This Bud's Not For You

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Generally speaking, leaders of industry associations are chosen because of their successful track records in the chosen field. One flagrant exception to this rule is Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who has mismanaged the Milwaukee Brewers into perennial last-place finishes (they haven't had a winning season in a decade) and massive financial losses, while squeezing hundreds of millions out of hapless Wisconsin taxpayers. Now, according to baseball economist Doug Pappas, synthesizing a bunch of recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, the Brewers franchise is "spiraling down the drain" under staggering debt, and the taxpayers may be left holding the (very expensive) bag.

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  1. At least he succeeded at leaving the taxpayers with the bill! 🙂

  2. Bud Selig is a worm. Baseball has gone downhill so far and so fast under his watch, it’s really quite sad.

  3. i’m a lifelong baseball nut, and i grew up near milwaukee and have had to watch this team slowly implode over the course of several years. even minor glimpses of competitiveness (such as 1992) have really not broken the gloom that has persisted since 1983, when the defending AL champs could do no better than 5th in the AL East, finishing 11 back of then-perrenial power baltimore.

    perhaps some nails were driven when free agency really started to take off in the mid-80s, but many other teams have managed success despite their market with astute ownership and management. selig, on the other hand, has strangled his team and cried for welfare, all the while driving the business into debt far beyond its or its ownership group’s capacity to ever repay. it’s a classic case of complete bungling hopeless mismanagement, and the only ways out i can envision are a MLB bailout/contraction (the golden parachute); a financially powerful new owner capable of retiring immediately at least half the brewers l/t debt load who does not wish to relocate (no one i can think of); or bankruptcy.

  4. I’m curious about the bag. Do you see it as a sort of snipe hunt, and there’s nothing in it? I think it usually holds the loot, but the police are arriving and it’s not good to be holding it. It may be though that the phrase has taken on more of a pig in a poke flavor.

    which reminds me: Two pigs (cartoon in Punch)

    Maurice: Alphonse, don’t go in there! It’s a poke!
    Alphonse: But Maurice, there’s garbage in there!

    but even there you get an actual pig, and not, say, a cat. The remedy in the latter case is to let it out, and then the jig is up.

  5. We were better off in the old County Stadium. However, Bud Selig wanted his “stately pleasure dome” and despite initial promises that the team would pay for it, they found a way to hike up our sales taxes(“But it’s ONLY one-half-of-one-percent.”) and get us to fund it for him. The biggest supporters of the Stadium were Gov. Tommy Thompson and the Republicans who claimed that Milwaukee’s ecomomy would dry up and blow away if the Brewers left town, so it was therefore a function of government to support them. (The local LP filed a law suit to block the sales tax on constitutional grounds, but the courts hand waved them off.)

    Don’t even get me started on the fallacy that somehow a new stadium would have magically made the Brewers a World Series contender. Retractable roof or not, they suck.

  6. Author and local Milwaukee Talk Show Host Charlie Sykes sounds off:

    http://www.620wtmj.com/620programs/charliesykes/weblog.asp

  7. “Generally speaking, leaders of industry associations are chosen because of their successful track records in the chosen field.”

    Is this really true? And what is the metric for determining a successful “track record?”

  8. Commissioner Pud Selig

    There, I said it and now I feel slightly better.

    Now, can the Mariners get somebody to help them to the promise land??? What good is it that we here in Seattle got stuck with some of the stadium bill but can’t enjoy it in October? Those $8 beers taste so much better during the playoffs!

  9. What made Milwaukee famous has made a loser out of me.

  10. “And what is the metric for determining a successful “track record?”

    Last time I looked at the business pages the standard wasn’t metric, it was $$$ profit.

  11. I think baseball really lost it’s edge when players stopped being alcoholics in the off season.

  12. Stop the presses! A gigantic infusion of taxpayer money, with no change in management, didn’t turn a loser into a winner! Why, that’s unprecedented!

    If by “unprecedented” you mean “inevitable, foreseeable, and widely predicted.”

  13. Living in the Washington DC area I can say with some assurance that Welch is wrong, leaders of industry associations are not chosen because of their successful track records in the chosen field. Many of my neighbors (well, 15+ anyway) are some of these leaders, and without exception they come from the ranks of lobbyists – successful lobbyists, for sure – rather than their industry. What the associations want are Washington insiders, industry expertise is much less valuable and easier to find. The battles in Washington aren’t won or lost on their merits – where industry expertise woudl matter – but rather on simply getting into legislation, by whatever means possible. And it takes insiders to accomplish that. Technical experts just give the speeches at conventions, they don’t actually do anything much.

  14. A different kind of contraction. And it’s his own team!

  15. Why don’t you ask his daughter for her credentials, since she is supposedly running the team. Who needs a track record when you have nepotism?

  16. d>Reed is absolutely right about “industry leaders”, at least those who are working for trade associations.

  17. EMAIL: master-x@canada.com
    IP: 82.146.43.155
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    DATE: 02/27/2004 03:40:21
    Truth is not determined by majority vote

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