Wednesday, May 27, 2015

On the Chopping Block

This week at Miller Park, a new feature will be debuting.  The feature is comprised of 1500 square feet of artifacts and gear to honor retired Commissioner Emeritus and former Brewers Owner Allan H. "Bud" Selig.  It's called "The Selig Experience at Miller Park."

The highlight, or perhaps the climax, of the show is "a surprising encounter with the Commissioner himself inside an authentic reproduction of Selig's County Stadium office, using a technology found in only a handful of exhibits around the world.  After the show, Milwaukee fans will be delighted to take a sneak peek into Selig's office for themselves."

Speaking for myself, that is not a tour I would want to take.  Now, don't get me wrong -- I appreciate all of Selig's hard work in tirelessly crusading for the return of baseball to Milwaukee in the time between the Braves left until Selig and his team of financiers took the Pilots from Seattle and bankruptcy.  I appreciate his willingness to spend money in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- before we heard Selig complaint about how competitive balance would be destroyed by free agency -- to build a team that could and did win and made it to the World Series.  

But I have to admit that the Selig Experience leaves me cold.  Again, don't misunderstand -- he made sure as the commissioner that revenue sharing was put into place, that the smaller markets might have a chance to succeed.  The biggest problem I have with Selig is that he spent his time worrying about being Commissioner for far too long as his own team rotted. Selig became acting commissioner in September of 1992.  The Brewers finished 1992 with a 92-70 record, 4 games out of first.

In my opinion, it is not a coincidence that the Brewers did not have another non-losing season -- even a .500 season -- until 2005.  Guess what happened in January of 2005? Yup, the Selig family sold the Brewers to current owner Mark Attanasio.  The problem is clear when you hear what he told his former fraternity brother at the University of Wisconsin, Lew Wolff, who owns the Oakland Athletics:  "When you join this, try to put baseball first and your team a very close second."

From 1992 to 2005, the Brewers were a very distant second.  Or maybe third, behind carrying the torch that small-market teams could not compete with larger market teams and making sure that the team was so bad to prove his own point.  

Perhaps it's fitting that the team has sucked this year.  It is, after all, the Selig Experience.

I had to get that off my chest.  

Now, to a far more positive experience -- the Chopping Block.

Specifically, I am talking about getting cards from the Chop Keeper himself, Steve from the Card Chop.  I know there are a lot of Dodgers bloggers out there, but I seem to trade with more Braves bloggers than anyone else.  That might have something to do with my location in Atlanta, I suppose.

A few weeks ago, Steve ripped through some Gypsy Queen packs and pulled one of those white framed parallels of one of my PC guys, Ryan Braun.  I had to claim it, of course, and it showed up shortly after.

Being the awesome guy that he is, that was not the only card to make its way to the ATL from the Card Chop.  Indeed, that is probably the lesser of the two top cards:

This Team Tandems from the Absolute Memorabilia set -- one of those Donruss sets with 200 cards and 2000 parallels from the mid-2000s -- features one-and-a-half year wonder Danny Kolb, who racked up 60 saves between July 19, 2003 and the end of 2004 -- and none other than one of my PCs, Ben Sheets. 

Sheets will be representing the Brewers at the 2015 MLB Draft on June 8.  Others appearing include Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (for the Yankees), Andre Dawson and Tony Perez (for the Marlins), and Mike Schmidt for the Phillies.  Lesser lights appearing include Bob Boone for the Nationals, Lee Smith for the Giants, and B.J. Surhoff...for the Orioles.

For the Braves? Ralph Garr and Greg McMichael.  

I bet that will still be more uplifting to me than The Selig Experience!

Steve, thank you very much for these and the other cards you sent to me -- they are greatly appreciated!


  1. Mmmm I hadn't heard about the Selig experience. I can't believe it's as cool as the Lombardi office in the basement of Lambeau. Did some cleaning in my shed this weekend and I'm literally feet from being able to access my Brewers extras. Hope that needs list is up to date. And thanks for those scans by the way.

    1. Glad to help, CB. Selig is a name dropper, through and through. He hired Lori Keck as his secretary in the early 1970s in large part because Ms. Keck was Vince Lombardi's secretary. No lie.

  2. You think the Brewers should try and trade Braun? They will have to eat money, but it looks like he is starting to find his old form. He was destroying pitches the last two weeks.

    The Selig Experience sounds terrible. I'm sure it is nice stuff, but they could at least call it something different.

    1. Should the Brewers trade Braun? It totally depends on return. With him hitting again, he may have value to other teams at this point, but his contract is potentially an albatross for years to come.

      The real problem is that he can never be a real team "icon" in the same way that Robin Yount is and was due to the steroids...unless and until Braun takes the team to the World Series and wins it. Seriously, it would take that much, in my opinion, to make people like him again. Of course, I'm not in Wisconsin, so perhaps I'm a bit more difficult to impress there.

    2. You are right about having to win the World Series. The hole he dug is deep. With that being said the Brewers could probably sweeten the pot some and make him more attractable. Guys like Nelson Cruz and Jonny Peralta were able to balance back nicely from similar situations.

  3. The Selig Experience sounds creepy to me. Bud has always exuded this Used Car Salesman / pervy uncle vibe. I don't think I would enjoy spending more time with him....

    Danny Kolb! That's a name that takes me back a few years.

    1. It is appropriate that Bud exudes a Used Car Salesman vibe. It is, after all, how he and his family made their money -- seriously. They sold Chevys and used cars.