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The More Things Change . . .

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The more they stay exactly the same.  It's amazing that any forward- and rational-thinking human being is a fan of major league baseball and/or the Philadelphia Phillies.  I guess what's even more amazing is the hold that this game of baseball and our hometown/hometeam loyaly has on us, despite our forwarding- and rational-thinking nature.

Two news items over the past week have me scratching my head about my favorite pastime and my favorite sports team:

First, baseball owners unanimously voted to keep Bud Selig the commissioner for another three years.  Selig has presided over the elimination of a World Series and one of the biggest scandals in baseball history.  He rarely sees an opportunity to praise the game or its players.  What's he get for his track record and general cheery outlook?  To be the second-longest serving commissioner in the game's history.  (He'll be in good company right behind the racist Kenesaw Mountain Landis.)

Once again, the owners proved that profits trump all else.  Fueled by corporate attendance, the ballpark-building craze, and, most importantly, the increased scoring from the steroids- and HGH-era, baseball attendance has boomed under Selig.  And, with it, profits, particularly for those teams that enjoy the benefits of Selig's brand of revenue sharing while drastically cutting team salaries.  The game has never been more financially sound.  Everything else be damned!

Long live King Bud!

Second, as anyone reading the local papers can tell, Pat Gillick has virtually disappeared this winter and has been replaced by Ruben Amaro Jr.  Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto noticed this as well, stating:  "Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is taking on a growing role as team spokesman, leading many around the Phillies to believe he will be tabbed to replace GM Pat Gillick, who plans to retire at the end of the upcoming season."

Of course, the jury is still out on Amaro, since he has had to toe the company line his entire career.  He may have some forward-thinking bones in his Stanford-educated body.  But, if he does, we sure haven't seen it.  And a decade-plus under the direct tutelage of Ed Wade and Pat Gillick and the indirect infestation of Philadelphia old-school wisdom from Dallas Green, Bill Giles, Dave Montgomery, and the rest of the Phillies intelligentsia is not encouraging at all.  With Ed Wade already showing that he learned nothing since he was fired, would it surprise anyone if his protege got the Phillies GM job this November and immediately signed Geoff Geary, Jose Lima, and Adam Kennedy/Jamey Carroll/Aaron Miles to multi-million dollar mutli-year contracts?

For once, wouldn't it be nice to see some change in the sport and team I love?

(Forgive me if this comes off as the nonsensical ramblings of a crazy man. I'm an Eagles fan too, and the Super Bowl is going to be Giants/Patriots. Need I say more?)