Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I'm A Loser Baby

Got a lucky break today. Mudville Magazine had a contest where you had to tell what you would do if you were Commissioner of Baseball, in 500 words or less. I lost, so I can reprint my story here, today. Enjoy.


So I'm walking along the beach, enjoying a boringly wonderful summer's day, when amidst the sand and the rocks I find a cloudy, ancient bottle. I pop the top open, and out comes a beautiful Genie.

"Thank you for freeing me," she says, " I will grant you three wishes."

"Really? I want to be Commissioner of Baseball."

"Done."

"And not one of those Vincent guys. I want to be one with clout, like Landis."

"Done."

"And I want to own a team, too."

She pauses and looks at me.

"Isn't that a conflict of interest?" she says.

"No. It's ok. All of the Commissioners do it. We just have to put everything in a relatives' name."

"Alright. Done."

I jump in the air and yell as my Genie walks away. It is only as my feet hit the sand that I realize I've made a terrible mistake.

"Wait! I was wrong! I want to be Ben Affleck! Go to games with J-LO!

" It's too late," she called back.

"NOOOOO!"

I drop to my knees, pound my fist in the sand, and scream to the Heavens, "Damn you! Damn you all to Hell!


The first thing we'll do is make it clear that baseball will be played for Baseball's sake, and no one else's. All advertising that is not related to baseball in some way will be eliminated from every major league ballpark, program, yearbook, and broadcast.

Next, we take care of our fans. All concessions will be set at reasonable restaurant prices. All tickets will be sold for one price with no seat assignment. Seating will be determined by computer lottery as you enter the ballpark. Diamond Girls - an adaptation of boxing's Ring Girls - will announce the beginning of each new inning by carrying a giant placard with the inning number down each baseline. Fans will get to sing the Anthem, throw out the first pitch, be first and third base coaches, and attend mound conferences.

Then there's the players. Every player on every level gets exactly what everyone else in America gets - the right to choose where to work, and the right to shop his services to anyone with no strings attached. There will be no salary cap, and no player can be traded without his permission. You sign a contract to play for a team, they sign a contract to employ you.

Baseball fans in every town, regardless of level of play, deserve a chance to see a pennant race. Therefore, all farm system affiliates will become independent, and all baseball teams will move to a soccer-like ladder system, in which the best teams in any league will move up, and the worst teams will drop down. So, taken to its extreme, an eccentric billionaire owner of a magazine in Mudville could build a 5,000 seat ballpark in his backyard, start signing up Major League players, and one day find the Yankees coming to town for the World Series.

Imagine that.


I really thought the Planet of the Apes reference would bring home the Gold, but it was not to be. If you want to see the winners, go to Mudville Magazine


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