his mannerisms), one could easily tell from his “acceptance speech” while being given the World Series trophy that he is one of the genuine “good guys” of the game of baseball and am I happy for him. I’m sure Rays manager Joe Maddon is just as genuine of a guy, but he (being young) will likely get another crack at a championship. Manuel may not be on this Earth much longer so I’m glad he got to experience what it’s like to hoist up a championship trophy.
On the other hand, I was very disappointed with the fans of Philadelphia, as they booed MLB Commissioner Bud Selig when he stepped up to make the trophy presentation. To be honest, I understand exactly WHY they are booing (I think Selig is a no-backbone goon as well), but is that really the time or place to express your feelings?! No!! In what should have been a moment of jubilation, many Philly fans were just looking for something to ridicule, and to me that says a lot about the character of the people who walk into Citizen’s Bank Park on a nightly basis. I know I’m generalizing here, as many fans didn’t boo Selig, but by and large the lack of sportsmanship was permeating. Over the last few years I have heard all the stories (e.g. booing Santa Claus at an Eagles game) about the rude behavior of Philadelphia fans, but last night I experienced it first hand and was appalled.
With the baseball season now “closed for the winter” (much like my local DairyLand ice cream shop), I don’t know how much I will be contributing to this blog in the coming months. I will keep you updated on the happenings involved with the Twins, as well as every once in awhile write on a topic that may intrigue me as it comes across the media.
I started this blog in June of 2008, so I am looking forward to 2009, when I can blog about my favorite team (the Twins!) from beginning to end!