How Bud Selig Ruined Our Memorial Day

Once again, baseball has blown it. In Philadelphia and many other major league cities, it's a holiday – a uniquely American holiday – without baseball. Bud Selig and his band of merry men need not look too far to figure out why baseball's attendance has lagged and it should be easy for even them to figure out that they need only point fingers at themselves for the problems in baseball today.

If baseball is America's pastime, then why are so many teams not playing on an American holiday? Just nine games dot Monday's schedule and our beloved Phillies are one of the teams that are inactive on Memorial Day. It's the unofficial start of summer and here we are left to hoping that ESPN can at least fill in some of our desire for baseball. Luckily, the folks at ESPN get it and have filled ESPN2 and "the mother ship" with four games for our choosing.

Not only should there be baseball for every major league team today, but there should be day games. Think about it. People have today off, meaning that they can do something with their families before heading back to work and school tomorrow. Bright and early tomorrow. Get it? Day games would provide families with the opportunity to take in a game and still get the kids in bed at the right time and Mom and Dad could rest up before starting their abbreviated work week. The rule should be that every team plays on Father's Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day. You might even throw Mother's Day and Easter into the mix, but since they're slightly different holidays, we'll leave them out. There should be one exception. If your team is having a fireworks display after the game, you can start the game at 6:00 p.m. That way, the game would be over when it's dark enough to start the fireworks and still get everybody home relatively early.

Baseball attendance is down another five percent this season after dropping eleven percent last season. Only nine teams have shown increases – slight though they may be – over last season's attendance. It's exactly this kind of holiday blunder that hurts attendance. People look for entertainment on holidays and baseball takes away one opportunity from them. This isn't rocket science, it just makes sense. If you don't want to make teams travel and then play a day game, all you have to do is extend the weekend series to a four-game series or have teams stick close to where they played over the weekend, since most Sunday games are day games anyway, the travel problem isn't really an issue.

Bud Selig can't retire soon enough. His tenure has been one of blunder after blunder. There's the back-and-forth, stop-and-start Pete Rose issue, last year's All-Star Game and of course, the lingering Expos dilemma. Pete Rose should either be in or out, the players should have been told to "play ball" at last year's All-Star Game and the Expos should just be moved to Washington where we all know they should be.

Of course, talking about the Expos, don't be surprised to see the team contracted after the 2006 season. After all, that's what Bud Selig wanted to do and the way he is slowing down the relocation process, the team may not move in time, leaving them as candidates for contraction. It's just another way for Selig to get what he always wanted. There are several teams that could be helped by relocation and there are some areas in the country – Portland, Oregon and the D.C. area – that are perfect for baseball. Send the Expos to one of those cities and one of the other teams to the other. Then, work on developing other cities that would warrant having a failing team move there. It's not that tough.

It's an American holiday without baseball in one of the country's most historic cities. Thank you, Mr.Selig.


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