Throughout time things have been eponymously named for no good reason other than to name them after the person it is referring to. Newton has a law named after him. Odysseus has an entire odyssey named after himself. Haley has his comet. The band R.E.M. even went so far meta on us that they named an album Eponymous (which was, essentially, their greatest hits of the college radio days). It includes Radio Free Europe, (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville, and It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, so they get a pass. As do the other folks. However, very rarely does an organization actually give an award to someone from that same someone who runs the organization giving the award. Well, MLB did just that.
Recently, Commissioner Bud Selig received the Bud Selig Leadership Award. As Selig shook his own hand during the acceptance of the award, Selig probably peered into a mirror a la Stuart Smalley and thanked himself.
The award, which is actually given by The Baseball Assistance Team (BAT) and is headed up by former major leaguer Randy Winn, is in its inaugural year. The BAT, which is a charitable organization within Major League Baseball itself, aims to assist people within the “baseball family” who have fallen on hard times. Selig, through his
Commissioner-mandated work of essentially keeping organization afloat, was the obvious choice for the award. Per BAT’s statement:
“We are proud to bestow this honor upon Commissioner Selig to recognize baseball front office executives who support our organization in a meaningful way. Over the years, we have received a substantial amount of assistance from individuals and groups throughout our industry, including players, clubs, executives, club and league employees, and fans, but none more so than from the Commissioner’s Office. We are very grateful for the Commissioner’s leadership and all of the support we have received in his tenure to allow us to continue our mission of assisting members of the Baseball Family who are in need of help and have nowhere else to turn.”
It generically sounds like a good cause, and it’s quite possible Bud Selig is worthy of the Bud Selig Leadership Award. But this is just typical Bud Selig. For most baseball fans, it just puts one more thing on the Bud Selig List of Disapproval.