Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Open letter to Bud Selig

Dear Mr. Commissioner of Major League Baseball,

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, as I realize you are an extremely busy man. As the Major League Baseball season begins, I'm sure you have plenty of duties that require your attention, such as throwing out a ceremonial first pitch or two, posing for photos with the moneybags owners who pay your salary, checking if those grass fields are cut to an appropriate length, and making sure all those hot dogs are cooked to their proper temperature. I also understand that you have many steroid test results to check. (Thank you, by the way, for nailing Alex Sanchez. Running out outlaws like this guy, whose four career home runs are surely attributable to his use of performance-enhancing drugs, maintains the integrity of our beloved game.)

But my true reason for writing this letter is to ask if you would consider ending the 2005 baseball season, after just one day. I realize this could be problematic, but please hear me out. You see, yesterday was a wonderful day for Detroit Tigers fans. Opening day was played under beautiful spring weather, and our team laid a serious ass-kicking smackdown on the Kansas City Royals. The score was Tigers 11, Royals 2. Our dreadlocked warrior, Dmitri Young, hit three home runs - one of only three men to achieve such a feat on Opening Day. And our baby-faced golden boy, Jeremy Bonderman, allowed only one run and seven hits. Mr. Selig, you are a smart man, so surely you see where I'm going with this. It can't possibly get better for the Tigers and their fans. Playing the remaining 161 games on the schedule would only lead to inevitable disappointment. I mean, we could, like, lose a game. Or have crappy weather.

Of course, this might deprive Tigers fans of other potential pleasures, such as enjoying a game on a warm summer night, watching Dmitri Young hit the 486 home runs he's currently on pace to collect, or even winning the World Series, which you would surely agree looks like a certainty at this point in the season.

I realize such a decision might cause other problems. For instance, there are currently 11 teams with the same 1-0 record. And eight teams haven't begun their seasons yet. But we know you like ties, as you showed in the 2002 All-Star Game. And as I said before, you are a smart man. Look at the innovations you've brought to fruition, such as interleague play and an extra round of playoff series. You helped avoid a labor dispute, something none of your predecessors managed. And you allowed the winner of future All-Star Games to receive home-field advantage in the World Series. Well, they can't all be gems. That idea was just dumb. No offense. But I hope you see my point: You are a man who gets things done, who is unafraid to enact change, regardless of whether or not it's popular with everyone.

And this decision won't be popular with the other 29 Major League Baseball teams and their fans. I know that. You know that. But I also know you like us. Hell, you awarded Detroit the 2005 All-Star Game, even though hardly anyone wants to be in Detroit in July. And we're a solid, blue-collar, Midwestern town, just like your hometown of Milwaukee. You can give one of those other teams a shot next year, sir. Or, if you decide this didn't quite work out, play the full season next time. But let's see how it would work this year. You're a man of vision, one who would surely enjoy having a summer vacation for the first time in who-knows-how-many-years. Mr. Selig, you can make this happen. The fans of Detroit need you right now. Other cities will fall in line when they see what you can do for a city and a populace in need. And if they don't, contract 'em. Who needs the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, anyway?

Please e-mail or call me as soon as you read this. I'm not a difficult man to reach. But if you have to call me tonight, I'd prefer if you not call while Scrubs is on. Thank you for your time, sir. Go Tigers.

Sincerely, Ian D. Casselberry