Results tagged ‘ BuD Selig ’
A judge on Thursday refused the team’s request to force the league to produce a slew of documents relating to everything from the New York Mets‘ dealings with convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff to emails with former Dodger manager Joe Torre.
The team wants evidence to prove that league commissioner Bud Selig is hostile to owner Frank McCourt and holds the Dodgers to a different standard.
Delaware bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said at a telephonic hearing on Thursday that the team’s requests were too broad for the issue at hand — whether a proposed $150 million bankruptcy loan from a hedge fund unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. is appropriate.
He also said a July 20 hearing on the loan should not turn “into a trial of the commissioner,” though Gross indicated that the court may have to consider questions about the motivations and actions of the commissioner at some point.
The dispute stems from the Dodgers’ fight with the league over financing the team’s operations in bankruptcy.
McCourt arranged a loan from the Highbridge hedge fund unit of JPMorgan. The league has argued it can provide the loan more cheaply, and with fewer strings attached. The Dodgers want the judge to reject the league’s proposed loan, saying it should not be forced to borrow from a hostile party.
The Dodgers said in a statement after the hearing they still expect Gross to approve their proposed loan with Highbridge.
“As the court indicated, there will be other opportunities in this bankruptcy case for the Dodgers to obtain the discovery that MLB does not want to share with the Dodgers and the court,” said the statement.
Thursday’s decision is the second setback for the team in court. In its first bankruptcy hearing, the Dodgers agreed to modify terms of the Highbridge loan to drop requirements the team sell its cable television rights by a certain date.
The Dodgers and the league have traded accusations of blame for the team’s bankruptcy. The Dodgers pin it on the league’s rejection of the team’s proposed cable deal with Fox Sports, which would have provided the team with funds to meet payroll.
The league shot back in court papers filed Wednesday saying that McCourt seemed unconcerned about looming payroll when he tried to get $20 million of team money weeks before the Chapter 11 filing.
The league has also accused McCourt, who is simultaneously waging a divorce battle with his ex-wife for control of the Dodgers, of diverting $100 million of team revenue for his personal use and “lavish” lifestyle.
Anyway you cut it, this is getting uglier by the minute and it doesn’t look good for McCourt.
If you conduct business in a way that makes Bud Selig look like the guy who has his shit together you are doing something terribly, terribly wrong.
Players once thought to be first ballot Hall of Famers are struggling to garner more than a pittance of support from sports writers and fans alike as the sport carries on the best it can.
Attendance remains high, despite an ongoing quasi-recession, television revenue is streaming in and it appears that many of the measures taken by commissioner Bud Selig and his merry band of nitwits salvaged what little dignity this great sport had left in the wake of all that ugliness.
But alas, as always, looks can be deceiving.
I, for one, was more than a little bit surprised when MLB decided to include a ban on stimulants in its new drug program a few years back.
Now the use of uppers is neither new nor surprising in the baseball world, going back as far as the days of Willie Mays players have been using some form or another to endure the grueling demands of the 162-game season.
While steroids, and their artificial augmentation of baseball’s favorite play, the longball, have received most of the mainstream media coverage, anyone who really knows two shits about baseball recognizes that “greenies” have always been a much more pervasive part of the game.
Countless stories of large Ronald Reagan-esque like jars filled with amphetamines (as opposed to Ronnie’s trademark jellybeans) and pots of coffee labeled “extra-caffeinated” could be found without much effort at all.
A baseball season is a long & grueling one, after all. 162 games, packed into about 180 days, taking players, coaches and fans through a hot and humid summer can wear down even the best of men. So for decades players have turned to “artificial means” to carry them through the dog days of summer.
I told more than one friend that it would be interesting to see who “faded down the stretch” and chuckled at the sudden emergence of energy drinks as sponsors for the big league clubs.
But I never could have imagined the thing that would catch my eye exactly one year later…and every year since.
When the league banned these drugs, an amazing thing happened. The number of players claiming and obtaining “therapeutic use” exemptions for stimulants nearly quadrupled from 28 to 103.
“Therapeutic use” means you can justifiably use the drug because you need it for a medical condition. If you didn’t have the condition, you’d just be a normal pro baseball player, and the attention-focusing benefits of Ritalin would be a form of “enhancement,” i.e., cheating.
Before the ban only 28 players had “therapeutic use exemptions” allowing them to take drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall. Twenty-eight. Then somehow magically that number jumps to over 100 as soon as the ban kicks in?
Color me suspicious but do they really think we are that dumb?
I mean how the hell can ADHD multiply fourfold in a sport in a single year? How can it become three times as prevalent in that sport as in the adult population? Is it contagious? Can Derek Jeter give it to Dustin Pedroia if he coughs on him as he slides into second base? Of course not.
ADHD is a psychological diagnosis. Like post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder it’s open to interpretation in any given patient. Three doctors may say you don’t have it. A fourth may say you do.
It’s that subjectivity that should have led to the league having a more discerning eye. After all they had literally just caught the foxes trying to rob the hen house when they found over 100 major leagues had tested positive in their last round of anonymous testing.
MLB should have also taken notice of what pretty much EVERYONE else had when these numbers were first published, namely that among adults, the rate of diagnosis is between 1 percent and 3.5 percent. But among pro baseball players, the disease seems epidemic. That means 8 percent of major-league players have ADHD—twice the rate among children and three to eight times the rate among adults.
But, of course, they didn’t.
They argue that once the number spiked up to 103 it “plateaued” and has remained at or about that same level since. This is true, the numbers show there were 105 therapeutic use exemptions in 2010, up from 106 TUEs in 2008/2009 and 103 in 2007, but it still doesn’t address why there was such a sharp rise in the first place.
But then again, do we really expect more from Bud the Dud?
The World Anti-Doping Agency sure as hell doesn’t:
“My reaction is the same as last year and the year before that,” said Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the committee that determines the banned substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency. “It seems to me almost incomprehensible that ADHD is so pervasive in baseball to a degree that it requires medicine.”
A frequent critic of baseball’s drug-testing program, Wadler said “these numbers really cry out for transparency in the due process in baseball — a good look-see at the process, not just the numbers.”
This ostrich-like ability of Selig’s, where he is able to shove his head in the sand for unnaturally long periods of time has long infuriated me frankly.
I only wish I could have been a fly-on-the-wall in the offices of Major League Baseball when the recent divorce proceedings of Kansas City Royals catcher Jason Kendall and his estranged wife Chantel have remained frequent fodder for internet gossip sites like TMZ and RadarOnline and even recently made the jump to websites not concerned with the latest atrocious parenting of Jon and Kate Gosselin.
While professional athletes ditching gold digging trophy wives is no novel concept, this one had steamy particulars involving the love triangle of a pro athlete, a smokin’ hot babe and the son of a rock-n-roll legend (Chantel is currently dating Sean Stewart, son of Rod Stewart).
The focus of the tittle-tattle involved Chantel accusing her husband of abusing the drug Adderall, which subsequently led to him both physically and emotionally abusing her.
Aside from accusations that he pissed and shit on a pile of Chantel’s clothes after finding out she had been cheating on him, she claimed that he received a spurious prescription to take what is now labeled a performance enhancing drug otherwise banned by Major League Baseball.
While Kendall refused to answer the judge’s question about his use of greenies under the argument that (I. shit. you. not) Mark McGwire didn’t have to answer the questions he was asked in court about PEDs, he was very forthcoming about his prescription drug habits and more than willing to toss former teammates Brian Giles and Bobby Crosby under the bus, implicating them as fellow Adderall appreciators in court depositions.
One has to think that Bud was running around Manhattan looking for a schoolyard sandbox the shove his head in the moment he caught wind of these proceedings.
I am sure Selig is a good man. It appears he has a passion for baseball, and genuinely wants to do the right thing to help the sport. But there is a problem—he is gutless.
For years he ignored steroids in baseball while the problem grew out of control. Despite many fans knowing certain players were on steroids, even going back to the 1980s (for an example, a 1988 Fenway Park crowd chanted “Ster-oids” at Jose Canseco), Selig in February of 2005 said, with a straight face:
“I never heard about it. I ran a team and nobody was closer to their players and I never heard any comment from them. It wasn’t until 1998 or ’99 that I heard the discussion…I don’t know if there were allegations in the early 90s. I never heard them.”
I read those comments and think either this man is absolutely lying, or he is completely incompetent and oblivious. Maybe it is a little of both, but either way, this man should not be allowed to run major league baseball.
Further, even if taken at face value, if Selig knew about steroids in 1998 or ’99, why did it take him until 2005 to take any action, and only after Congress forced him into it.
Sadly, I fully expect this same sort of blissful ignorance to plague Selig’s handling of this next round of PEDs in baseball.
Just as stories about players juicing were swept under the rug because of increasing television ratings and attendance due to historical records falling every year, this dirty little secret will go on flying under the radar.
Instead of looking out for the interest and integrity of the game, Selig will gladly keep trading it away, piece by piece, for an increase revenue stream.
- Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
- The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
- And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
- But there is no joy in baseball — the sports integrity is quickly running out.
Last year the Yankees won their 27th World Series in franchise history, and first in almost a decade. With the exception of the Phil’s inability to move runners and a few defensive gaffs, it was a well played and entertaining series. But the playoffs, in general, were another story entirely. They were plague by a veritable catalog of every blown call an umpire can possibly make and extended deep into November, all thanks to far too many “off days”.
And all of that was a screaming success compared to LAST years fall classic. Who can forget game five of the Phils/Rays series. The heavens opened up and it was an obvious call. Suspend the game.
Or so we thought, when in the top of the 6th with the Rays down a run, rain poured and the wind howled, conditions which should have halted the game at least an inning earlier. With the game already official, the umpires kept the teams on the field when conditions were unsafe, giving the Rays the most chances to score and keep their hopes alive.
What no one seemed to know is that Commissioner Bud Selig had decided, that no matter what the weather, the rules would be bent and the game would go to completion. The problem was, he only told the owners this – he neglected to pass the information on to managers, players, umpires, FOX and the fans. This complete breakdown in communication resulted in players on the field risking injury, umpires who knew it wasn’t their place to decide the fate of the World Series and fans who looked just miserable. While I applaud Seligs approach to suspend an official game despite the score, I find it despicable that no one was made aware of it before hand. This is just one travesty of the game that Bud has presided over.
In the past, commissioners were elected to expand and improve the game. There have been those on the sides of the players: Happy Chandler, despite a unanimous vote against, upheld the integration of Baseball, Bowie Kent Kuhn who upheld arbitration and free agency, Ford Frick, who took millions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to owners and created the pension fund.
And there have been those on the side of the owners; General William Eckert, a career military man with a business degree, who had never played a day of baseball in his life, *Peter Ueberroth, another business man who lined the owners pockets with millions of dollars from TV deals. Kennesaw Mountain Landis a man who was brought in for the specific purpose to clean up baseball, and our own Alan H. Selig.
Bud is the ninth Commissioner of baseball, the first to be promoted from within the owners fraternity. This is a man who cares nothing for the fans or the players, as an owner he has only one thing on his mind: Rape and pillage to make as much money as you can before you die so you can be buried with it. Much like our friend Mr. Pohlad.
Never before had a commissioner been tied financially to a team. He had to step down as president and CEO of the Brewers, and was forced to sell the team when his status was changed from acting commish to just plain commish. But from the time he began tenure to when he finally sold the team, his stock prices rose, making him millions of dollars on top of his ridiculous $14.5 million salary.
The majority of his tenure has been riddled with embarrassment, the ’94 players strike, the umpire strike, the tied all-star game, that steroid scandal, and most notably for those who read this blog: contraction. There have also been parts of the game I personally don’t like but some seem to enjoy: Interleage play, unbalanced schedule (its good to a point, but why play one team 7 times in April and be done with them for the season?) and the World Baseball Classic. Though, I must admit through gritted teeth that I do enjoy the three division and wild card set-up.
So here we are and this lil tidbit of news comes out:
“The Milwaukee Brewers are erecting a statue of baseball commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it on Aug. 24.
Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers. He became acting commissioner in 1992 and took the job full-time six years later, turning control of the team over to his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb. The Selig family sold the team to a group headed by Mark Attanasio in 2005.
“The Brewers and Miller Park are in this city because of the commissioner’s vision and dedicated efforts,” Attanasio said Monday.”
I hear this and all I can do is think of the immortal Homer Simpson.