| Lenny Bruce knew how to make an exit. His famously contentious 1950s and 60s comedy act was so subversive, the FBI tried to censor him. But Lenny didn't care. He'd fire off a line like, "God made my body, and if it's dirty, then the imperfection lies with the Manufacturer, not the product. Do not remove this tag under penalty of law," and then he'd leave the stage, with the crowd still applauding. Even his death (heroin overdose) was a spectacular finale.
Maybe Bud Selig's got something similar up his sleeve.
In the month since we last talked about the Grand Old Game, baseball seems ever closer to canceling itself forever. The Diamondbacks/Yankees World Series was probably the best ever, and outside the Apple, New York's loss was as cathartic as it was unexpected. What better time for this game to give up the ghost? That baseball is managed by the worst-organized leaders since Michael Ovitz ran Disney is not shocking. But that Bud's Boys could make themselves look so incredibly stupid every single day? Such ridiculousness boggles the mind. To wit:
* There is no schedule. Because of Bud's poorly brokered Ponzi scheme called "contraction," MLB doesn't know how many teams it has. Let's see if we can capsulize this: Bud wanted to offer his old buddy Carl Pohlad a way out of his Twins ownership, so Minnesota was tagged for contraction despite its well-chronicled baseball history. And to get Montreal out, Bud begged Marlins owner John Henry to sell his team to current Expo owner Jeffrey Loria; to make this happen, he promised Henry that if joined Tom Werner and Les Otten's bid to buy the Boston Red Sox, the Werner/Otten group would miraculously win the sealed-envelope Red Sox sweepstakes, despite the fact that its bid isn't the largest. Terrific plan, Bud. Problem is: it's illegal.
* Congress looks smart by comparison. On the same day that Selig went to Washington to plead poverty before Congressional leaders, the Yankees offered Jason Giambi a $122 million contract. We really don't think that baseball understands what a bag of assholes they look like when this stuff happens. Bud hopes Congress won't revoke baseball's anti-trust exemption, thus making them subject to this silly little thing called the American legal system. Revoke it. Please, revoke it.
* The Winter Meetings are as exciting as Pam Dawber's career post-Mork & Mindy. Hooray! ESPN (another evil empire) gets to do more documentaries on spoiled free agents getting courted by teams who can't afford them! No one wants to do anything at these meetings anymore, especially when no one's sure whether there'll be a dispersal draft. The last meaningful trade that took place at the Winter Meetings was Earl Weaver trading his jock itch to a San Diego hooker for a case of the clap.
There's more. Mark McGwire retires. Jesse Ventura gets a dozen sound bites trashing Selig. Don Fehr starts sounding like the voice of reason. Really: the baseball apocalypse may be upon us.
Ah, but if it's true, the last baseball you'll ever see is a New York team trudging off the field a loser. Now that's what we call making an exit. Lenny Bruce would be proud.