The particulars of The Trade have are begun to filter into the Commissioner’s Office, or at least through Bud Selig’s ear hair and into the mush beyond, and Jays fans are starting to get a little anxious– perhaps understandably, due to the too good to be true nature of the deal– with dark thoughts of MLB vetoing the deal and everything returning to how it used to be.
This inclination is not being helped by the posture taken by the Commissioner– he’s reportedly unhappy and, according to a tweet from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, “feels for the Marlins fans and will take everything into consideration before making a decision.”
Sounds troubling, right?
Well… it would be were his posturing not exposed in its clearest form thanks to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman:
Selig said to be “not happy” w/ #marlins trade, but so far doesn’t see basis to disallow. Selig’s quote: “under review”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 15, 2012
That’s pretty much the rub, isn’t it?
Bud, completely defensibly, wants to look sympathetic to the people of Florida here, given how they’ve been so badly taken by the shrewd and villainous Jeffrey Loria, but there’s not a whole lot he can do. Nor is there anything he should do, frankly.
This isn’t the first fire sale that’s happened on Selig’s watch, and the extra, scummy layer on top of the deal– in the form of the Marlins’ new publicly-funded stadium– can only take away so much from the fact that what we have happening is a high payroll last-place team shedding a bunch of current salary and long-term financial risk while adding tremendous amount of young talent to kickstart a rebuilding process. The stadium isn’t going anywhere, the team isn’t going anywhere, and what’s happening in South Florida isn’t a whole lot different than what we’ve seen there before– and what has brought the Marlins’ a pair of World Series wins during the last two decades.
Bud has long been in tacit acceptance of the fact that Loria’s gonna Loria, and even if he weren’t, it’s not like anything appears to have been done here that contravenes MLB’s rules. So what’s there for him to overturn?
Frankly, I’d be shocked if, behind closed doors, Bud wasn’t thrilled to see a new player jumping into the deep end of baseball’s big money economy after being dormant for so infuriatingly long.
In that light, the “best interests of baseball” canard that we keep hearing trotted out about this appears pretty myopic, doesn’t it? Because it sure seems to me that this new tide of Rogers Communications dollars will lift all boats, and that’s something Bud truly has a stake in.
Sure, what Loria did leaves a bad taste in everybody’s mouth but his own, but it’s not difficult to argue that– optics aside– his club has made a pretty good baseball trade here. And if we’re being honest, it can also be rather easily argued that the Marlins are much better off today than they were earlier in the week– a last place team at the apex of their payroll capacity, saddled by back-loaded deals, incapable of turning their fortunes around with more splashy free agents or winning as constituted.
Should Loria be forced to ride out his doomed experiment until those contracts expire? Should he be forced to spend more in some kind of show of good faith to the taxpayers who voted for the clowns who let him get away with funding so much of his new stadium with public money?
Given that he’s a colossal douche, it might be nice. But forced? I just don’t possibly see how Bud could do it.
That’s not to say that absolutely he won’t– I have no idea– but it seems a much, much tougher row to hoe once we get past this notion that Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays completely got away with murder. Personally, I’m not worried, for whatever that’s worth.
So then… what’s the hold up? Mostly getting numerous players to Florida, from whichever parts of the hemisphere they happened to be in at the time the trade quickly came together, to take their physicals, one presumes. And paperwork.
These things take time– they always have, it’s just with Twitter we’re now conscious of every moving part of the deal. It will be completed in due course, I’m confident– no need to be overly worried.
Well… maybe a little worried is OK, if you have to– to be honest, at times I can’t help myself either, a little– but just keep telling yourself that it’s very, very unlikely to be overturned, as it would be completely unprecedented and would need some kind of twisted new interpretation of MLB’s rules, and action from Bud Selig that almost certainly goes against his interests as commissioner, regardless of whatever posture he happens to be taking at the moment. It’s gonna be OK. Probably.