MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Launches Jihad Against America, Apple Pie, Your Mom
WE WERE SO DAMN CLOSE. Somehow, America had made it through the entire 9/11 anniversary weekend without any bullshit controversy working hack writers into a furious storm of fake outrage.
At least that’s how it looked.
Then, Bud Selig had to come along and fuck it up for everyone. If you don’t know, Bud Selig is the second worst commissioner in sports, just behind Gary “Let’s Give Boca Raton A Hockey Team” Bettman. In addition to being the least powerful-looking powerful man in America (seriously, look at the guy – he’s your sad, creepy uncle who doesn’t have enough self-confidence to molest you), Selig is the guy who looked the other way when every player in the league was turning into a mutant steroid-monster (not that I’m judging – if you want shrink your testicles so you can hit more home runs, more power to you), then suddenly started caring after every crybaby sports journalist started complaining about records being tainted.
This time, however, Selig is in the news because of hats. No seriously, hats! Specifically, the FDNY hats that the Mets wanted to wear during their 9/11 game. Apparently, Selig was trying to capitalize on sentimentality with his own special commemorative super-patriotic, America-fuck-yeah hat for the occasion (which costs 37 fucking dollars, by the way), and the Mets were totally screwing over his deal. First he banned the hats, then when somebody wore one in the dugout, he had his hired goons actually come and take them. Sheesh – dude is a Karl Rove-level control freak. Especially since they’re just fucking hats!
Now, was this the wrong thing to do? Of course! The most important lesson of Good PR is Never Fuck Up Anything 9/11-related. If there’s one thing we Americans love, it’s morbid sentimentality. If you tell a team they can’t wear their *sniff* hats to *sniff* commemorate the *sniff, wipe away tear* heroes who *blow mucus into tissue* fought and *starts completely bawling* died that day, you’re going to look like a moron.
More important, you’re going to give material to a ton of self-aggrandizing journalists who want to let everyone now just horrified, shocked, mortified, disgusted, whatever “I’m morally superior to this asshole”-type word you want to use, they are. Rather than just take this story for the goofy mini-freak show it is, everyone made into the greatest injustice in the history of the world.
Take ESPN’s Matt Rubin who, evidently, thinks the Mets should have said “hat chance” to Selig. Seriously, that’s what he said. And he paints the Mets’ locker room in the severe tones normally reserved for the White House Situation Room. The decision of whether or not to wear the hat is treated with the same gravity as whether or not we should drop the A-bomb. Mets player rep Josh Thole is portrayed like he’s making the grim choice between Fat Man and Little Boy. The whole thing is ridiculous beyond belief and shows no perspective whatsoever.
Rubin also argues that the Mets should’ve just worn the hats anyway even after Selig threatened them. Why? Why should players lose money just to make a symbolic gesture that won’t bring anyone back to life? I’m not saying it isn’t a nice gesture. Shit, if I was a firefighter I might think it was cool. But why give up thousands of dollars just to wear a different itchy thing on your head for three hours? It’s basically the most un-American thing anyone could ever do. Ever.
This story is the all-too-common example of someone doing something stupid, and the other side looking even stupider through their unhinged overreaction. At the end of the day, a hat is nothing more than a hat. Selig was a being a control freak, and a dick, but the controversy as a whole was nothing to write home about.
Frankly, it would be nice if we did away with hats entirely. Man was meant to play baseball with the sun in his eyes, and brims provide players with an unfair advantage. Too long have they cast a shadow of shame over Cooperstown. And that’s the real taint.