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October 23, 2003

Breaking Balls

This Bud's for No One

by Derek Zumsteg

I want to say this before I get into this topic, because I believe honesty is important in a writer-reader relationship: I drink alcohol. Unless you're reading this for the first time, this is no surprise, but I wanted to ensure everyone, from newbie to long-time reader-and-hater, was on the same page with regards to my feelings about alcohol before I get going. I drink a lot. I'm drinking a Sierra Nevada right now, just out of spite, because of Bud Selig.

"This is the famous Allen "Bud" Selig. We know of no Commissioner in any age that costs the game as much in action and in sloth. His unique harebrained ideas and wild schemes produce a sense of dread you will find in no other executive in any sport..."

I wrote that little parody of the Budweiser label off the top of my head and, relatively, I don't even drink that much Bud. Which is to say I drink a lot of it.

Selig said that he thought the Marlins' post-game celebration after winning the NLCS was "tacky and out of place in today's society which is less tolerant of alcohol abuse."

No problem with the victory cigars, apparently, but the alcohol...oooh nooo...save me from the deadly alcohol, where in a joyous clubhouse celebration following one of baseball's great team achievements, being sprayed over the head with sweet, delicious champagne causes:

  • Nation-wide increase in SIDS
  • Tripling of federal budget deficit
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Massive outsourcing of middle-class jobs to India
  • Outbreaks of the deadly mutaba virus in every metropolitan area

All of which clearly call for--no, demand--the intervention of Bud Selig. MLB's got an abysmal record in helping its fallen, particularly those ravaged by addiction, get the help they need. Baseball's tolerated without comment or action child abusers, spouse-beaters, and all kinds of other bad people, just in the last few years. But boy, crack open a bottle of Brut in front of a camera, and the whole game gets to feel the wrath of the Lord High Executioner, who's going to put out a sternly-worded memo and have Bob DuPuy hang around any potential deciding game, confiscating alcohol and issuing stern looks to clubhouse attendants.

OK, actually, I have to admit I can see where post-victory celebrations might have a connection to an increase in teenage pregnancy, but the less said about that, the better, and if you think that denying players alcohol is going to make them less frustrated, well, you should remove your head from the sand, because who knows what the neighborhood cats have been up to.

This is the Selig we know and loathe: the guy who would rather poormouth his game than improve it, rather re-instate Pete Rose for the good feelings and avoid facing up to the damage Rose did to the game, and Selig's own shabby conduct trotting Rose out for the cameras when it would make money for baseball's sponsors.

You know why Selig really wants to clamp down on celebrations like this? Because they remind him that he and his family could never win with the Brewers, that they were such a terrible, unselfconscious pack of morons that it's only now, with Selig's interest in a trust and his relatives being chased out of the offices, that the team might put together a season that the fans of Milwaukee could possibly look to as not being a complete waste.

Selig will never taste victory champagne, and so he doesn't want anyone else to, either. If you ever needed a reason to hate Selig, to really work up some bile about this jealous, petty bastard, he's given it to you.

Three beers died to create this article.

Related Content:  Bud Selig

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