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Selig's trip uphill both ways



By Bomani Jones

Page 2

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Updated: August 2, 2007, 3:18 PM ET


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Since Bud Selig is one of the most powerful men in sports, it's sometimes easy to forget that he's a used car salesman.


But after hearing the bill of goods he tried to sell last night about how following Barry Bonds is an arduous task, the only fitting conclusion would have been showing reporters a '91 Taurus with "30,000" extra miles on it.


Every game Selig attends where Bonds doesn't go yard must stink. The Giants are pretty bad. Very bad, actually. Trailing them across the country must feel like following Poison as though it's the Grateful Dead.


But beyond that? Please.


Let's break down some of Selig's statements after last night's Dodgers-Giants game, the eighth straight game Selig has attended, only to see Bonds go homerless.


"Depending on the weekend, we'll be up to 11 [games], so I don't think there's anybody that can say that I haven't made a Herculean effort."


Sorry, but nothing Herculean has ever taken place in a luxury box. If going to 11 games is Herculean, then Marge Schott must have been Wonder Woman.


Further, if Hercules were going to see Bonds, I bet he'd fly coach. He'd carry everyone's luggage, too. He's Hercules, after all. Dollars to doughnuts says Selig hasn't touched a suitcase since doughnuts cost way less than a dollar.


"In fact, I've been having a lot of people who are stunned that I'm still at this."


Who are those fools? Selig's the friggin' commissioner. This is one of those things he's got to do. That's why he make the big bucks.


How big? $14.5 million last season, according to The Associated Press, more than all but 15 players in the game. If players can be expected to allow people to throw things at them and call them everything short of children of god because withstanding abuse is in the job description, then Selig can suck this one up.


"Eventually, I do have a lot to do and there's an awful lot going on. Somebody once wrote they didn't really know what the commissioner does, he pushed paper clips around. I guess I do that at night, but during the day, honestly, there is some work to be done."


The commissioner has a lot to do, absolutely. But just as politicians have to kiss babies, Selig's got to do this. There's no need to explain why. It's just part of the game.


But for kicks, let's pretend that representing his office isn't a big part of his job. Is watching Bonds play games with 7 p.m. Pacific start times -- four hours after the close of business in Milwaukee, where Selig's office is -- taking away from time better spent commissioning?


Selig's not the first man to the ballpark, nor is he the last to leave. He's not watching Bonds shag flies or anything. He posts up in his luxury box -- which surely gets good cell reception and has wireless Internet -- waiting on Bonds to step to the plate every couple of innings. There's plenty of time to get things done while Barry Zito's getting the business end of a five-run inning.


Hell, why not get some work done while Bonds is at the plate? When Bonds comes up, Selig looks like he's trying to decide whether to have someone fetch him nachos or a hot dog, only to ultimately say "eh, I don't care, just give me whatever you get."


It's also worth noting that Selig is the first person ever to complain about leaving the Midwest to go to Southern California on company time. Would Selig complain about going to a leadership conference in Aruba, too? Cuz I wouldn't, lemme tell ya.


Bottom line: Selig doesn't want to have anything to do with Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's record. Aaron, after all, is Selig's friend. We get that.


But Bud's appearances at the ballpark are just for show. Therefore, he's gotta put on a show. He doesn't have to break out a size large Bonds throwback from his days as a Pirate, nor does he have to special order an XXXXXXL Giants hat. He doesn't even have to pretend he wants to be there. He just has to carry himself professionally, rather than foolishly trying to curry sympathy for being forced to do his job.


And only a fool would buy this noise about how doing his job is interfering with his ability to do his job.


If the commissioner's going to complain about following Bonds, Selig may as well attend only games at AT&T Park, where Bonds seems to be contractually obligated to hit milestone homers. That would be bogus, but at least it could be played off as an informed decision.


If Selig's so busy, he shouldn't have time to whine. Which would be cool, because I surely don't have time to hear it.


Bomani Jones is a columnist for Page 2. You can reach him here.









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