No More Boos For Bud
It happens every year, both at the All-Star Game and the World Series. When baseball audiences are at their largest, and fans their most euphoric, they will still take time out to rain down a merciless chorus of derision at Bud Selig.
Rightfully so, of course. This is the man who presided over the cancellation of a World Series, and the All-Star Game tie. He's also the man who compounded that mistake by attaching home field advantage in the World Series to subsequent All-Star games. And he kept his head firmly buried in the sand during the Steroid Era. He is generally completely ineffective, unless he's about to do something monumentally stupid.
Selig isn't alone in drawing ire from the fans. Any time the corporate head of a major sport steps onto the field, he's usually set upon by the crowd. Possibly because the likes of Gary Bettman and David Stern appear so out of place in an athletic setting, more likely because fans associate "the suits" with the greed and bureaucracy of sport, and because they can't quite get the taste of that last work stoppage out of their mouths.
It doesn't have to be this way. There is a sure-fire way to guarantee that Bud Selig never hears from the boo-birds again: Stop showing up. Not literally, of course. Selig is welcome to hide in the friendly confines of a luxury suite during the All-Star game or the playoffs, but when it comes time to hand out the hardware, it's time to pass those duties off to someone else.
Create the position of MLB Ambassador. This should be a former player, or even better, a collection of former players, who can then preside over awards presentations "on behalf" of the commissioner. Think Hank Aaron or Willie Mays are going to get booed?
It's a perfect choice for baseball, with its rich history of recognizable stars. They could even be geographically specific: Mike Schmidt in Philadelphia, Bob Gibson or Stan Musial in St. Louis, Yogi Berra in New York, Cal Ripken in Baltimore, in case the Orioles ever win anything again. These sorts of peronalities would not only enhance awards presentations, but also remind fans of baseball's less corrupt days. Pete Rose need not apply.