August 4, 2002

The Devil

Yesterday, Bud Selig spoke at a journalism convention.

Here are some of the things he said (according to

1) "Despite the Minnesota Twins' on-field success this season, baseball commissioner Bud Selig maintains the team is no less a candidate for contraction than it was a year ago."

Am I wrong, or didn't Minnesota receive a guarantee that they would be playing baseball in 2003? And hasn't Selig said, time after time, that he is still planning on contraction during this off-season? That doesn't quite add up. If you are going to get rid of 2 teams for 2003 and you have told the Twins they aren't going to be one of them...? Someone, let's hypothetically call him "The Devil", is lying.

2) "Selig called the team's success this year an "aberration.'"

ab·er·ra·tion n. A deviation from the proper or expected course.

So, according to Selig, the Twins are deviating from the proper course by winning a lot of baseball games? Gee, sorry Bud, maybe we should be more like the Brewers and let the proper teams win the games.

And/or they are deviating from the expected course, which would mean that they are a complete surprise/fluke?

The Twins had one of baseball's best records at the 2001 all-star break and, although they struggled badly in the second half, they finished with an 85-77 record, good for 2nd place in their division.

And now, about 2/3 of the way through the 2002 season, the Twins have one of the top records in baseball, the largest division lead of anyone and an all-but-guaranteed spot in the post-season (If Selig doesn't cancel another season).

85-77 one year and 68-43 (on pace for 99-63) the next. Can that really be considering a fluke?

3) "Minnesota, which own the biggest division lead of any team in the American League, is the only small market team performing well this year, he said."

The idea that Minnesota is the only "small-market" team playing well this season is just idiotic.

I am not exactly sure how to define "small-market" so I will just use the team salaries.

Coincidently, I'll make the cut-off on teams with smaller payrolls than the Milwaukee Brewers, who rank 21st in payroll, with a total of about $50 million.

Minnesota Twins - 68-43 (27th in payroll)

Oakland Athletics - 63-48 (28th in payroll)

Cincinnati Reds - 57-52 (24th in payroll)

Montreal Expos - 55-55 (29th in payroll)

Florida Marlins - 54-56 (25th in payroll)

The Brewers, by the way, have a 39-71 record, worst (by a big margin) in the National League.

Oakland has had one of the league's best records (2nd best record in AL both last year and in 2000) for several years now, so are they an aberration too?

4) "Selig praised Twins management for putting together a division-leading team. But he said Twins executives have told him they're worried they won't be able to afford their top players next year."

So Selig is somehow worried that the Twins might have to dump a little salary for next season?

The White Sox (who I think might play in a bigger market than Minnesota) have been dumping salary for a couple of weeks now. So has Toronto, so has Cleveland, and a lot of other teams.

Believe me, trading away a couple of the Twins' arbitration eligible players would probably be a good thing for the Twins, regardless of money. I believe Jacque Jones and Doug Mientkiewicz are both arbitration eligible this off-season.

I have said before in other venues and will likely say so here in the future, that the Twins should be looking to trade Jacque Jones and Mientkiewicz.

Trade Jones and platoon Kielty and Mohr in left field, with Cuddyer in right field. Trade Mientkiewicz and put David Ortiz or Matthew LeCroy at 1B.

If they need to cut even more salary, try to find a taker for Rick Reed.

Problem solved.

5) "Selig added he doesn't believe the Twins' fortunes will change without a new stadium. "The Vikings will tell you that too,'' he said."

Well, geez whiz, if the Vikings said it, it must be true!

Selig added that Santa Claus will come down the chimney on Christmas Eve. "Any kid under 8 will tell you that too," Selig said.

Selig added that Wins for pitchers and RBI for hitters are the most important stats in all of baseball. "Joe Morgan will tell you that too," Selig said.

Selig added that if you cross your eyes or make a funny face they will stay like that forever. "My grandmother will tell you that too," Selig said.

Selig added that the roof at Miller Park doesn't actually leak at all. "The people with umbrellas at the All-Star game will tell you that," Selig said.

Let's say someone, let's hypothetically call him "Aaron", said to someone else in the car on the way to dinner Saturday night that "If I were really old, like 90 or so, or if I had a terminal disease, I would seriously consider attempting to murder Bud Selig." Do you think I...oops...I mean "Aaron", would be wrong in saying that? Of course, "Aaron" is a really great person (trust me, I know him) and he would never actually murder anyone. Bud Selig, on the other hand, seems pretty willing to murder two franchises and is doing his best to seriously injure an entire sport.

And finally, because I have so much anger towards this man that I just can't seem to stop typing...

2002 attendance:

Milwaukee Brewers = 24,371 (with their brand new stadium, the all-star game and no bad press coming from the commissioner's office)

Minnesota Twins = 22,555 (with their horrible, old stadium, the threat of contraction before and during the season and a commish who won't stop bashing the team)

2002 W-L pace:

Minnesota Twins = 99-63

Milwaukee Brewers = 57-105

2001 W-L record:

Minnesota Twins = 85-77

Milwaukee Brewers = 68-94

Hey Bud, we have the biggest division lead in the entire world. We have a great, young team. We have a good farm system. We have a good GM. We have won 2 World Series Championships in the last 15 years. And we have been in Minnesota for over 40 years (longer than those stinking Brewers!). Leave us alone! If you are looking for a team to contract, I hear there are a couple of expansion franchises in Florida that some idiot chose to award that aren't doing so well.

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