First 100 Days as Baseball Commissioner
After a controversial appointment as Baseball Commissioner,
George W. Bush moved into his new office only to find some
surprises. In a press conference held early the first afternoon,
Bush announced that the prior Commissioner's staff committed
several acts of petty vandalism before departing.
In one instance, a hastily written memo ordered a change
in the designation of "Win" to "Victory". As a result, changes
in the statistical records will show a team's V-L totals and
pitchers will now record V's and L's. In addition, walks are
now be designated by the letter L. "If a 'K' is appropriate
for a strikeout," reads the memo, "consistency would dictate
that the penultimate letter of the root word should also be
applied to a base on balls." Intentional walks are now to
be indicated by a reversed L according to the memo.
Another rumor claimed a change in the names of the divisions.
Originally titled 'West', 'Central', and 'East' the divisions
will now be called 'Central', 'East', and 'Far East'. Bush
cited this as another example of petty vindictiveness, but
many insiders speculate that this change was, in fact, a secret
clause in Ichiro Suzuki's contract.
In an apparently unrelated move, the owners of the Chicago
Cubs inexplicably changed the name of Wrigley Field to Juicy
Fruit Stadium. The letter "W" has apparently been removed
from virtually all aspects of baseball except, of course,
as the middle initial of its commissioner.
While campaigning for the position of Commissioner, Bush
had expressed a strong desire to lower the pitching mound
to give a greater advantage to the batters. "These batters,
the blue collar workers of the team," said Bush, "deserve
to get something back for all of the effort they put into
To bolster his view, Bush often referred to an all around
hitting-slump that detracted from the excitement of the game.
Although he immediately proposed a resolution to lower the
mounds by 1.6 inches, no such change could take effect until
the following season. But he nevertheless continued to make
frequent reference to this "batting recession" during his
first days in office. This had the unfortunate effect of the
general public's taking his words to heart and staying home
from games, expecting them to be boring pitchers' duels.
In an effort to reverse this unfortunate trend, which would
certainly reflect badly on his office, Bush tried to temper
his earlier assessment of the hitting situation saying "It
isn't really so bad." To date, this has had only a modest
effect on the attitudes of the public. Fan attendance has
remained lower than average and may actually result in a genuine
"attendance recession." Such is the power of the bully pulpit
of the commissioner's office, a power this reporter hopes
the Commissioner will eventually learn not to abuse.
Finally, as the first 100 days drew to a close, the Bush
Commission reported a severe scarcity of baseballs. The shortage
is attributed to a scarcity of leather resultant from recent
incidents of mad cow and foot & mouth disease. The A's, Padres,
Giants, and Dodgers seem to have been inexplicably but particularly
hard hit by this shortage. Although some independent investigators
estimate the number of available baseballs in the tens of
millions and point out that neither of these diseases has
stricken cattle in the United States, the Bush Commission
has developed a comprehensive plan for dealing with the baseball
crisis. The Vice Commissioner, a former executive in the lumber
industry, outlined part of the plan in which the skins of
spotted owls will be substituted for the cowhide traditionally
used to cover baseballs.
Opponents to this plan suggest that conservation of the existing
supply of balls would be a better solution, citing the number
of balls thrown out of every game after they make minor contact
with the dirt around the batter's box, while balls that get
hit into the infield dirt or outfield grass are promptly returned
Breaking news: A recent report from the General Services
Department of Major League Baseball states that all claims
of vandalism are actually a hoax. This is plainly evident
in the fact that box scores around the country continue to
record both wins and walks with the letter W. Likewise, Wrigley
Field is still Wrigley Field and the division titles remain
as they were in the 2000 season.
The overall assessment of the Bush Commission's first 100
days in office is easily summarized: Thank God he isn't President
of the United States.