Who's to Blame for the Mess in Iraq? How 'Bout Bud Selig?


Fun bit of history from venerable New York Times' sports columnist Murray Chass:

Bud Selig likes to refer to himself as a student of history, and in retrospect, the commissioner could have been part of history, a major part, having nothing to do with attendance records or wild cards. Not that he knew it then, in the mid-1990s, but Selig could have altered the course of recent history.

If only he had given the nod to George W. Bush when Bush, then the managing partner of the Texas Rangers, let it be known that he was interested in assuming the vacant office of baseball commissioner. That was before Bush entered politics and became the governor of Texas.

Selig had said he was not aware that Bush wanted to be commissioner, but plenty of other people in baseball ownership knew it, and Selig has always been in constant contact with owners and knows all. But Bush waited and waited for a signal from Selig, who as the head of the Major League Baseball executive council was the acting commissioner after the ouster of Fay Vincent from the office in September 1992.

Finally, Bush could wait no longer. The Texas Republican Party wanted him to run for governor and needed an answer. Hearing nothing from Selig, Bush ran for governor and won. The rest is history.

Call me a starry-eyed optimist, but I actually think it's actually a good thing that political society in America is held in low enough esteem that a failed businessman from a powerful family could "fall back" on the Texas governorship.  He doesn't have the chops to run baseball.  But Texas?  Meh.  Why not?

On a similar note, ever hear that old story about Fidel Castro turning to politics only after failing a tryout with the Washington Senators?  Urban legend.