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Can a Commissioner solve Baseball problems?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Ilmago, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    I know this is a sports forum, and there are issues in other sports. But my main interest is Baseball, so I've decided to keep this topic Baseball only.

    Does anyone believe that a Commissioner, any Commissioner, can still solve baseball's problems?

    The National Game has a lot of controversial issues. Steroids, out-of-control payrolls, leagues operating with different rules (DH), different number of teams in a division, etc.

    Can even the wisest Elder Statesman still marshal the resources needed to solve the problems? Or would he need the full cooperation of the Player's Association?

    Of would both a Commissioner and the Player's Association need the full cooperation of the players to bring the game through the maze of difficult issues, and restore full fan confidence in the integrity of players, and the records.

    Do the records still mean what they used to mean?
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    All industries and companies have controversial issues for which CEOs are paid big dollars to navigate and many of those issues require negotiation with a union. Baseball is no different than any other industry in this respect. A commissioner is just a fancy name for CEO.

    The records mean what they mean. Every era has been distinguished by a multitude of factors that make each era unique, whether it's steroids, white people only, or a dead ball.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Nobody cares about baseball records anymore. Bonds and McGwire took care of that. I can't imagine what record would have to be on the line for people to notice and care. Maybe DiMaggio's hit streak.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If a "commissioner" were truly independent of all factions, rather than simply a figurehead/puppet for the owners, and had full authority to impose solutions on the industry without interference, he/she could achieve revolutionary changes, mostly beneficial for fans.

    However such an animal will never exist.

    As far as the records: The toothpaste is out of the tube.
  5. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    Not sure I can agree with your investigative, detective work, Mizzou. I think that many young stat-oriented kids care and get all excited about records. As do the media. Look at all the media hoopla over the Sosa/McGwire home run sweetstakes of 1998, and later the Bonds Home Run Derby?

    I suspect that only us older, wiser fans wax cynical about the steroid-assisted HR records. But the kids are not hard to fool. They are still pure and naive. They'll learn. They'll get there.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    He's referring to after McGwire/Sosa, when steroids basically made power numbers useless. McGwire/Sosa were going after a 37-year-old record.

    I remember when Bonds was going for the mark, there wasn't much hype, because it had only been done three years earlier.

    The only records I can see people getting excited over now would be either DiMaggio's 56-game streak, someone trying to hit for .400, or if, by some miracle, someone challenged Ripken's mark.
  7. And if such an animal did exist, the owners would not make him commissioner in the first place.
  8. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    That's probably very true. People would also get excited about someone approaching 30 wins.

    However, that's two more records than people get excited about in the NFL, NBA or NHL.

    Quick, what's the single-season NFL rushing record, or record for most TD passes or receptions?

    What's the NBA record for points in a season, or NHL record for goals and points in a season?

    Very few people know, or care. But almost all sports fans know about Joe D's hitting streak, Ripken's consecutive-game streak, and Teddy Ballgame hitting .406 and being the last .400 hitter.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    But you don't think it's necessary to draw contextual distinctions when considering the eras where the ball went from dead to being juiced up or when only white guys were allowed to play?
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Exactly. The McGwire-Sosa chase was unbelievable to watch unfold and when Bonds broke the record a few years later, people cared, but maybe 1/20th as much as they did in 1998.

    The perception was that Bonds didn't deserve to break Aaron's record, so it didn't get the attention it would have gotten if a player who was more popular and presumed to be clean, would.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone cares when A-Rod goes after Bonds' record. I think it will barely register.
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    To answer the original question, sure. But you have to put someone in the commissioner's position who's not an absolute buffoon and who's truly committed to the betterment of the game. Selig was been a catastrophe on too many fronts to count.
  12. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    Part of the problem is defining if a problem exists. Here is one example, and maybe you'll realize how some 'problems' can never be solved, to everyone's satisfaction.

    Problem: Out-of-control payrolls.

    If payrolls and individual salaries are at historically high levels, the owners will lament that there is a huge problem. But the players and their advocates (Player's Association) will smile broadly and ask, "What problem?"

    It is in the best interests of the team owners to hold down team payrolls, control costs and try to turn a profit for their stock-holders, if there are any stock-holders.

    But this holding down of payrolls runs counter to the players desire to realize a rising living standard. The owners have traditionally tried to suppress the players desire to raise salaries.

    See the problem? What is a problem for one side is not a problem for the other side. As they used to say in divorce proceedings, "Irreconcilable Differences".
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