Monday, July 11, 2005

Selig vs. Bettman Commissioners

I am watching the Home Run Derby in the baseball All Star Game festivities right now. They just finished talking to baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Selig is a bit of an impotent commissioner in that the bigger markets (like Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers) will not allow him any significant power to do anything against their interests even if it is in the best interests of baseball. However, listening to him, I was impressed that it is clear that he loves baseball and loves to talk about baseball. The ESPN commentators couldn't get rid of him; he just wanted to talk about baseball. I found myself wishing Gary Bettman would be like that. He's cledarly not a fan who enjoys just sitting around and talking about his sport. It's sad when Bud Selig makes one wax poetically about what a commissioner should be. Yes, hockey's commissioner is that bad.

Really, who cares if Bettman truly *loves* the game of hockey? He's a businessman hired by the owners of 30 franchises for no other reason than to further their financial aims. If the owners wanted a cheerleader, they would have hired one.
If Bettman doesn't love the game of hockey I cannot expect him to do anything because it is in the good of the game. It seems he loves business - so he only does things for the good of business. Sometimes those two interests will clash. I want a commissioner who notices and cares when that happens.

Is asking for the commissioner of hockey to be a hockey fan an unrealistic expectation?
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