The other day I noted that there was no clear successor to Bud Selig when he steps down at the end of 2012. From my lips to Maury Brown’s keyboard, for today he runs down some of the possibilities over at The Biz of Baseball.
None of the candidates Maury mentions are bad. Sandy Alderson and Stan Kasten are smart guys and smart is good. Rob Manfred has been in the trenches and that works. While the idea of Andy MacPhail troubles me a bit inasmuch as no one would probably be talking too seriously about him if he didn’t come from a family line of executives, he has been in the sorts of jobs that would give him experience here. A legacy-saved, let’s call him.
Ultimately, though, brains aren’t going to trump everything. Or even be the most important thing. Not saying Selig isn’t smart — he is — but his biggest skill is in consensus building among the ownership group. It’s what allows him to basically do anything he wants. Making the owners mad is what causes coups. Coups like the one that brought Selig into power in the first place.
Which makes me wonder if another current owner isn’t the most likely replacement. Someone who saw that Selig moved on from the Brewers, made a tidy profit on his team and then made a healthy freakin’ salary for nearly 20 years on top of it, all the while transforming his legacy from used car salesman to one of the preeminent sports executives of all time.
Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?