Saturday, January 30, 2010

Choose Your Buds Carefully, Baseball Fans

Okay, now that Bud Selig has announced his plans to step down from his commissioner’s throne, we all need to prepare for the new era due to begin sometime in 2012. No, it probably doesn’t matter who we, the fans, think should replace His Fugliness as commish, but it would matter if Bud decides to make himself available — a hired goon, as it were — for more than the inevitable “How I Saved Baseball” speech coming soon to a Lions Club near you.
So to help everyone who doesn’t necessarily agree that interleague play was the greatest invention since sliced stitches on a Whitey Ford mudball, the comparison test below is designed to help rate Bud as a prospect at various possible positions he may try out for in order to keep busy in his post-despot years. To keep these comparisons fair — something that will forever be lost to stats fanatics thanks to Mr. Selig’s “ignorance” of steroid use during his tension-filled tenure — he’s only stacked up against other Buds.

Which Bud would you rather go into business with, Bud Selig or Bud Bundy?
Bud Bundy, of course. Though both have been described as conniving little weasels, the Married with Children Bud still comes across as more trustworthy. Selig, remember, made his fortune primarily due to the fact that he inherited a car dealership.

Which Bud would you rather help coach your kid’s Little League team, Bud Selig or Bud Harrelson?
Harrelson, hands down. Heck, even hands up. Sure, little ol’ Buddy H. flung his fists of fury at Pete Rose after Charlie H. threw an elbow trying to break up a double-play during the ’73 playoffs, but then it was over (well, except for the subsequent rush of players from both dugouts followed by a booze bottle from the stands with Rose’s name on it — and no, it wasn’t Wild Irish Rose). But Selig continues to hold a grudge against Charlie Hustle, refusing to overturn the unreasonable ruling that prevents MopTop Pete from being enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Officious obstinacy isn’t a character trait I want displayed to my kid.

Which Bud would you rather see volunteering as a Big Brother, Bud Selig or Bud Ricks?
Easy: Bud Ricks. Even though Sandy’s younger brother on the TV series Flipper always seemed to find himself in trouble, he was a well-intentioned lad who was as guiltless as he was guileless. Not so, our Mr. Selig, whom Rays fans should remember as allegedly having planned to include Tampa Bay in his evil contraction scheme. Young Bud Ricks was usually saved by his dolphin, but no respectable Rays rooter should want to learn anything about life from ol’ Bud Selig.

Which Bud would you rather add to your Saturday softball roster, Bud Selig or Bud Collins?
Collins, the popular TV tennis commentator, wins here. At least he looks like he could flash enough of the form that helped him win the 1961 U.S. Indoor mixed doubles championship to leg out a double or two today; whereas the appropriately initialed BS would be hard-pressed to convince anyone he made the cut on his high school badminton squad. (No malice intended toward all you hard-bodied shuttlecockers out there.)

Which Bud would you rather see on stage at a comedy club, Bud Selig or Bud Abbott?
Abbott’s still a lot funnier in person — and he’s been dead for more than 30 years. (Selig just looks like it.) And even though Bud Abbott’s knowledge of baseball may not have extended much past his legendary “Who’s on First?” routine with partner Lou Costello, Abbott’s comic comments were intentional, unlike those so often made by the Mook from Milwaukee.

Which Bud would you rather see behind the bench in a court of law, Bud Selig or Bud Grant?
Bud Grant, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yeah, he lost four Super Bowls as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, but anyone who insisted that his players practice standing at attention during the national anthem can certainly be trusted to have a healthy respect for the legal system and run a fair courtroom. Most of the media, conversely, learned that they couldn’t trust Selig to give a straight answer to a direct question, as when he zig-zagged through the McGwire/Sosa steroid issue at press conferences.

Which Bud would you rather have as a bodyguard, Bud Selig or Bud a.k.a. Kenny?
Anyone chosen to be a friend of an upstanding, uplifting and upbeat Huxtable — as now-sitcom veteran Deon Richmond was when he played Kenny (Bud) to Keshia Knight Pulliam’s Rudy on The Cosby Show — gets the nod here. When loyalty, sincerity and ethics matter more than profits, profits and more profits, you want someone who’s always watching your back — without sticking a knife in it.

Which Bud would you rather make a marriage-counseling appointment with, Bud Selig or Bud Adams?
Bud Adams, naturally, even though Selig showed the baseball world that he liked decisions that end in a tie when he decreed the 2002 All-Star Game was over with the score knotted at 7. The Tennessee Titans owner’s lapse in judgment — allowing TV cameras to catch his middle finger pointed upward and toward Buffalo Bills fans last November — was mindless but momentary. Selig, however, made us suffer through many years of finger-pointing as he continually failed or refused to address or solve the irreconcilable differences between fans and
owners (excessive price hikes), players and owners (1994 season-ending strike) and even owners and owners (revenue-sharing disparities).

Which Bud would you rather hire as a guide, Bud Selig or Air Bud?
If you want a leader who has a nose for the right path (the path of righteousness is a different consideration, though indirectly addressed already), you go with Air Bud, the golden retriever from the movie of the same name. Besides, Air Bud has better hair.

Which Bud would you rather pay good money to have at your party, Bud Selig or Bud Light?
Holy hops, Batman — are you kidding?! Bud Light is more refreshing, is easier to swallow, and doesn’t leave nearly as much of a bitter aftertaste. Unfortunately, the beer just may not last as long.

So there you have it. Bud Selig: loser. The commissioner/king who had so many baseball fans singing “Reign, reign, go away!” is soon to be sent to the showers. If you see his name displayed anywhere once he’s gone from the game — submitted on a job application, embossed on a hung-out shingle or listed in an office-building directory — follow his only lead worthy of his legacy: Avoid controversy and go in another direction.
© 2010 dlee

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